Posts Tagged ‘Holiday’

A Holiday Thought…..

Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store.

Dr. Seuss 

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This year, slow down and take pleasure in the simple beauty of the season – baking holiday treats and meals, listening to Christmas carols in front of a roaring fire, decorating your home with special ornaments and lots of winter greens and berries, “green” wrapping your gifts, reaching out to those in need, and of course spending precious time with family and friends.  Celebrate with old traditions, embrace new ones and be grateful for your blessings.

I’m definitely taking pleasure in my kids’ visits who come from far and wide, and as much as I love blogging, I don’t want to miss a minute with them.  So, I’ll resume sending you exciting new green tips after the New Year.  For green holiday ideas, check out last year’s Green Your Holidays. 

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and look forward to a green and healthy 2014.

Earth Day 2013

   April 22 is the 43rd annual Earth Day.  According to earthday.org, more than one billion people take part in Earth Day – individuals, communities, organizations and governments from around the world.  This year, earthday.org is collecting and displaying images of people, animals and places directly affected by climate change as well as those helping to do something about it.

I hope you will participate too!  There are lots of easy and meaningful things you can do.  You can:

  • It’s spring – plant a tree
  • Sow some seeds for your garden
  • Visit a local farm
  • Change a conventional light bulb to an energy-saving compact fluorescent or LED one
  • Pick up litter on the beach
  • Take part in a trash pick-up
  • Use a travel mug rather than a paper cup for your coffee-to-go
  • Drink from a reusable water bottle rather than a plastic one
  • Recycle newspapers, bottles and cans
  • Start a compost bin in your backyard for kitchen waste
  • Make a commitment to drive less and carpool or walk more
  • Take public transportation
  • Shorten your shower by one minute
  • Shut down your computer for one hour
  • Attend an Earth Day event in your area or volunteer
  • Include your kids and grandkids and teach them about the importance of protecting our beautiful earth

End the day with an Earth Day Dinner Celebration with foods that are grown locally if possible and are gentler to the earth – organic vegetables and fruits, grass-fed, grass finished beef, free-range chicken or sustainably harvested fish and raise awareness about the origins of our food at the same time. You could host a potluck dinner with regional specialties, plan an earth dinner fundraiser for your favorite local organization, and have an earth day party for kids or a simple supper with your family or friends.  If the weather is warm, try an earth day picnic.  Use real cutlery, not plastic, real plates, not paper and cloth napkins.  Seed packets make great place cards.  For a more festive dinner, eat by candlelight and save energy;  wash the dishes with non-toxic detergent.

Check your local newspaper or go online for Earth Day events in your town.  Make Earth Day and Earth Dinner celebrations your new tradition.  Never forget that simple steps really do make a difference!

 

Happy Greener Halloween!

From candy to face paint to candles, Halloween can be a “toxic” holiday.  There are simple ways however, to make Halloween greener without spoiling the fun!

Face paint, play make-up, lipstick and nail polish contain chemicals and lead that are harmful to kids and linked to hormone disruption and cancer.  Instead try natural cosmetics.  You can check the safety of your cosmetics at cosmeticsdatabase.com. Skip the colored hairspray, which contains harmful chemicals and fragrance that kids can easily breathe in.  Wigs, hats or funny hairdos work too.

Rather than buying a cheap, synthetic costume, why not get one from a resale shop or borrow one from a friend?  Return to simpler times and make one using items you already have. Those are the ones your child will remember.  I have a vivid memory of being a ghost made from an old white sheet!

Synthetic facemasks and fake teeth are made from plastics and unlabeled materials.  Putting plastic teeth in your mouth or breathing the chemicals from the plastic masks doesn’t seem like a good idea for young developing bodies and can be harmful.  Try making your own mask from a paper bag or use a half-face mask instead.

English: Child in Tiger face paint

Traditional paraffin-based candles (made from petroleum by products) give off toxic compounds.  Use fragrance-free ones made from soy or beeswax.  Avoid  plastic pumpkins and other cheap Halloween accessories.  Fall gourds, pumpkins, corn stalks, and even leaves make beautiful natural decorations.

Kids look forward all year to Halloween candy, but there is a steady stream of holiday candy from Halloween through Valentine’s Day.  Why not give out healthier granola bars, puffed rice squares, or bags of popcorn or pretzels? Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s sell less sugary candy.  With my kids I would “buy back” a portion of their Halloween candy and then let them buy a new toy with the money. (I always over paid them but it was worth it to limit the candy.) They actually loved spreading their candy out, sorting and counting the candy and deciding which to give back and which to keep.  It was a good math game too.

As with all holiday indulgences, moderation is the key.

Some information compiled from Environmental Working Group http://www.ewg.org.