A Green Halloween Is About Saying Yes To Small Changes – Be Green At Your Halloween Party

A green Halloween is about saying yes to small changes

A green Halloween is about saying yes to small changes

Have you thought about what you are doing for Halloween this year? How can you participate in it without compromising your values? A green Halloween is about saying Yes to small changes in all areas of the celebrations and still being able to feel good about what you are trying to achieve in the larger scheme of things. Choose to be green at your Halloween party.

You will find more than one hundred tips and suggestions on this website between several articles, to allow you to think sustainability and still have a great time.

The kids in the neighborhood, and their parents, may even get an education on how to live a greener lifestyle. After all, Halloween is possibly equally as wasteful as it is fun, perhaps more so, and with so many people celebrating it, that is still a very large amount of waste generated. Let’s change that together and do something new this year.

 

Holding A Halloween Party?

 

Here Are The First Steps To Making It Green- Think ‘Sustainable’ From The Get Go.

 

There are many ways in which you can choose sustainable options when throwing a Halloween party. Here are just a few.

 

  • Get your party guests involved in making their own costumes from recycled items, give prizes for best use of recycling, best design, or best theme
  • If holding a street party, do the same. Or let people know that you are holding your own competition and will judge each costume and award your trick or treat visitors with a prize for the best recycled costume. You may need to give some thought to how that will work.
  • You could take it one step further and suggest a ‘Keep It Green’ street party where the entire street holds a Green Halloween
  • Do not use paper invitations, instead email the invitations
  • If holding a party for people you know, use social media, such as creating an event on Facebook or Tweet the info out via Twitter, etc
  • Give the kids pillow cases to use as loot bags, or draw string bags, or ecofriendly shopping bags with handles rather than use plastic bags or containers, to carry around the neighborhood. Perhaps you could make your own and decorate it for Halloween.
  • Be conscious of not leaving any waste behind you, take it home with you.
  • Pick up trash along the way and teach your children to do the same.
  • Remind each of your visitors about not littering.
  • Walk the neighborhood or bike ride, car pool to other areas.
  • Organise a Halloween bus tour and take people around to the best decorated streets
  • When the night is over, compost or recycle the waste

 

A-green-Halloween-is-about-saying-yes-to-small-changes

Compost the waste

 

  • Reuse some of the practical decorations for Thanksgiving, consider this when choosing decorations and try to have them double up as both.
  • Use only biodegradable plates, bowls, cups, cutlery, etc. Bamboo plates and utensils are made from a renewable and easily sustainable source and are available for purchase.
  • If you are a coconut lover, try making your own bowls from the coconut shells.
  • Make sure cups are labelled with a person’s name so that they are reused by the same person and not continually getting put into the trash.
  • Use you own crockery, cutlery and cloth napkins and tablecloths
  • Use environmentally friendly dish washing and laundry items such as soap nuts, and laundry detergents that are safe.
  • Plant your own apple tree and then use your own apples to use for the game of ‘bobbing for apples’, plus you will have a supply of fresh fruit and it will add to your clean living experience as well as you won’t be contributing to the impact that transporting and industry have on the environment.
  • Plant your own pumpkin patch to be able to use specially for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas too.

 

 Green Ways To Remain Green And Use The Entire Pumpkin

Don’t forget in the excitement of it all, that pumpkins can be used for just about anything. Just look what you can do with them!

 

  • If using a carved pumpkin for your Jack-O-Lanterns, choose to buy organic and locally grown to reduce the impact of transportation and make a statement about not buying them from places where you don’t know what’s been sprayed on them. Better yet, find non-GMO pumpkins.
  • Don’t forget to make soup from the bountiful supply of pumpkins available and used by yourself so not to add to the waste. Below is my own very simple recipe that I have chosen to share here with you.

 

A_green_Halloween_is_about_saying_yes_to_small_changes

My Traditional Pumpkin Soup Recipe – Easy and Heart Warming

 

  • Many a pumpkin pie will no doubt be made from the flesh. Pumpkin scones are nice too. There are plenty of recipes to be found online.
  • Try collecting the seeds this year and plant some to grow your own pumpkins for the following year, if you have a few, sell them to neighbors or give them away. There is the possibility of quite a few of them because there are an enormous amount of seeds in one pumpkin.
A green Halloween is about

Plant the seeds and grow your own pumpkins for next year, save money, save the planet

  • Another great use for the seeds you collect is to roast them for a yummy and healthy snack.
  • Use the seeds once washed and dried for props to add to the table or other decorations
  • Use the seeds for craft by gluing them to pictures, try staining or painting them to add color effects.
  • The stringy parts that are attached to the seeds can be used to make stock and freeze it.
  • Apparently pumpkin can be used to make your own skin care, once again, the recipes are available online.
  • Remember it’s a must to compost the remains, or to begin with you can leave out the skin and the seeds for animals. I read that deer apparently love the skin, and of course the seeds will go down a treat with the birds. It’s great to give back to nature in this way.
  • If you have been considering starting a composting bin, why not use this Halloween to make a start?

 

Composting Bin, a-green-halloween-is-about

Composting Bin That Can Be Turned Over To Keep The Oxygen Flowing Through And To Create Compost Faster Than Just Letting It Sit.

 

  • Why not use the hollowed out shells for serving bowls as a one-time quirky dining experience before tossing them in the compost or feeding them to the deer?
  • Jack-o-lanterns, once Halloween is over, can be used as planters. Once you plant something inside, dig a hole and plant the entire pumpkin with the new plant within. The shell naturally turns to compost in the ground around the plant inside and fertilises the soil around it as it breaks down into the soil.
  • Turn miniature pumpkins into candles, or convert a hollowed out pumpkin shell as a lovely Autumn (Fall) decorative vase by placing a glass bowl within.

 

Candles and Lanterns made from all sizes of pumpkins

Candles and Lanterns made from all sizes of pumpkins

 

  • A great way to promote the keeping it green theme and to use all of the pumpkin is to buy all manner of sized pumpkins and once you made all of your snacks, soups, candies, pies etc, use the shells to make all different bowl sizes and use them for serving your meals. You can also use them as candle holders, vases, snack bowls, etc. Use large pumpkins and cut them in half using a jagged cut, scoop out the middle and clean the inside of the shell, then use them for your trick or treat bowls.
  • I’ve even heard of people making butter, candy, cocktails and milkshakes from pumpkin. So versatile, who knew?
  • I think the cutest use I’ve read about so far is to use the pumpkin shell to sit a baby inside for a photography session. It acts as a prop to hold the baby in a sitting position, but also as a photographic prop such as in the photos below.

 

A_green_Halloween_is_about

Cute Halloween Baby Photo

A green Halloween is

Another cute Baby photo for Halloween

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Respond To Questions Is Easy –  Actions Speak Louder Than Words – Do The Right Thing

 

So you see, here are more than just a few easy ways to maintain your green outlook while still enjoying the fun. There is no need to cancel Halloween just because it is a wasteful holiday, just change it, be green at your Halloween party and you will be able to be at peace with joining in and teaching others too. When people question you about why you have chosen to act in a more sustainable manner this year and into the future, you are giving other people a message. One that says a green Halloween is about saying yes to small changes. Even Halloween, is able to be turned into an event sustainable to the planet for generations to come. Do your part and others will follow. More tips and ideas to follow.

 

I would love to hear from you if you have tried any of these ideas this Halloween? Let me know what you did, leave me a message in my comments section. Together we can change the world.

 

Thank you for reading

 

Warm Wishes and Happy Halloween

 

Ange

 

Recycle Bins At Home – Start By Getting It Right

How To Become a Self Sufficient Wiz

It All Starts With Getting It Right!

 

recycle bins at home, start by getting it right, how to recycle, recycling,

Recycling Sprite

Recycle bins at home! They are not just there for show, they have specific rules to follow. Are you wondering how to use them properly? Learn some of the more simple aspects of what you can and can’t recycle.After all, how can one live a self sufficient lifestyle if they don’t have a clue on the subject of recycling? Many of you already have a good understanding of this but there are also many people who may find some of this information somewhat as a surprise, like I did. Living a sustainable lifestyle means I have to develop the correct habits and therefore I needed to find out all I could about what rubbish goes where.

 

There’s A Bit More To It Than I First Thought

 

It really is quite important to put the right things into the correct bins, for several reasons and I must admit, I didn’t really know some of this before investigating the matter. I THOUGHT I knew, but it turns out that I didn’t. Your council may be different but our council provides us with two garbage bins for collection. One is for general rubbish, the other is for recyclable items. A third, most likely for garden rubbish, will be added soon. Most states in Australia have a colour coded system where a yellow lid represents recyclable materials, and a red or green lidded one for  general household waste. It would be helpful to separate further with other colour coded bins.

 

Do ALL Countries Need To Recycle?

 

Countries, states, towns and individuals generate enormous amounts of rubbish on a daily basis. Such rubbish consists mostly of packaging for our convenience foods and various throw away items. Yet some countries don’t have that kind of rubbish because the option of packaged items or throwaways is non-existent. Those countries wouldn’t even need to be concerned about recycling, minimising their garbage or their impact on the planet, let alone need educating on it. I would so love to go back to basics and live somewhere that problems like this don’t exist, I guess that’s what the crux of sustainable living is about.

Oh My! I’ve Been Doing It Wrong!

 

I recently found out that I have been doing it all wrong. I had the wrong information about recycling and was not aware of it. I had no idea there were some things that while seeming to be recyclable, they aren’t necessarily placed in the recycling bin. This upsets me a lot because I now know that I have hindered our recycling efforts by throwing things in the wrong bin while feeling like I was ‘helping’ the environment. I can’t go back and change it, but I can do something about it now. One, I can educate and inform other people of this mistake, and two, I can do it right starting this very moment. I also realised there is a common misconception about the little triangle on the plastic containers that has a number inside. I remember being told that this triangle meant that it was recyclable, but apparently it means no such thing. The number represents the type of plastic it is, and has nothing to do with recycling at all.

 

The following is a list of recycling can’s and can’t.

 

Items You CAN Put Into Your Recycling Bin

We Recycle, Recycle-bins-at-home

We Recycle

 

It’s rather a small list really

 

  • glass bottles and jars
  • steel cans
  • aluminium, such as foil cooking trays and soft drink cans
  • paper and newspaper
  • cardboard, greetings cards, or magazines
  • plastic containers, for example milk bottles, ice cream, yoghurt, margarine and soft drink and juice and water bottles.
  • Milk and juice cartons

 

I thought that was everything, but there is actually a very comprehensive list here to help you work out if you can recycle something or not. It tells gives you information on just about anything you can think of and whether you can recycle, or put it in a bin, or even if it’s something that can’t go into any bin. It is well worth bookmarking. If in doubt, check it out.

Items You CANNOT Put Into Your Recycling Bin

recycling of shredded paper

Shredded Paper. Which Bin Would You Have Picked?

 

Some of these items might be obvious, but some may not

 

  • furniture
  • car parts
  • foam rubber
  • clothes
  • toys
  • sharps (as in needles and syringes)
  • white goods
  • pyrex
  • crockery
  • drinking glasses
  • nappies
  • mirrors
  • window glass
  • white goods such as toasters
  • toys
  • polystyrene
  • light globes
  • plastic wraps
  • plastic bags
  • shredded paper!!!

 

Some of the above list might be already known by many, but there are definitely a couple of them that may shock you.

So What Happens At The Other End?

 

I have never really given much thought to what happens to the recycled materials once they left my premises until now, when I am trying to learn all I can about recycling the right way. Here is a list of what your waste can be recycled into:

 

  • Glass is melted down and remade into other bottles, jars Etc.
  • Steel cans can be melted down to make new steel products
  • Aluminium and foil trays often travel to different manufacturing places for recycling options and usage.
  • Cardboard and paper are recycled back into more paper
  • Milk and juice cartons produce high quality office paper when recycled
  • Newspapers can be recycled back into newspaper printable paper. Newspaper also often ends up as insulation too.
  • Plastics depending on what they are originally made from are granulated. They can become sleeping bag fillers, storm water pipes, plastic lids, plastic fencing stakes, electrical conduit, waterproof jackets, plastic poles, garden stakes, even used to hold oyster nets and so on. [Please note that the use of such plastic poles and stakes are not detrimental to the environment and replace wooden poles that may be treated and thus contaminate the soil or water they are used in]. Plastics are not recycled back as food containers due to the high risk of contamination during the sorting process. Another lesser known but rather new method of recycling plastics can be found in this article where plastics are turned into useful items like furniture, jewellery, footwear, Etc.

Some Simple Guidelines To Follow

 

Did you know these materials are actually mostly hand sorted by people and also by high tech equipment? Now would be an appropriate time to mention that if you follow a couple of simple rules you will be saving the planet so much more efficiently. If we aren’t doing the most simplest of tasks properly then the process we put into place to do it becomes null and void. In other words if we aren’t correctly recycling our waste then our efforts are literally wasted. It is very simple to just drop your recyclables into the bin and wheel it out for collection. Please be mindful of the following;

 

Recycle_bins_at_home

Recycled Waste Is Manually Dealt With

1. Rinse the recyclable items before putting them in the bin. The items are hand sorted and they should be free from contamination prior to being sent for manufacturing into other items. Crush them into smaller compact sizes.

 

2. Do not use plastic bags in a recycling bin. While plastic bags are designed to break down over time, and some supermarkets ask that you recycle plastic bags by bringing them back to the store and placing them in a special bin, they are not meant to go into a recycling bin. They break down, they are not recyclable in this way.

 

3. Plastic bottle tops can’t be sorted by hand easily so do not put them in the recycling bin. However, you can put them in the recycling bin if you fill a plastic bottle with tops (and plastic bread tags too) and put a lid on it. This will then be sent and recycled as mixed plastic.

 

4. Shredded paper, this was the mistake I was making, cannot go into the recycle bin due to impossibility to sort by hand. There are so many tiny scraps of it, that to attempt sorting would be very labour intensive and not very viable. The suggestion is to put into a garden or food garbage collection bin.

 

What About Recycling For Other Things?

 

For items such as white goods, furniture, clothing, toys or car parts, often there is a shop at the dump where you can take them to be resold. Charity organisations accept items to be dropped off and some offer a pick up service.  Car parts can be taken to an auto-wrecker where people can buy second hand parts for their cars if they are mechanically minded and prefer to fix their own cars, or sold for scrap metal.

What’s The Next Step?

 

Now that I am better educated, I hope you have learned something about recycling that perhaps you didn’t know either. There was such a lot of media exposure in the early days about what to recycle and what not to, that it may be assumed that everyone just automatically knows the ropes. I wish I had paid more attention back then so that I wouldn’t be making the mistakes I had been up until now. But the good thing is we can correct our mistakes and choose to recycle better.

 

These are not the only options for recycling so I urge you to check out some others. Start by getting it right at the first port of call, your recycle bins at home. I would love to hear about your recycling woes or tips and tricks so please leave a comment for other people to gain the knowledge too and save our planet.

 

Thank you for reading,

Ange.

 

 

Acknowledgments

Recycling Sprite image is ‘Young Free’ by Boians Cho Joo sourced from www.FreeDigitalPhotos.com

 

Resources

http://nawma.sa.gov.au/material/recycling.asp

http://recycleright.wa.gov.au/what-bin-to-use/

http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/live/waste-and-recycling/recycling

 

Green Living Ideas: From Unexpected Sources

I was talking to a lady recently about my sustainable living blog and how I believe we should be including green living ideas specifically for saving the planet on the whole, in the same definition. Part of that task involves learning about the kinds of things that people are doing to reduce wastage, or to discover what things could be recycled to make mankind move towards a more environmentally aware population and green up our planet. She mentioned to me about an interview she saw where British comedian/actress Joanna Lumley met with singer will.i.am from the pop group The Black Eyed Peas. I didn’t realise that Will.i.am is rather full of green living ideas, especially from unexpected sources.

 

green living ideas, recycling, will-i-am, recycled water bottles, joanna lumley, joanna lumley documentary

Plastic Bottles plus Recycling Leads To The Production Of Suits And Other Clothing

Will.i.am – A Green Ideas Man of the Future?

 

What my friend found fascinating was will.i.am’s interest in technological advances, some of which are based around the use of greener technology along with converting waste into useful products. During the interview, will.i.am drives Joanna around in his very modern, flashy electric car with all the futuristic conveniences. It was a beautiful looking car and I’d love to do an article on electric, or other, powered cars at a later date. For now I want to focus on his idea for using waste and recycling it into something practical and even valuable, clothing.

 

For the full interview watch this You Tube video clip. For information about this particular endeavour of will.i.am’s watch from between 39 to 42 minutes into the video.

 

 

What To Do With Those Nasty Plastic Water Bottles

 

Will.i.am has been behind a move to turn empty used plastic water bottles into other products. They have developed a way for the bottles to be recycled and reduced down to flakes, and then processed even further to create a kind of cotton as the end product that is apparently very silk-like in texture. This cotton has then been used to make fabric and clothing. Wow. Imagine how many coke bottles would be just lying around at a refuse collection station or recycling plant that could be used for something like this. That would be a VERY large and valuable contribution to saving the planet for such a hugely popular product to be used for. I can only speculate at the amount of waste that is produced by a company such as Coca Cola, let alone any of the other brands of soft drinks alone.  What a great idea.

Let’s Get The Big Companies Involved

 

Fabric, it seems, is only one of the products that this material made from recycled plastic bottles can be recycled into. Will had a set of plastic headphones in his hand as he was describing the technology and its my understanding that there are all kinds of other products that can be produced in a similar way. I had a look at a website where he apparently works in collaboration with companies such as Coca Cola to produce items from recycled bottles where waste is converted into 3D printed creations.

Nike Say – “Just Do It!”

 

Other popular companies such as Nike are being encouraged to produce their inventory partially using recycled components. I saw a variety of products ranging from jewellery and phone cases, shoes, chairs and other furniture. The term he is using is called Ekocycle, which is a trademarked name for the company that he works with. It’s pretty interesting stuff to see, especially since I’m fairly new to the whole concept of 3D printing. I saw the film The Fifth Element in 1997 where they printed a live woman from her DNA and that was the stuff of the future. I had no idea how close we were to achieving something like it, and now only 18 years later, here we are in 2015 with at least part of the concept becoming a reality.

 

 

Green Living ideas

The Making Of Leeloo. What looks like something similar to 3D printing was a concept used in the film The Fifth Element, to construct a person from their DNA blueprint. Here the bones are being built. Image courtesy of a blog on i.imgur.com submitted by poolhouse

 

But Will It Make A Difference? Only Time Will Tell

 

I don’t know how much this new idea of utilising waste and turning it into something useable and practical will help towards a greener environment in the long term. This is due to not having any information on the mechanics of how the places that manufacture the 3D printers operate in terms of how much of a carbon footprint they happen to be leaving to produce these machines. But at least if we can just cycle, recycle and remake whatever we decide we don’t need or like anymore with the items we have already made, we can rest easier knowing that eventually less and less new plastics will be produced and hopefully we can halt their slow destruction of the planet. And that would be a fantastic and ideal solution to the build up of current waste.

 

3D Printing In The Future Is Already Here!

 

If they can already make handbags, fabric, jewellery, shoes, furniture and headphones, who knows, this may be the beginning of a new construction method for homes, vehicles, appliances, and basic everyday items. Something to look forward to. Ideally we would want to halt the production of new plastics altogether and use only what is already in circulation, which is why I would not recommend switching over to using these materials in place of other greener materials, but at least it is a option of what to do with our current waste. Green living ideas are out there, and as you’ve seen they can come from very unexpected sources too. It just requires extraordinary people to think outside the box and create them.

What are your own thoughts and ideas on how we could use this 3D printed plastics? Please leave a comment below. We may just yet start a revolution of green thinkers.

 

Thank you for reading.

 

To A Sustainable Future

Warm Wishes

Ange

 

Images:

Images collected and compiled into one by myself,  were courtesy of digitalart, Natara and Salvatore Vuono from freedigitalphotos.com

Eulogy To A Recyclable Friend – A Tongue In Cheek Look At Recycling

A Devastating Loss

For 25 years my friend has been loyal, faithful, and reliable, only in need of some very infrequent TLC, a real gem among lesser treasures and a pleasure to work with. Alas, I must say my goodbyes to a wonderful component in my life and wish beyond hope that your devotion will be recycled in your next mode of being.

 

My Knight In Shining Armour!

 

Eulogy to a recyclable friend

My Knight In Shining Armour

I am speaking of an inanimate object that has been part of my life since before my daughter, now 26, was born. It was entrusted to care for the health and hygiene of the most precious of gifts in life, a newborn baby. And since then, it has been a member of my household through all of my ups and downs, from my happy times, my daughter’s childhood leukaemia, through a separation and divorce, and finally, becoming a stalwart beacon in the years following, adding its support to my own strength and survival. Never complaining, always working hard, functioning without fault, and standing its ground in the face of becoming obsolete as new and improved models came into the fold. To that end, it performed valiantly, fighting to its very last puff, to carry out its duties.

 

I Knew It Could Not Last Forever!

 

Sadly my dearest, your time in this world is over, but I couldn’t have asked for better service from you. No matter what was going on, I could always depend on you to get the job done. You were an achiever, a valuable addition to our home life, and the best assistant anyone could want. We looked after each other, you more than me, and now that you are gone, your memory will live on. I”m thankful that I did look after you by not putting harsh and non-environmentally friendly chemicals inside you and added to your longevity. Every time I feel the sorrow of your loss, I also consider that you’ve moved into another place. I am comforted knowing that you will continue to bless the world in your next plane of existence and become a respected and recycled member of society. I salute you my friend, my protector, my worthy knight!

 

 

You Will Rise Again In Recycled Glory

 

This article is in honour of my washing machine, who lost its battle with time today, and which I very much doubt will be able to be replaced by a worthy enough machine to last the 25 years that it provided a service to me. To the company Hoover who manufactured the Elite model, thank you for producing such a fantastic, tough and lasting product. It will be missed, especially since nowadays washing machines rarely last more than 4 or 5 years, so they say. In this throw-away society we live in today, things just aren’t built to last like they used to be. Although I bought a brand new machine this morning, I expect I’ll need to start saving my pennies for the next one.

 

Your Light Will Continue To Shine Wherever You Are

 

Wherever my trusted old washing machine was taken away to, I’d like to think it will be recycled and put to good use in some environmentally friendly way, because I am an advocate of saving our planet as much as we can. Perhaps a use, like this wind turbine that is helping to provide power to homes in an effort to reduce the electricity consumption would be an appropriate after life for my washing machine. See this story by David Liston at www.onebigswitch.com.au

 

Eulogy-to-a-recyclable-friend

This wind turbine is made from a recycled washing machine.

A Final Farewell And A New Beginning

 

I’d like to share my final moments with my washing machine with you in the following image. I must admit, it took all of my self-restraint not to throw myself on it, crying out “why did you have to leave me?” But I knew it would not like that, it would want me to move on and be strong. So I said my silent goodbyes (the men collecting it would have thought I was rather odd anyway), took a photo of what would be my last moments shared with it as it was hauled down my stairs and taken away. I turned to my new appliance, adoption papers in hand, welcomed it to my humble abode, and proceeded to read the care and operation instructions as it started its new habitation with me.

 

Eulogy_to_a_recyclable_friend, recyclable

RIP My dearly departed, recyclable friend, may you rest in peace

May Your Carbon Footprints Always Be Small!

 

I took the liberty of immortalizing it by putting pen to paper and writing a poem. Please bear with me as I add this altered and much-shortened version of Eleanor Roosevelt’s poem “Footprints in Your Heart”, and forever preserve its memory right here on this page.

 

 

 “Many companions,

walk in and out of your life

But only true and loyal machines

leave boot imprints in your lino”.

 

 

In closing, and to add a lighthearted note, please watch the following 15 seconds video, which brings together two things close to my heart, a washing machine and a reference to Star Wars, both representing my all-time favorite heroes. All I can say is I hope this is not what happened to my faithful friend.

May The Force Be With You!

 

 

 

 

If you too, are interested in caring for our planet, and your health, please realise there are choices and information out there. We can choose to recycle our old washing machines and other white goods. We are able to use greener options by reducing our plastic usage. We can use energy efficient household goods and light globes. We can reduce the amount of harsh chemicals that we use daily and switch to other more environmentally safe products. We can even look after our own bodies by paying attention to what we put on it.

Thank you for reading my not so serious article. I thought adding some fun elements to my site might help remind you to come back and visit every now and then to see what other ideas and options are possible so we can all choose wisely when it comes to our planet, environment and health.

 

 

Until next time,

 

3 Cheers for Hoover & Recycling.

 

Take care and good wishes

 

Ange

 

 

Images:

Image of recycled washing machine being used as a turbine courtesy of Image courtesy of www.scoraigwind.com

 

Website of Interest:

https://www.youngliving.org/angelanewell