Eco-Friendly Holiday Gifting Options: Why Going Green is the New Black

This statistic will blow your mind:
According to the Clean Air Council, the U.S. generates an additional 5 MILLION (yes, you heard me right) tons of waste or 25% more garbage during the winter holidays.  Otherwise known as a damn sin!

But lucky for us, going green during the holiday season isn’t just gaining popularity, it’s actually a WAY cooler thing to do.  And I plan on being part of the cool crowd.

Last Christmas, I wrapped my gifts in Whole Foods’ bags.  Oh, yah…I’m serious.  And they looked pretty darn rad if I do say so myself.  A pseudo-tribute to my Grandma who used to strategically open gifts to salvage any shred of wrapping paper (more hoarding than recycling, but an inspiration none-the-less). But this year, I’m about to kick it up a notch.  I found an awesome company (who I am not at all affiliated with or paid to recommend), called Gift it Green (gig) and they are changing the wasteful ways of gift-givers everywhere. Their solution?  Eco-friendly cotton fabric gift boxes that are ADORABLE and most importantly — reusable.  You even get to ‘open’ them like a traditional present, so there’s no excitement lost.  Whew!

ecofriendlygifting @allielefevere Eco Friendly Holiday Gifting Options: Why Going Green is the New Black

I’m talking about them, because I love their concept and sharing good things with you.  Hopefully, between Whole FoodsGIG, and stashing shredded wrapping paper like Gram, you’ll be inspired to go a little greener this holiday.

Three Simple Ways to Create a Greener Halloween

Want to put some green in your child’s Halloween this year? All the candy and plastic getting you down? Here are three simple tips to making this year’s Halloween a Greener Holiday.

1. Greener Costumes.

Okay, you don’t sew. Neither do I. But I really don’t like those plastic, polyester costumes at the store either. Depending on how old your child is, a great place to look for costumes is Good Will or any second hand store. Not only do some stores actually have old costumes and dress up clothes, you can find some great home made costumes too.

If your child is a little older and wants to participate in the creation (like my eldest – 8), they can take different pieces to create something new: a punk rocker, zombie bride, hobo, clown, you name it! Don’t forget Free Cycle online, a great resource for just about anything, including costumes.

And please don’t get traditional costume make up. Make up is so poorly regulated and can have so many toxic chemicals, even heavy metals, in them. If you are looking for toxic free make up the best source is The Environmental Working Group www.ewg.org, and their cosmetics database; an excellent organization, always looking out for your health and safety.

2. Green Halloween Party!

This is a great year for a Green Halloween party. Not only is Halloween on the weekend (perfect time for a party), but you can actually bake or buy great treats that you can’t hand out to trick or treaters. I love caramel apples, but that’s not something you can get into a Halloween bag. At your Halloween party you can slice organic apples and pour melted caramel over them for a great treat. And apple cider – yum! So many great treats.

And get rid of all the plastic! You can easily buy recycled brown paper bags (or cute cloth bags) and include special treats. I personally love decorating with streamers because they are made from paper that I can recycle or compost! Paper decorations are always a better choice. Best of all, save your decorations for next year. Reusing is the best option.

The best source for planning a green halloween party is www.GreenHalloween.org.

3. Greener Candy?

Greener Candy? Is it possible? Where do you get it? Well, it all depends. You can be thinking of healthier candy, i.e. those without high fructose corn syrup, organic candy, like the Organic Trick or Treat Candy Mix at the NaturalCandyStore.com, or you can be thinking of fair trade chocolates, or fun gummy candies from Surfsweets.com. In any case you can find all that good stuff at The Natural Candy Store online. You can always shop at your local store, because many more places will have organic and fair trade items now in days. However, the selection may be lacking. Online is best if you are short on time and want the biggest selection.

You can also look online for local candy stores and call ahead to find out what they offer. It’s always greener to shop locally.

Finally, don’t forget to have fun! Having a Greener Halloween just takes a little planning. But once you start, it gets easier and easier as it becomes a habit. In the future you will be full of so many great ideas you will be writing your own blog! Remember to share your old costumes too. See, now I’ve got you thinking!