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The Sustainable Thanksgiving Table

thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Whether you are hosting or visiting with friends or family, we love having personal touches on our table. Involve your children by working on homemade crafts to add to the meaning of the holiday.

Homemade Place Cards

Thanksgiving is not a meal you have every day. You may only see these friends or family members on special occasions. So make it personal and special by setting the table with thoughtful, homemade place cards.

Give your kids a list of all the guests who will be in attendance or offer to bring the place cards to whoever is hosting. Start with some recycled card stock, cut into 7” x 5” rectangles and let the creativity flow. Get ideas from these homemade place cards.

Thankful Placemats

Share why you’re thankful at your dinner table by making placemats out of recycled butcher paper. Ask your kids to write the statement, “I am thankful for” on the top of each with 3-5 lines or bullet points. Maybe they include a word of gratitude at each place setting. See a Thanksgiving placemat example here.

As your meal is getting started or wrapping up ask guests to fill in the blanks and then share around the table. This is an easy way to incorporate the meaning of the holiday into your meal.

Natural Table Decorations

Traditional Fall colors are beautiful on a Thanksgiving table. Hunt around your garden for eucalyptus, rosemary, olive or other holiday leaves. Add branches, lavender, gourds, berries or other natural decorations. No need to purchase anything that gets tossed into landfill, use your natural decorations all season, then add to the compost bin after the holidays. See some beautiful, natural Thanksgiving table decorations here.

Looking for more Thanksgiving inspiration? Visit our Pinterest Board full of ideas for the holidays. Happy Thanksgiving!

How to Plan an Eco-Friendly Halloween

eco-friendly

Halloween is notoriously one of the most wasteful holidays because just about everything is wrapped in plastic and designed for single-use. From costumes and decorations to candy and parties, Halloween can take a toll on the environment.

However, with a little planning, it’s possible to participate in Halloween fun without creating all the waste!

Hand out plastic-free treats

There is a movement to replace candy treats with healthier alternatives, but this often means families are giving out plastic—and sometimes toxic—throwaway treats like glowsticks, plastic toys and juice boxes.

Instead, hand out eco-friendly treats that inspire creativity:

• Paper folding fortune tellers
• Origami animal shapes
• Felted wool animals
• Pencils and erasers
• Riddles on paper
• Small homemade books
• Seed packets

Make your costumes

Store-bought costumes are not only usually disposable, but they can sometimes contain dangerous chemicals and toxic flame retardants. Also look for alternatives to traditional face paints, and see the results of a report that tested 48 Halloween face paints for heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium and lead. You don’t have to know how to sew to put together creative homemade Halloween costumes. Find out how to make eco-friendly costumes from things you have around the house by visiting our Pinterest board.

Use plastic-free treat bags

Forgo the plastic pumpkin bucket and use a small cotton treat bag that also doubles as a lunch bag. Get one here with a reusable cotton napkin for $5.95. They’re the perfect sustainable party favor too.

Use earth-friendly decorations

It’s much more fun to spend an afternoon with your kids making decorations out of fabric or recycled paper rather than going to the party store. Black construction paper bats, cheesecloth spider webs, candelabras, old branches and vintage decorations can be used over and over again. Use old clothes to make a newspaper-stuffed headless man for your front porch. And don’t forget to compost your pumpkins when Halloween is over. See our Halloween Pinterest board for some DIY eco-friendly decorating ideas.

3 Halloween Costume Ideas You Can Make!

halloween

Autumn is here and Halloween is just around the corner. Halloween is a fun holiday full of treats, scares and the opportunity to dress up! Making your own Halloween costume allows you to be creative, have fun, save money, and lessen your impact on the environment.

Here are three ideas for costumes you can easily assemble using found materials or items you may already have around the house. These ideas work for men, women, and children’s costumes.

Mummy

Turn an old white bed sheet or piece of fabric into a DIY mummy costume! Start by taking 5-10 teabags and placing them in a bucket of boiling water. Let the tea steep for 20 minutes and place the old sheet in the water. Soak the sheet for an hour to give the fabric an aged appearance. Hang the sheet outside to dry or place in the dryer. Cut or rip the fabric into long strips. Put on white or light colored clothing and find a volunteer to help you wrap strips around your arms, legs, torso and neck!

Witches and Wizards

If you’re in a time crunch and need a quick and easy costume, this is for you! All you need to make your Witch or Wizard hat are paper, scissors, a ruler and some double stick tape. Follow the step by step instructions here.

Finish off your costume with items from your closet or a thrift store. For a witch costume, find a black dress, striped tights, black shoes and a broom. For a wizard costume, find a robe, graduation gown, or make your own with a sheet or tablecloth.

Cardboard Dinosaur

We love this idea from hello, Wonderful that we couldn’t help but share. This is not only a great idea for kids but adults as well. All you need are three cardboard boxes, paint, white mat board, glue and scissors.

These costume ideas are just a starting point. Exercise your imagination and embellish your costume anyway you like. Check out our Pinterest Halloween board for more suggestions on eco-friendly costumes and decorations!