Tag Archives | green holidays

How to Make a Simple Upcycled Flying Ghost

how to make an upcycled ghost

A few years ago, we wanted ghosts that we could hang on our front porch that will blow in the breeze. How fun and spooky, right? Eben and I had a super fun time making the 4 large ghosts, it is a really fun memory! They only cost us $5. We had everything to make these, except the white sheets which we paid $2.49 each for at the thrift store. Want to make ghosts with your little goblins? Read on to get started.

Here is what you will need to make 4 ghosts:
  • 2 queen or king sized white sheets or bed skirts
  • 4 hangers
  • Wire or twine
  • Any type of plastic bag
What to do:
  • Cut the sheets into 4 large pieces, cut the edges so they are jagged
  • Stuff fabric scraps into a plastic bag and tie it around the top of a hanger
  • Hold the ghost by the neck. Eben thought “choking” the ghost was fun and made gagging noises while he did it. This is when I wrapped wire (or you can use twine) around the neck.
  • Insert a piece of wire at the top of the head for hanging.
What do you think of my upcycled flying ghosts? What is your favorite Halloween memory?

4 Green Ways to Celebrate the Fourth of July!

4th of July

Happy Independence Day Weekend! The 4th of July is one of my personal favorite holidays, with BBQ’s, family, community, fairs, farmer’s markets, and fireworks to enjoy—not to mention that good old patriotic feeling. There are a lot of great, green ways to celebrate this year, but I’ve chosen four because, well, you know!

  1. Get Outside
    Getting outdoors with the family instead of hanging around inside and running the AC is a great way to start greening your 4th. Since Independence Day is America’s holiday sweetheart, there should be no shortage of activities for you and your family to participate in, from historical tours and live music to farmer’s markets and pick-your-own berry patches. If you live near water or natural open, go for a swim or take a scenic walk or bike ride. Don’t forget to use DEET-free insect repellant! I personally like to use child-safe, non-toxic Bug Bam Mosquito Bands and this DIY mosquito repellant.
  2. Slather on Eco-friendly, Safe Sunscreen
    Hopefully you’ve got plans to hit the beach, the trail, or the farmer’s market this 4th. If you’ll be outside (and especially if you’re taking little ones along), make sure to wear hats and shades and use plenty of sunscreen. The Environmental Working Group’s 2014 Best Sunscreens page lists over 100 safe sunscreens including baby, waterproof, and sport sunscreens. Don’t forget to reapply!
  3. Pack a Zero Waste Picnic
    If you’re setting up camp somewhere to wait for the fireworks show to start, eliminate waste and save some cash by skipping food vendors and disposable eating ware and bringing your own zero waste picnic. You can start by packing locally sourced fruits, veggies, cheeses, and beer or wine (bottles are recycle-able!) and bringing your own water in reusable bottles. Instead of plastic and paper eating ware, pack cloth napkins and compostable plates, silverware, and cups. If you don’t have a long haul or want to go super-green, pack reusable glasses, silverware, and plates.
  4. View Fireworks from a Natural Setting
    The last year I lived in Boulder my husband and I skipped the impressive, grandiose fireworks and sing-a-long event at the University of Colorado’s Folsom Field in favor of a quieter, more intimate viewing experience with friends. We packed some drinks and snacks, hiked up into the foothills, and joined other groups wanting to celebrate from a distance. The evening (and later nighttime, flashlight-lit) hike was magical, allowing us to take in the full beauty of our town and appreciate this lovely country we call home. Since we were far enough away that we couldn’t hear the explosions of the fireworks, our group of friends was able to converse and enjoy each other’s company to the fullest. Even if you don’t have a beautiful natural setting to enjoy the 4th from, you can cut down on waste and pollution by not lighting off street fireworks and enjoying a larger display with a giant group, instead.

Have a safe, green, and happy Independence Day! How are you celebrating?

5 Sustainable Ways to Celebrate the 4th of July

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The 4th of July is just a few days away and now is the perfect time to plan a little sustainability into your celebration. There are many eco-friendly ways to make the holiday more sustainable.  To get you started here are 5 quick tips to make your day of red, white and blue a little more green.

#1: Think Reusable – Not Disposable
If you will be celebrating the 4th of July at home, choose reusable dinnerware instead of the disposable kind. It will only take a few minutes more to load them into the dishwasher and will save the environment a lot! If reusable simply isn’t an option, consider a great recyclable or compostable alternative.

#2: Get it from the Garden
The 4th of July is the perfect time to share the abundance of goodies from your garden with the neighbors. Instead of letting all of those zucchinis and cucumbers go to waste, invite your family and friends over for a vegetarian BBQ and encourage them to bring a vegetarian dish to share – skip the meat and the environment will smile.

#3: Entertain the Kids with Nature Crafts
You don’t have to purchase anything new to entertain the kiddos on the 4th of July, instead encourage them to create their own to make their own recycled lava lamps, succulent garden with paint dipped dinosaurs, or organic pine cone bird feeders. These activities will keep them busy all day long! Other fun options include encouraging them to have a bicycle parade around the neighborhood or a watermelon eating contest.

#4: Use a Natural Bug Repellent
Nothing kills a fun time outside like the toxic smell of bug spray. Check out these natural ways to repel bugs and make your own natural bug spray. These options won’t make you, the environment or your guests gag.

#5: Skip the Store Bought Fireworks

Instead of purchasing fireworks that only last a few seconds and create pounds of toxic garbage – visit your local park or beach for the community firework show. They are going to shoot the fireworks off anyways, you may as well enjoy the show.

How will you add a little green to your 4th of July celebration? 

3 Eco-Friendly Stocking Stuffers from Blue Orange Games

braverats_gamer

Every year when doing my holiday shopping, board and card games are always at the top of my list. Even as Eben gets older, I have found that playing a round of cards or a quick board game with him after dinner is a great way to bond. This year, I headed straight to my favorite eco-friendly game shop to stock up! Blue Orange is my favorite because all of their games are super well made with heavy-duty pieces that will not fall apart. These are games that you will pass down from generation to generation. They are come packed in fantastic tins which is perfect for keeping all of those pieces together. Blue Orange Games also respects the environment and understands the need to work towards the preservation of our planet. Here is a peak at some of the games that Eben will be receiving this year from Blue Orange Games.

BraveRats
This game has it all! Everyone loves a great game of War – this version included an epic battle between rivaling rat clans. Both players have a hand of eight cards, numbered 0 to 7, with each character on the card possessing a special power. In a calculated duel, both players reveal a card. The victory goes to the higher number, unless the special power overrules. The first player to win four rounds claims the kingdom for their clan. This minimalist wonder plays in just minutes but packs rich game play and plenty of suspense.

niya_gamer

Niya
Eben is obsessed with everything Japan, so Niya should be right up his alley. On each turn, players replace a garden tile with one of their clan tokens. The next player can only exchange a token for a garden tile that has an element in common with the previously chosen tile. The first to position their clan in a row, square, or blockade will win control of the garden…and power at court! A simple yet sophisticated abstract strategy game, Niya captivates players young and old.

spotitholiday_side

Spot It! Holidays
What stocking would be complete with out a Spot It! game? This year we will be playing Spot It! Holidays while hanging out as a family. This is a quick fun game that you can leave on the dining room table for a fun after dinner duel. It comes packed in a great tin that makes clean up a breeze. I can barely wait!

What is your favorite family game?

 

Full Disclosure: I partnered with Blue Orange Games to share some of their amazing games. However, we already own a lot of Blue Orange Games and I buy them as gifts, so I would have shared them with you anyway! Thank you for supporting these fantastic eco-friendly companies.

Sustainable Holiday Cards from Pear Tree Greetings

Pear Tree Greetings

Have you ordered your holiday cards yet? I plan to take a ton of family photos while we are on our Thanksgiving trip to Sanibel Island this weekend. When I get home, I plan to spend some time getting my cards ordered from Pear Tree Greetings. Pear Tree Greetings is a fabulous, eco-friendly and sustainable source of festive greeting cards, invitations, gift & decor, stationary, and more!

pear tree

Pear Tree Greetings is made up of a small team who brings you exclusive, award-winning designs, premium products all at about 40% less than their competitors!

I am trying to decide if I want to do vintage cards, photo cards or a modern card this year! There are so many beautiful options – how will I choose!

 

Full Disclosure: I reviewed Pear Tree Greetings holiday cards for this review.