green Halloween

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAMWE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: As you start thinking about Halloween this year, make a conscience effort to make this fun holiday aHalloween 2010 little more healthy for your family and less scary for the planet.  

I don’t need to tell anyone how unhealthy and expensive Halloween can be. According to the National Retail Federation, “Halloween will be celebrated in record numbers in 2014, with more than two-thirds of Americans buying Halloween costumes this year. Total spending for the holiday on costumes, decorations, candy and more is estimated at $7.4 billion.”

Some really scary facts:

  • This generation of kids has a life expectancy that is shorter than their parents.
  • The EPA considers that 60% of all herbicides, 90% of all fungicides and 30% of all insecticides found in non-organically grown foods are carcinogenic.
  • Over 6,000 synthetic chemicals are used in the processed-food industry.
  • A 2004 study found that children’s behavior measurably improved after a one week diet without preservatives and artificial colors and dramatically worsened on the weeks they were given preservatives and artificial colors.
  • Coco beans used for chocolate that are grown in full sun (as opposed to shade) are susceptible to disease and therefore require heavy doses of toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.
  • The chocolate industry has engaged in the use of child slaves and other unethical treatments of growers.
  • Store-bought costumes, makeup and accessories may contain phthalates, cadmium, lead and other toxins.

Source: Green Halloween

USAgain Halloween

Here are some ways to make your Halloween a little more “EEK-o-friendly” this year. Focus on one area you could make a difference or freak out your family and do it all:

The Costumes:

Don’t spend money on poorly made plastic, unnatural fiber costumes that are thrown away before the last candy corn is devoured. Avoid costumes and masks made of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). Many children’s Halloween costumes and masks are made from PVC – the most toxic plastic on the planet. These products usually contain phthalates to make them flexible. Phthalates disrupt the hormone system and have been linked to adverse effects on reproduction and development, as well as asthma in children. Look for PVC-free costumes – or get crafty and create your own costume with items you already own. Or, take a trip to your local resale shop and let your imagination run wild.

The Treats:

To lessen the possibility of a sugar overload, before you head out for tricks and treats, give your kids a full, healthy meal. And, when you’re handing out the treats, instead of unhealthy candy, hand out organic candies, pencils, stickers, crayons, fake tattoos or small toys.

Local places to find organic treats and fun alternatives:

The Trick or Treating Bags:

Your Trick or Treat bag could be anything. Use your imagination. You could use a bucket, purse, basket or cloth bag that you decorate to enhance your costume. For example, one year my littlest went as an adorable piggy (note: costume was a gift from Grandma for our oldest daughter many years ago). The treat “bag” she used was a little decorative silver bucket that we use for storage, it looks like a farmer’s feed bucket. Perfect.

The Decorations:

Use natural decorations like pumpkins, squash, gourds and hay bales. And when, for example, your pumpkin The goddesses' pumpkinhas done it’s duty as a jack-o-lantern, toss it in the compost bin. Or buy decorations that can be used year after year. You’ll save money and the environment.

Join the Prairie Roots Food Co-op and ensure that every year you, your family and our community will be able to buy local and organic pumpkins and squash.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Plastic Pollution Coalition at http://plasticpollutioncoalition.org/

Plastic Pollution Coalition is a global alliance of individuals, organizations and businesses working together to stop plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on humans, animals, the ocean and the environment.

Plastic Free Halloween

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAMWE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: As you start thinking about Halloween this year, make a conscience effort to make this fun holiday aHalloween 2010 little more healthy for your family and less scary for the planet.  

I don’t need to tell anyone how unhealthy and expensive Halloween can be. According to the National Retail Federation, “average spending on Halloween has increased 54.7 percent since 2005, with total spending estimated to reach $6.9 billion in 2013.”

Some really scary facts:

  • This generation of kids has a life expectancy that is shorter than their parents.
  • The EPA considers that 60% of all herbicides, 90% of all fungicides and 30% of all insecticides found in non-organically grown foods are carcinogenic.
  • Over 6,000 synthetic chemicals are used in the processed-food industry.
  • A 2004 study found that children’s behavior measurably improved after a one week diet without preservatives and artificial colors and dramatically worsened on the weeks they were given preservatives and artificial colors.
  • Coco beans used for chocolate that are grown in full sun (as opposed to shade) are susceptible to disease and therefore require heavy doses of toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.
  • The chocolate industry has engaged in the use of child slaves and other unethical treatments of growers.
  • Store-bought costumes, makeup and accessories may contain phthalates, cadmium, lead and other toxins.

Source: Green Halloween

Here are some ways to make your Halloween a little more “EEK-o-friendly” this year. Focus on one area you could make a difference or freak out your family and do it all:

The Costumes:

Don’t spend money on poorly made plastic, unnatural fiber costumes that are thrown away before the last candy corn is devoured. Instead create your own costume with items you already own. Or, take a trip to your local resale shop and let your imagination run wild. Once Upon A Child, for example, has gently-used costumes for sale.

You could also plan a costume swap. National Costume Swap Day is Saturday, October 12th this year. Check http://www.greenhalloween.org/CostumeSwap/ for a Costume Swap near you or organize your own with family and friends.

More resources:
I blogged about making your own costumes, Make Your Halloween Green.
Jenn Savedge with Mother Nature Network has some great ideas for easy eco-costumes, Green Halloween costumes.
Greenfeet has some great ideas for a Green Halloween including some great homemade costume ideas.

The Treats:

To lessen the possibility of a sugar overload, before you head out for tricks and treats, give your kids a full, healthy meal. And, when you’re handing out the treats, instead of unhealthy candy, hand out organic candies, pencils, stickers, crayons, fake tattoos or small toys.

Local places to find organic treats and fun alternatives:

More resources:

Beth Swanson at Kiwi Magazine unmasks The Scary Side of Halloween.
Halloween’s Hidden Impacts by Julie Starkel, MS, MBA, RD

The Trick or Treating Bags:

Your Trick or Treat bag could be anything. Use your imagination. You could use a bucket, purse, basket or cloth bag that you decorate to enhance your costume. For example, one year my littlest went as an adorable piggy (note: costume was a gift from Grandma for our oldest daughter many years ago). The treat “bag” she used was a little decorative silver bucket that we use for storage, it looks like a farmer’s feed bucket. Perfect.

The Decorations:

Use natural decorations like pumpkins, squash, gourds and hay bales. And when, for example, your pumpkin has The Great Pumpkindone it’s duty as a jack-o-lantern, toss it in the compost bin. Or buy decorations that can be used year after year. You’ll save money and the environment.

Join the Prairie Roots Food Co-op and ensure that every year you, your family and our community will be able to buy local and organic pumpkins and squash.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Green Halloween
Green Halloween.org is dedicated to offering fun, healthy, affordable, not-too-time consuming ideas that will support your goal of creating a Halloween that is happy and healthy for your kids and the planet we all share.

In 2010, Green Halloween became a program of EcoMom Alliance, a 501 (c) 3 with members worldwide. EcoMom Alliance works to inspire and empower women to reduce global warming and propel an environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable future. To do this, EcoMom Alliance utilizes the historically proven power of education, mothers and community action, and in this way create a global network of change leaders – an EcoMom Alliance.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAMWE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: There are some ways to reduce the sugary treats your children consume on Halloween without spoiling their spooky good time.

A while ago my friend Stephanie introduced me to an awesome website, Cookus Interruptus. The site is full of humor, wonderful tips and great recipes.

Here are some great tips for handling tomorrows Halloween candy bag from Cookus Interruptus:

  • Probably the most important tips is to feed your little trick or treaters a healthy meal prior to going out. If your kids aren’t hungrey when they head out the door, they’ll be less likely to eat everything in their bag before they return home. Protein and fiber are the key, according to Cookus Interruptus, because these ingredients ensure lasting fullness and help to keep blood sugar levels steady.
  • Institute a trade in program. Trade candy for books, cash or other prizes.
  • Let your kids have a piece of candy each day for about a week then hide the rest until Christmas time and use it to decorate Gingerbread houses.
For more frighteningly fabulous eco-friendly Halloween tips, visit http://greenhalloween.org/.

 

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Cookus Interruptus

A site designed to help you cook fresh local organic whole foods despite life’s interruptions. The site is full of wonderful recipes, kitchen and shopping tips and a wonderful blog.

 

 

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAMWE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: When the little trick-or-treaters knock on your door this Halloween, give them healthy treats that also treat the environment kindly.

Eco-friendly Candy

There are a number of different eco-friendly candies now available at your local grocery stop, health food stores or co-ops. These organic candies can provide Halloween treats that are a little friendlier for your trick-or-treaters and are produced using methods that are gentler on the environment.

Where you can find them locally:

Sydney’s Health Market: My number one choice for all my healthy shopping needs. They have organic fruit snack, fruit strips, lollipops, organic juice boxes and many other options.

CVS: They are the one place locally I know that sells UNREAL Candy. UNREAL candies contain no artificial flavors, preservatives or hormones; no GMO’s (genetically modified organisms); no hydrogenated oils; and no corn syrup. Instead, they use real sugar, natural oils, and real milk. They also reduced sugar by over 40% per serving on average. They responsibly source all key ingredients; supporting farming communities and preventing destruction of the rain forests. The dairy comes from grass fed (versus grain fed) cows with no antibiotics or added hormones (LOVE this!).

Cash Wise: They have a wonderful organic section which include a lot of organic candy, boxes of organic raisins and bars.

Hornbachers: Their natural and organic sections has a number of organic treats.

Or Avoid Candy Altogether

Another option is to avoid candy altogether and to give your trick-or-treaters useful treats, such as colorful pencils, small boxes of crayons, or erasers in fun shapes.

Other ideas:

  • Fun magnets
  • Seed paper/bookmarks for planting or reading
  • Wash off tattoos
  • Stickers
  • Craft kits (Michael’s has fun craft kits for $1.00)
  • Adhesive bandages with fun themes
  • Barrettes or other hair things
  • Mini pumpkins or gourds
  • Fun toothbrushes
  • Unfinished wood items
  • Decorated pencils
  • Polished stones

Where you can find them locally:

Eco Chic Boutique: You will be able to find tons of useful trick-or-treat treats like soy crayons shaped like rocks and other eco-friendly art supplies.

Pout Baby Boutique: They have a large eco-friendly section including Piggy Paint Nail Polish.

Be Sure to Reuse and Recycle

If you don’t already compost, Halloween is a great time to start. You can add post-Halloween jack-o-lanterns to your compost bin, along with fallen leaves, food scraps, and other organic, biodegradable yard and household waste.

Compost creates excellent soil for your garden. You might even use the compost from your backyard bin to help grow the pumpkins that will become next year’s jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin pies.

If you are interested in composting, your local hardware store, garden center, county extension service, or waste disposal agency should be able to help you get started.

Locally, the City of Fargo has a wonderful compost bin you can purchase at a reasonable cost. For more information call 701-241-1449.

Instead of throwing away your Halloween decorations each year, store and reuse them year after year, just as you do decorations for many other holidays. Source: About.com, Environmental Issues

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Green Halloween
Green Halloween is a non-profit, grassroots community initiative to create healthier and more Earth-friendly holidays, starting with Halloween. It began in the Seattle area in 2007 with backers such as Whole Foods Market and was such a huge success that in 2008, the initiative expanded nation-wide. In cities across the country, volunteer coordinators are turning their city’s Halloween holiday healthy and eco-friendly, but many are also raising money for their own, local nonprofit beneficiaries via the initiative. The site contains ideas for making your Halloween a little greener.

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Editor’s Note: Beginning October 18th, 2011 Simple Tips for Green Living will move to Tuesdays… Each Tuesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately1220pm (central) every Tuesday at WDAY.com or, if you’re in North Dakota or western Minnesota, listen on your radio at AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: When the little trick-or-treaters knock on your door this Halloween, give them healthy treats that also treat the environment kindly.

Eco-friendly Candy

There are a number of different eco-friendly candies now available at your local grocery stop, health food stores or co-ops. These organic candies can provide Halloween treats that are a little friendlier for your trick-or-treaters and are produced using methods that are gentler on the environment.

Where you can find them locally:

Sydney’s Health Market: My number one choice for all my healthy shopping needs. They have organic fruit snack, fruit strips, lollipops, organic juice boxes and many other options.

Cash Wise: They have a wonderful organic section which include a lot of organic candy, boxes of organic raisins and bars.

Hornbachers: Their natural and organic sections has a number of organic treats.

Or Avoid Candy Altogether

Another option is to avoid candy altogether and to give your trick-or-treatersuseful treats, such as colorful pencils, small boxes of crayons, or erasers in fun shapes.

Other ideas:

  • Fun magnets
  • Seed paper/bookmarks for planting or reading
  • Wash off tattoos
  • Stickers
  • Craft kits (Michael’s has fun craft kits for $1.00)
  • Adhesive bandages with fun themes
  • Barrettes or other hair things
  • Mini pumpkins or gourds
  • Fun toothbrushes
  • Unfinished wood items
  • Decorated pencils
  • Polished stones

Where you can find them locally:

Eco Chic Boutique: You will be able to find tons of useful trick-or-treat treats like soy crayons shaped like rocks and other eco-friendly art supplies.

Pout Baby Boutique: They have a large eco-friendly section including Piggy Paint Nail Polish.

Be Sure to Reuse and Recycle

If you don’t already compost, Halloween is a great time to start. You can add post-Halloween jack-o-lanterns to your compost bin, along with fallen leaves, food scraps, and other organic, biodegradable yard and household waste.

Compost creates excellent soil for your garden. You might even use the compost from your backyard bin to help grow the pumpkins that will become next year’s jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin pies.

If you are interested in composting, your local hardware store, garden center, county extension service, or waste disposal agency should be able to help you get started.

Locally, the City of Fargo has a wonderful compost bin you can purchase at a reasonable cost. For more information call 701-241-1449.

Instead of throwing away your Halloween decorations each year, store and reuse them year after year, just as you do decorations for many other holidays. Source: About.com, Environmental Issues

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Green Halloween
Green Halloween is a non-profit, grassroots community initiative to create healthier and more Earth-friendly holidays, starting with Halloween. It began in the Seattle area in 2007 with backers such as Whole Foods Market and was such a huge success that in 2008, the initiative expanded nation-wide. In cities across the country, volunteer coordinators are turning their city’s Halloween holiday healthy and eco-friendly, but many are also raising money for their own, local nonprofit beneficiaries via the initiative. The site contains ideas for making your Halloween a little greener.

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by Wendy Gabriel

Tomorrow is Halloween. The goddesses are getting excited and I have a few tricks up my sleeve to ensure it’s a Green Halloween: Green Your Halloween.

The fabulous folks over at Energy Circle have brewed up some Halloween reading too: Energy Vampires Are Real: And If You Don’t Get Them, They’ll Get You

Once in a young lifetime one should be allowed to have as much sweetness as one can possibly want and hold. ~Judith Olney

Here’s a look at our week:

Getting ready for International Day of Climate Action.

Getting ready for International Day of Climate Action

Having some fun at the Children’s Museum at Yunker Farm.

You lookin' at me?

Visiting the pumpkin patch with Little Greek goddess’s kindergarten class.

Petting the goat at the pumpkin patch

Little Greek goddess

Bert and Ernie at the pumpkin patch

Some of my favorite photos and photo blogs:
Twilight Earth’s Photo Sunday
Mother Nature Sunday Gallery: Beaming Flowers from Love Earth Always
Photo Terri
True to Words’ Friday Photography
Twin Cities Photo Blog

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