Go Green on Halloween
Whether buying food, treats, treasures or prizes for your Green Halloween party, thinking green is just as much about what you don’t buy as what you do buy. Reducing the amount of waste we generate by cutting down on excessive shopping is not only better for our planet (and easier on our wallets) but reducing the number of products we purchase also teaches our children the art of simplicity as well the value of moderation.
When purchasing items for your Green Halloween, it may help to consider whether the items you’re buying are of quality and can therefore be enjoyed past November 1st. If not, can the items be reused or recycled? In addition, look for products that meet one or more of the following green criteria:
- Organic or pesticide-free
- Food items are made from healthy and whole ingredients and do not include hydrogenated oils, trans-fats, artificial colors or flavors. The items have limited or no salt, sugar or caffeine (including chocolate)
- Non-food items are made from safe materials and do not pose any suspected immediate or long-term health risks
- Made with Earth-friendly practices, such as by organic farming
- Preference given to locally grown or made goods (which alleviates environmental impact from shipping.) Get to know your local farmers and shop with them as often as possible.
- Non-food items are made from Earth friendly materials such as sustainably harvested wood or recycled plastic
- The item contains as little packaging as possible
- The people making the items earn fair wages and work in safe conditions (ideally, imported goods are certified Fair Trade)
It can be difficult to find products that meet all three criteria, so we suggest that parents try to consider one or more factors when shopping for Halloween. We also believe that when consumers continue to request that these items are readily available and affordable, businesses will step up to meet the rising demand.
Green shopping tips: Every little thing counts when it comes to making green choices.
- Always bring your own cloth or recycled plastic bags with you when shopping for food, gifts, treats or treasures.
- If you generally drive to do errands, try to get your shopping done all at once, rather than taking many short outings. You’ll save on gas and money while reducing your contribution to pollution and global warming.
- Of course, if you can walk, ride your bike, carpool, or take public transportation, you’ll leave an even smaller eco-footprintbehind.
- Most importantly, if you can go without – do! Nothing could be greener than focusing on people rather than things.
Adapted from greenhalloween.org.
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Posted in Green Tip of the Day, tagged bamboo shower curtain, cotton shower curtain, DEHP, epa, green your shower curtain, liner, organic, phthalate, PVC, toxins on July 9, 2009 |
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Green Your Shower Curtain
Choose a natural fabric, such as cotton (organic if you can find it) or bamboo, for your next shower curtain and liner.
Know that familiar smell when you open the package and unfold a new vinyl shower curtain? That’s the off-gassing of chemicals from polyvinyl chloride plastic (PVC). One of the chemical additives, DEHP, a phthalate, is a suspected carcinogen and has been linked to hormonal disruption in humans. An EPA study found that vinyl shower curtains can elevate air toxins in your home for more than a month.
The environment doesn’t need more plastics and neither do you.
Adapted from thedailygreen.com
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How to Buy Green and Not Get Fooled
Many of the planet-friendly claims on labels are meaningless, misleading, or downright false. Here, the words to look for — and a chart that answers your biggest questions.
Environmentally conscious consumers are reshaping the U.S. marketplace, and maybe you’re one of them. Forty-two percent of Americans are willing to pay more for products labeled “environmentally friendly” or “organic,” according to a 2005 survey by the research firm Global Market Insite — great news for marketers, who now package everything from lipstick to lemons in a way that suggests they’re all somehow healthier for your family and/or kinder to the planet. The shopper-unfriendly result: Whether you’re cruising the aisles at Wal-Mart or the local organic grocery, you’re bombarded with feel-good terms like “recycled,” “natural,” “biodegradable,” and more. What do these words really mean? Is the label always accurate? Even if it is, does it stand for a real environmental or health benefit? Click here for a chart that will inform you, surprise you — and help you make better choices.
Adapted from Goodhousekeeping.com.
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Cool Eco-Fashions for Less
If you have tried to stock your wardrobe with planet friendly choices, but find that many eco-friendly fashions are not very friendly on your wallet, you are in for a pleasant update. Check out these under $50 fashion-forward finds from familiar stores, like Target. So affordable you might be able to wear nothing but “green.”
- H&M – in addition to its plan of upping its organic cotton use by 50% over last year (note: it doesn’t label most of its organic apparel as such), on Earth Day H&M will debut a line made partially from recycled plastic bottles (many pieces under $50).
- Loomstate for Target – full line of limited-run men’s and women’s casual-cool clothes (jeans, dresses, even swimwear) from Loomstate;starting Sunday – ending mid-May ($45 and under).
- Zoe&Zac – Payless’s new line of casual footwear, bags, and jewelry made with materials like hemp, organic cotton, and water-based glues; designed with help from eco-model Summer Rayne Oakes, available now. For every pair you buy between now and May 4, Payless will donate $1 to plant trees ($30 and under).
- Urban Outfitters Urban Renewal – bid on hand-picked vintage clothing, many from big-name designers; available now with new stuff every week (starting at $10; note that items may get bid up beyond $50).
Adapted from Lisa Booth at examiner.com
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Eco-Friendly Spa Treatments
Priti Organic Spa in New York City offered this easy, organic treatment for your paws.
-Start with a bowl of warm water. Add two teaspoons of organic olive oil and a couple of drops organic rosemary oil. Soak your digits. Further, exfoliate with a scrub made from one cup of organic sugar, a teaspoon of organic olive oil, and a few drops of your favorite essential oils. When I mixed this all up, my inclination was to eat the scrub. But it works on hands just as nicely.
Adpated from www.greenopia.com. Post by Katherine Butler
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