Category Archives: Green Holidays

7 Tips for a Greener Halloween

Halloween is almost here, and I am going to come right out and admit that I am way behind on my preparations. I’m sewing my kids’ costumes, and so far I have … wait for it … cut the fabric for one half of one kid’s outfit. I’m pretty sure I know what I’ll be doing on October 30.

Whether you’re organized (go you!), or you’re procrastinating like me, there are a few things that you can do to make your Halloween a little friendlier on the planet. And you don’t have to sacrifice any fun in the process. Because who wants to do that?

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Eco-Friendly Easter Gifts for Busy Moms

It’s the week of Easter and I have to assume I am not the only procrastinator — er, busy mom — who does not yet have her kids’ Easter Baskets filled with goodies and awaiting the big morning. And you know, as much as I love all the online guides I find for eco-friendly Easter basket stuffers it seems every year I still find myself in the same position. Life takes precedence and for me that often means my kids’ baskets aren’t filled with organic cotton plush animals ordered in from an internet source, but rather with regular everyday commodities I’m able to find at stores locally as I run my usual errands.

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Green Your St. Patrick’s Day, Not Just Your Shirt

I grew up in a small village (population: less than 400) in the middle of Michigan that is incredibly proud of its Irish heritage. It also just so happens that its local tavern holds the state’s oldest liquor license. Combine these two facts and what I have always known is a huge St. Patrick’s Day celebration; one with potato rolls, delicious beef stew and copious amounts of green beer. And if you didn’t get to the tavern early enough, they’d be out of all of the above. People would come from miles and miles around to celebrate. It was standing room only and the town’s fifteen parking spots on the one small block that made up “main street” were nowhere near enough to accommodate.

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Have A Fair Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is getting close and that means lots of chocolate. The annual world consumption of cocoa beans averages around 600,000 tons per year. But do you know how your chocolate was made? 70% of the world’s chocolate comes from the Ivory Coast where most of the chocolate is farmed using child labor.

Don’t worry though, you can give up child labor without giving up chocolate. By buying fair trade certified chocolate you can be sure that your chocolate is child labor free and those who made it were paid fair wages. Fair trade chocolate is becoming much more common as people are learning how most chocolate is made and are demanding a change, keep pushing and someday all can be fair trade!

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Green Resolutions for 2010

I consider myself to be pretty environmentally responsible. I work hard to reduce my consumption, to re-use items I already have and to recycle the things that I can’t re-use or re-purpose. I garden and shop at farmer’s markets, and I buy local and handmade whenever I can. Of course, I am far from perfect. I don’t think anyone is, try as we might, but all the same I really do try to consider the impact of my actions.

How well am I doing? I don’t think there’s an easy answer to that question, but I decided I would look to the internet to see if I could find any clues.

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Dreaming of a Green Vacation

Those who read my site Pitstops for Kids know I’m a big fan of family travel, and when planning a trip and choosing accommodations, I do look at the environmental impact of my choices. We do a lot of backpacking and camping, yurt camping in the off-season, and stay relatively local to explore our own area more often than not. That said, there are certainly times when I catch a glimpse of pristine, tropical waters on a website or brochure and yearn for a stay at a luxury resort somewhere with palm trees and balmy weather. This year, I’m looking forward to staying home for the holidays, but that doesn’t stop me from adding to my dream list of family vacation destinations.

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Make Christmas Meaningful

Just walk in to any big box store and you will see what Christmas has become. It’s all about shopping and rushing around. People are stressed and end up in debt.  Christmas used to be about family and memories and now it’s just about stuff.

Why not work to change that with your family this year? Instead of so much stuff do fun activities together.  Even better give back to those in need. Bake cookies for your neighbors, volunteer at a soup kitchen, sponsor a family for Christmas, there are endless ideas.

For the gifts you give why not give the gift of your time?

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Planning for a Green Holiday

The holidays are approaching really quickly. Far more quickly than I would like, in fact. And along with the parties and the treats and the annual photo of the kids with Santa, I am thinking about the environmental impact of all of this celebrating. When you consider the presents, the packaging, the gift wrap and the energy (both electrical and emotional) that go into the holidays, you can see how quickly it all adds up.

In an effort to reduce my environmental impact this year, I am doing a few things to make the holidays a little greener. I’m starting now, because some of them require a little planning ahead.

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Unwanted Holiday Junk Mail? Opt Out!

Believe it or not, Christmas is coming.

At least, that’s what retail companies will have you think. And we all know what that means: ‘tis the season for the onslaught of catalogues and junk mail.

If you’re like me, you already receive notices of upcoming sales and new product information for the companies you patronize via email. I don’t mind these (the same way I don’t mind my favorite local pizza place texting me their weekly specials). It’s green, takes only a few seconds to scan and delete if desired, and doesn’t clog up my mailbox. What irks me is when I receive said emails just to get the mail and find a 50 page, 10 pound catalogue from the same company, announcing the same sale.

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Be Green for Halloween

Halloween Lollipop by CountryMunchkins on Etsy

When I was little my parents didn’t buy Halloween costumes, we created them; it was so fun.  Believe it or not, it wasn’t until I became a mother that I realized the overwhelming choices in commercialized costumes and decorations.

Driving through semi-rural, semi-suburban southern Rhode Island, I have noticed the abundance of gorgeously colored fallen leaves contrasted with plastic Halloween decorations. I have been in the checkout line at the discount store where many are purchasing stringy, plastic, scarecrows that will undoubtedly end up in a landfill in three weeks, if not torn apart and carried away by the wind.

I like a homemade Halloween; in second grade I was a tree.

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