Top 5 Tips for a Sustainable Thanksgiving Feast

Thanksgiving is a great time to remember the things we are thankful for and to appreciate the world around us. This year, say thanks to Mother Earth by preparing a locally-sourced holiday meal.
pumpkin farm

Top 5 Tips for a Sustainable Thanksgiving Feast:

  1. Visit the farmers market – It’s been said that each ingredient in the average Thanksgiving dinner travels 1500 miles to get to our table. Shopping and buying from local farmers means your food travels less distance, using less gas, and in turn produces less carbon dioxide emissions. Plus it is usually fresher!
  2. Use the foods you have – Before you run to the grocery store for Thanksgiving ingredients, consider using what you have on-hand. Even if it is hard to grow food where you live in November, it is typically easy to grow herbs in a kitchen windowsill. You can also incorporate fruits and vegetables preserved from the summer and fall.
  3. Go a’picking - An apple-picking trip to a nearby orchard with family & friends can be fun and productive. Use your harvest to make locally-sourced holiday dishes, like apple pie, apple-cranberry sauce, or hard apple cider.
  4. Minimize food waste – Get the most out of the food you buy. For example, if you’re cooking pumpkins or other winter squash for your meal, roast the seeds — they can be eaten as a snack or used as a garnish for soups or stews.
  5. Don’t Over Cook – Thanksgiving is a time when we all think of the harvest and a table full of food. However, we should remember not to get carried away. We should only cook enough food to feed our family, guests and have a few leftovers. Because nothing is worse than food going to waste.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted in Healthy Eating, Tips | 1 Comment »

Top 5 Green Halloween Tips

Halloween is just like any other holiday…it creates a lot of trash. From the disposable costumes and decorations to the candy wrappers and plastic pumpkin trick-or-treat containers. Don’t make one scary night turn into a scary future for our kids. Go green this Halloween with these five easy tips:

Top 5 Green Halloween Tips:

  1. Make your own costume from recycled materials & objects you have laying around the house.
  2. Buy your pumpkins from local farms
  3. Create your own party decorations to reuse year after year
  4. Use a pillow case or canvas bag for trick or treating
  5. Use homemade face paint instead using toxic makeup (combine cornstarch, solid shortening, and food color)

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Eco-Friendly BBQ Party Tips For The Fourth of July

Celebrate the nation’s birthday this year by throwing a green Fourth of July BBQ party. Here are 5 tips to help make your Independence Day shindig a little more sustainable.

Top 5 Eco-Friendly BBQ Party Tips:

  • Party Food - Shop at a local farmer’s market for your BBQ ingredients. You can usually find great local organic produce, breads & meats.
  • Tableware - Switch to biodegradable dishes. Great for outdoor use & can be tossed in the trash with little guilt.
  • Napkins Use washable cloth napkins to reduce paper waste.
  • Compost - Compost leftover food scraps & other organic trash.
  • Grill - A solar powered grill is the most eco-friendly way to grill these days, but if that’s not an option for you opt for a grill that burns natural gas rather than charcoal, as it is cleaner.

Happy Birthday America!

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Eco-Friendly Cinco de Mayo Celebration

Cinco de Mayo is this Saturday! Let’s celebrate with friends & family by having an eco-friendly party with fun festive food, drinks, and party favors.

Top 5 eco-friendly ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo

  1. Drink delicious organic margaritas
  2. Make mini pinatas party favors shaped like chili peppers
  3. Buy local & organic food for your get together
  4. Use biodegradable wooden cutlery instead of plastic at your party
  5. Recycle all glass bottles from the cocktails served at your shindig

Posted in Family, Healthy Eating | No Comments »

Five Easy Earth Day Tips

This weekend is Earth Day!

What a prefect time to go green, if you haven’t already. Show the world you care about the planet with these five easy tips for conserving energy, water and waste.

5 Earth Day Tips

  1. Use reusable shopping bags
  2. Buy local food & products
  3. Upcycle / reuse everything you can
  4. Ride your bike instead of driving your car
  5. Fix all leaky water fixtures

Happy Earth Day!

Posted in Energy, Environment, Tips | 9 Comments »

Homemade Exfoliating Body Scrubs

I love all those natural pampering bath products, like soaps, body scrubs, lotions, oils… They smell like heaven in the shower when I use them and they make my skin feel great, but they are all so expensive.

So I decided to see if I could create my own.

After a little experimental trial & error, I finally came up with two DIY exfoliating body scrubs that are similar to store bought products, but are from ingredients on hand in most kitchens.

DIY Sugar Body Scrub

Ingredients:
1/2 Cup White Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
3/4 Cup (or so) Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Vanilla or Almond Extract

sugar scrub

Step 1: Add the 2 sugars to a containter, mixing until well combined.
mix sugars

Step 2: Pour in most of the olive oil. Let it bubble down to the bottom, then pour in a little more. Mix with a spoon, if needed, until you have a nice sticky scrub.
add olive oil
mixing sugar scrub
mixing sugar scrub

Step 3: Mix in vanilla.
add vanilla

Step 4: Add a cute ribbon & this indulging exfoliating scrub makes the perfect gift.
sugar scrub gift

DIY Citrus Salt Body Scrub

Ingredients:
3/4 Cup Sea Salt
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
2 Slices of Lemon
2 Slices of Orange

citrus scrub

Step 1: Add olive oil & sea salt to blender.
Add salt
add olive oil

Step 2: Slice your fruit.
sliced lemon

Step 3: Add fruit with the peel to the blender & mix.
lemon in blender

Step 4: Once completely mixed, so the fruit peel is itty bitty, transfer scrub mixture to a container.
transfer to container

Step 5: Add a cute ribbon & this summery exfoliating scrub also makes the perfect gift.
citrus scrub gift

Posted in Eco-Products, Green Crafts | 1 Comment »

DIY Edible Paint & Sugar Glitter

Make your Valentine’s Day dinner party extra special this year by decorating your tableware with edible paint & glitter. It’s super easy, completely edible and eco-friendly. All you need are a few ingredients that you most likely have in the pantry and some plain jane dishes to dress up.

Let’s get started…

DIY Edible Sugar Glitter

Mix 2 tablespoons of sugar and a few drops of liquid food coloring until the color is evenly distributed. (You can also substitute salt for sugar, however the grains of salt give off less sparkle than the sugar.)

Line a baking tray with aluminium foil. Pour the colored sugar onto the baking tray and spread the sugar thinly and evenly on the tray. Preheat your oven to 300ºF. Place the baking tray with sugar in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

Remove tray from oven and let the sugar cool completely. Use a fork to break up clumps of sugar that may have formed.

DIY Edible Paint

Mix 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon of water, and 2 drops of liquid food coloring.

Apply with a paintbrush to plain dishes, mugs or even glassware.

Sprinkle your homemade suger glitter on the paint while it is still wet to add a little extra sparkle and shine to every dish.

And when it’s time to clean up, just wash your dishes like normal. The paint and glitter will just melt off in hot water.

Have fun! Get creative! The sky’s the limit to color scheme & design.

Posted in Green Crafts, Healthy Eating | 2 Comments »

Eco Friendly New Year’s Resolutions

As 2011 comes to an end, it is time to reflect on the past and make new resolutions for 2012 and the future.

One of my resolutions every year is to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. I achieve this by making a new goal for the year and taking baby steps at making it become part of my everyday routine.

A few years ago, that goal was to use reusable shopping bags every time I go to a store. The year after that, was to recycle or upcycle everything I could. The next year, I promised to shop more consciously, to look for products that are local, packaged in eco-friendly packaging and are natural or organic.

Now this year, my resolution is to make my home more energy efficient. I currently have an old thermostat that requires me to manually turn up or down the heat. Of course, I often forget to turn it down when I leave for the day or at night. So this year my goal is to install a programmable thermostat and save some energy.

What are your green living goals for 2012?

Posted in Energy, Environment, Family | 6 Comments »

Top 5 Tips For An Eco Holiday Celebration

The holiday season is a great time for fresh starts and new traditions. If you haven’t started living a green lifestyle, now’s your opportunity. Here are the top five tips for creating a green Holiday Celebration.

Eco Holiday Tips:

  1. Cards -Consider switching to emailed holiday cards to reduce your landfill waste. If you would like to send printed paper cards consider a card which is made from 100% post consumer recycled paper and is printed with soy inks.
  2. Trees - Fake trees are reusable but are made from petroleum-derived sources and often shipped from abroad. Real trees, for their part, are typically sprayed with lots of pesticides. Organic Christmas trees are tough to come by. If you opt for a real tree, be sure to bring it to a local recycling center, where it can be chipped for mulch or used whole to stabilize wetlands. A better Christmas tree choice may be to purchase a live, potted tree, which can be planted outside after the holidays. Evergreen varieties such as pine, spruce, and fir work well in many regions.
  3. Lights -Switching to LEDs is 90% more efficient than incandescent lighting. LEDs don’t get as hot as traditional lights, lowering the risk of fire, and if one bulb goes out, the rest of the string still works. They last longer, too.
  4. Decorations - From bamboo placemats to homemade napkin rings, make a commitment to go green by decorating with an eco-friendly touch. Making Christmas decorations at home is another way to get the whole family involved in a creative project.
  5. Gift Wrapping - Get creative with your gift wrapping. Make the wrapping of the gift part of the gift, something that can be used for another purpose afterwards, like a scarf, reusable bag or even a tablecloth.

Happy Holidays!

Posted in Family, Tips | 3 Comments »

Top 5 Eco-Friendly Thanksgiving DIY Craft Projects

It’s Thanksgiving week! What better way to celebrate than with green DIY crafts. If you’re looking to green up your table decorations or just have some fun with the kids here are some eco-friendly Thanksgiving craft projects.

Top 5 DIY Thanksgiving Crafts

1- Upcycled hand print turkey shirt
Hand print turkey shirt

2- Corn husk recycled jar candle holder
corn husk candle holder

3- Turkey made from toilet paper rolls
diy turkey decoration

4- Biodegradable Thanksgiving placecards
turkey place card holders

5- Thankful turkeys containers
Thankful turkey containers

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted in Family, Green Crafts, Recycling | 4 Comments »