Tag Archives | eco holidays

3 Smart Ideas For Creating An Eco-Friendly Halloween Costume

It’s no secret that many people who celebrate Halloween do so by getting together with friends and getting into the spirit of the spooky season. For many of those who celebrate, creating a unique costume that showcases your individuality is the biggest appeal of the holiday altogether. But instead of heading to the nearest chain store to spend money on an overpriced costume made of cheap and wasteful materials, consider taking some extra measures to ensure sustainability while maintaining creativity makes all the difference in your costume’s environmental impact. Here are just a few ways to keep Mother Nature in mind while preparing your Halloween costume.

Skip The Synthetics
One eco-friendly rule of thumb when shopping for Halloween costumes at big box stores is to look at the labels and do your best to avoid synthetic and toxic materials.

“Halloween costumes are supposed to be fun-scary, not scary-scary. Yet, store-bought costumes are often made up of nonrecyclable petro-chemical based plastic and synthetic fibers,” writes Laura Bailey on Wilderness.org. “Those Halloween costumes can include one of the scariest plastics — polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a soft plastic and known carcinogen that releases harmful toxins in its creation and breakdown.”

Instead, look for costumes with natural materials and fabrics if you’re shopping at a big box store. Better yet, you should consider looking into small businesses that may specialize in eco-friendly products. There are currently around 27.9 million small businesses in the United States, and many shoppers may be surprised at the number of eco-friendly products both small and large businesses are now incorporating into their inventory. Don’t hesitate to take up your inquiry with a store employee, as well.

Consider A DIY Project
If you consider yourself to be the crafty type, you can easily purchase some organic or otherwise eco-friendly materials and create your own costume. Sales of organic non-food products in the U.S. were up 8.8% in 2016, meaning there are more options than ever as far as styles, colors, and materials. If you have the resources, you can make a DIY version of any costume you find in a big box store, and you may even spend less doing it!

Incorporate Recyclable Elements
Finally, whether you buy your costume from a store or make it yourself, try to incorporate some reusable or recyclable materials. About 60% of the U.S. population, or about 148 million people, have access to a plastics recycling program. Similarly, if you have any young kids who may be participating in trick or treating festivities, be conscious about the bag or container they’re using to stash their sweet treats.

“Avoid the ubiquitous bright orange plastic jack-o-lanterns that have no chance at ever breaking down in a landfill. Instead use reusable shopping bags, canvas totes or the ole pillowcase trick. A funky thriftshop handbag can add a fun twist to a green Halloween costume as well,” writes Bailey.

Ultimately, it doesn’t take much to make a few small changes toward sustainability. By keeping an eye out for reusable and organic materials, you and your family can enjoy all the traditional festivities of Halloween while doing your part to preserve the Earth’s resources.

5 Spooky Fruit and Vegetable Halloween Treats for Healthy Kids

Halloween is my favorite holiday – mostly because it is an anything goes, don’t hold back, get as creative as you want, holiday! I have been adding a little spookiness into Eben’s snacks by getting creative with fruits and vegetables. He seems to enjoy these “sweet” treats just as much as a sugary alternative – maybe even more. Read on for 5 spooky fruit and vegetable Halloween treats that I have used as inspiration for celebrating the holiday with my healthy kid.

#1: Jack o’Lantern Fruit Plate
This may be one of the easiest treats in the bunch – simply peel, cut, and arrange a selection of organic strawberries, clementines, blueberries, and grapes and you have a Halloween treat that is sure to please everyone!

+ Jack O’Lantern Fruit Plate
+ via Wholesome Dinner Tonight

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is HalloweenVeggieSkeleton-742x1024.jpg

#2: Veggie Skeleton
Looking for a fun way to get your child to eat more vegetables this autumn? Look no further than this adorable veggie skeleton. This, along with the Jack O’Lantern Fruit Plate would be perfect for your child’s class Halloween Party or your family’s spooky get-together!

+ Veggie Skeleton
+ via Feeding Four Little Monkeys

#3: Pumpkin Oranges + Banana Ghosts
Yum! These goodies are definitely calling my name – I bet the bananas would be even better if they were slightly frozen! These would be great for a kids party – just grab and go.

+ Pumpkin Oranges + Banana Ghosts
+ via Kid Party Food Ideas

#4: Apple Teeth Treats
While these little yummies might take a little more time to prepare – I bet they are worth all of the compliments you would get at your Halloween party.

+ Apple Teeth Treats
+ via All Recipes

#5: Halloween Sweet Potato Fries
I want to whip up a batch of these yummy sweet potato fries to go with Halloween dinner. Not only does my family love them – but the spook factor will win them over for sure.

+ Halloween Sweet Potato Fries
+ Babble

6 Healthier Halloween Sweet Treats for Green Kids

My family loves Halloween, it is our favorite holiday! You get to dress up like anything you want, decorate your home with pumpkins and ghosts, spend time sipping hot apple cider with family and friends, and then, there are the goodies! Oh my! What’s not to love? Well, I am not a fan of treats packed full of artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or high fructose corn syrup or the tons of non-recyclable candy wrappers! Instead, I like to choose goodies that are good for my family and the environment! Read on to learn my favorite 6 healthier sweet treats for Halloween and give a couple a try this year!

1. YumEarth 
If you are looking for yummy, natural, and organic sweet treats that your whole family will love, look no further than YumEarth. YumEarth’s Natural Sour Jelly Bean and Organic Gummy Bears and Lollipops are fantastic! These yummies contain NO artificial colors, flavors, or high fructose corn syrup. These are a staple at our house during Halloween. We are huge fans of the pomegranate pucker lollipops! And all of YumEarth’s goodies are gluten-free and vegan too! Perfection!

+ Yummy Earth
2.  Bitsy’s Brainfood
If your child loves animal crackers, put these treats on your grocery shopping list! With yummy flavors. They contain Omega 3’s, Vitamins A, B12, B6, D3, and Folic Acid and No GMO’s. We really enjoyed them – especially the zucchini gingerbread carrot. Yum!

+ Bitsy’s Brainfood

 

3. Unreal Candy 
I have to admit Eben loves a sweet treat – and while we like his sweet spot to be satisfied with whole fruits – he enjoys a candy treat here and there. Unreal Candy fits that bill! We were talking about making our Unreal Candy caramel apples last night. Made with NO artificial colors or flavors, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, and NO GMO’s! We keep these on hand for the trick or treaters, as ice cream toppings, and even used them (but up) on our caramel apples this year! They are available at your local retailer and taste better than their toxic-chemical counterpart.

+ Unreal Candy

4. Plum Organics
You may know Plum Organics for their certified organic foods for babies and toddlers, but now the company is offering goodies geared especially for the older kiddos! Hooray for Eben! The new certified organic goodies include; soft-baked graham bars filled with yogurt, yummy bite-sized granola clusters,  squeezable fruit, and yogurt smoothies, fruit, and veggie gummy snacks, freeze-dried yogurt dots, and mini peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Yummy for Halloween and every day!

+ Plum Organics

5. CLIF Kid
Every year a Halloween favorite at our home is CLIF Kid’s Full Moon Brownie organic Zbar! These are perfect for everyone in your family! Not only are the Zbar’s certified organic, but they are also the yummiest chocolate brownie bar sprinkled with white chocolate chips! Packed full of 12 vitamins and minerals, 8 grams of whole grains  – these are the perfect treat for that added boost of energy before your children head out to trick or treat! We pack these for our hiking and paddleboarding adventures.

+ CLIF Kid Zbar

6. Homemade Organic Treats
One of my favorite Halloween treats is those that you make with your children! This October, Eben and I have made organic vegan pumpkin carob cookies, vegan peanut butter cookies, oatmeal cookies, and vegan peanut butter cups! I like to make our own treats because I can ensure that we are only using the freshest, organic, vegan ingredients and it’s a great excuse to spend a day with my favorite person!

How about you – what healthier Halloween sweet treats do you choose for your littles?

How to Make Organic Dried Apple Slices this Fall

Many of you may have a family apple-picking adventure on your fall calendar. We try to visit our favorite apple orchard The Historic Orchard at Altapass in North Carolina. We have so much fun hiking through the orchard picking and eating apples as we go!

If you find that you have more apples then you know what to do with after your orchard trip, you can make simple, dried apple slices. These treats are perfect for the school lunchbox. Read on to learn how to make these simple treats in a couple of short steps.

What you will need:

– organic apples
– cinnamon

Directions:

Dehydrating: Line your food-dehydrator shelf with parchment paper. Cut your apples into super-thin slices and arrange the slices on the shelves of your food-dehydrator. Sprinkle with cinnamon and either dehydrate at 135° until crisp.

Baking:
Line a baking sheet with a reusable mat or parchment paper. Cut your apples into super-thin slices and arrange the slices on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake in the oven at 225° for about 1.5 hours.

Do you make apple slices during the autumn season?

4 Green Ways to Celebrate the Fourth 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 sunscreens. The Environmental Working Group’s 2020 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?