Happiness Has a New Address – Tagged "Environmentally friendly gifts and tips" – Page 2 – Dulse & Rugosa
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    Trash Free Trick or Treating

    Trash Free Trick or Treating

    Halloween is coming.  I actually love this holiday especially when I was teaching.  It's an opportunity to celebrate the season, indulge in goodies and a chance to dress up and pretend. 

    The problem with all holidays is our enjoyment creates mountains of trash- bags of candy, plastic decorations and tiny toys make a lot of trash.

    Here are some ideas to help you put the green into trick or treat bags.  

    green halloween

    Plastic free candy is a challenge, look for candy wrapped in foil or paper or cardboard boxes.  They will be bulk packed in plastic but it is better than handing out plastic wrapped candy.

    It's easier to skip the candy and pass out other sorts of treats.  My favorite idea is a bowl of nature items including shells, sea glass, acorns and stones.  If you live in the city this would be a real novelty for some kids.

    green halloween

    Paper straws are a great treat to help raise awareness about the problems of plastic.  Amazon sells boxes of 150-300 and depending on your street a single box could last a few years.  

    Sidewalk chalk, tiny cookie cutters, pencils, erasers, bandages, magnets, coloring books or printed coloring sheets, remelted crayons all are lower waste treats and last quite a bit longer than candy.

    green halloween

     

    You can also buy an activity card set and hand out one card per child.  Your local bookstore or toy shop will have a selection.  Expect to pay around $10-12 for a deck of 50 cards.

    The website Teachers Pay Teachers has some different printables including Halloween Yoga cards and Halloween PE.   Download to make cute books, printable bookmarks are another option.  The downloads cost between $3-5 making these a fun and cheap treat.

    The materials to make a craft are also nice treats.  Friendship bracelets made from embroidery thread are a calming way to end the Halloween frenzy.  You can make a kit for each trick or treater and include directions.  Here is a link-DIY Printable Friendship Bracelet .

    I hope this blogs helps you think about ways to celebrate without making lots of extra trash.  Handing out an eco item can help raise awareness about our planet.  Let's all work to make Halloween more green.

    green halloween

     

     

    World Oceans Day 2018

    World Oceans Day 2018

    At Dulse & Rugosa we are passionate but not perfect in being as eco and ocean friendly as possible.

    Read more

    Sustainable Gift Guide for Unique Personalities

    Sustainable Gift Guide for Unique Personalities

    The winter solstice is fast approaching, many of us have had our first snowfall and with all the cheerful twinkle lights it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. We have lots of sustainable gifts and stocking stuffers for family and friends.  Our holiday gift guide has suggestions for all the unique personalities in your life.

    The Mermaid-  Always be yourself unless you can be a mermaid
    Keep your locks looking their best with our Seaweed Shampoo Bar, Herbal Hair Vinegar and a nourishing hair oil.

    The Sailor- I need Vitamin Sea
    a Cruising Bar with a rust proof tin will let your sailor travel the seas plastic free.

    The Bearded Guy-a beard is a gift you give your face
    Give some beard love this holiday season with our Beard and Scalp Oil.

    The Comedian- laugh and the world laughs with you
    Give the power of seaweed with a bar of Weed n' Shrooms soap or Seaweed it’s Legal Canva Bag


    The Bathing Beauty- happiness is taking a long bath 
    Make every bath extra special with our Hot Island Bath Tea or Bath Effervescents. 


    The Stressed Mom- stressed is dessert spelt backwards
    When mom has had too much it's our botanical perfumes to the rescue.

    The Tattoo Artist- it's always a good day for a tattoo
    Keep skin art looking good with our all natural, chemical free soothing Tattoo Butter.

    The Vegan- be kind to every kind
    Pure and natural vegan butter.

    The Gardner- to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow
    Give the gift of flowers and soft skin with our gentle Gardeners Scrub.

    Sleeping Beauty-  prioritizing good sleep is good self love
    Bring on the Zzzz's with our balm or roll on. 


    And finally the stockings were hung by the fire with care
    Place our shower shots on the floor of your shower and let the fun begin.  Aromatherapy for every mood.  

     

     

     

     

    Zero Waste Back to School Tips

    Zero Waste Back to School Tips

    Shop Zero Waste for Back to School

    Back to School Season means shopping.  It's a tradition to start the school year with brand new clothing, backpack and school supplies.  The truth is many purchases are unnecessary, expensive and create loads of trash.  Save money and save the planet with some simple tips to help you go Zero Waste.

    Let's start with clothing.  The first day of school is exciting and everyone wants to look their best for the photos but... " fashion is the second dirtiest industry in the world, second only to oil."  This was a statement made by clothing designer Eileen Fisher in an EcoWatch blog post. There are a lot of issues involved- raw materials, production, distribution and finally disposal of used clothing. One strong philosophy of zero waste is to buy quality that will last.  When purchasing new clothing buy garments that are fashionable and well constructed.  When your child outgrows their clothing pass it along to a friend, neighbor, resell or charity shop.  Shopping at consignment boutiques and charity shops is both budget and eco friendly.  The problem with buying trendy and cheap clothing is they rarely last through multiple washing and the abundance of cheap, worn out clothing is literally clogging up our earth.  For more info on this serious topic check out 1 Million Women's Fast Fashion blog.

    Zero Waste Back to School

    Next the backpack.  Buy the sturdiest backpack you can find, either at a resell shop or from a good quality outfitter- think L L Bean, Land's End, Jansport.  Look for a company that has a genuine guarantee.   While the initial purchase will be pricier than a discount backpack, you want a backpack that will last for years.  But you can't buy a large backpack for your child to grow into because to be comfortable it needs to fit properly.  The perfect fit is below the shoulder blades and ending right around the waist.  This means a backpack or bag for the preschool years, one for primary and perhaps another larger one for the elementary years.  Any big growth spurt means time to buy another back pack.  That's why it's so important to buy quality- your outgrown backpack will be perfect for another student.  Another tip is to launder the backpack regularly.  It's best to turn the backpack inside out before putting into the washing machine.  Of course, as time goes on it will show signs of wear but keeping it clean will extend the life and appeal to the next owner.  You can add a bit of excitement each school year by applying patches, cool pins or zipper pulls.

    I also recommend purchasing a good quality water bottle.  In fact depending on the age of your child you might have to buy more than one.  Hydrating keeps us at  our physical and mental best.  You might need a water bottle for the lunch box, one to stay at school and one to keep in the backpack.  Again, it's quality over price.  Avoid cheap plastic water bottles that contain nasty toxins.  You want a water bottle that is leak proof, insulated, non-toxic and dishwasher safe.     

    clean around the house first for school supplies.

    For school supplies start with a hunt around your house.  I know I have drawers, tins and cups full of all kind of writing supplies.  I think it's fair to say to our kids that before we buy new we're going to use up what we have.  It's a good life style policy to instill as early as possible.  You might even donate a box of found supplies to your child's classroom.  When walking down the back to school aisles look for paper products that contain some percentage of recycled paper. Purchase from companies that are working for a better future.  Crayola has an easy four simple steps marker recycling program called colorcycle.

    There are many other ways to be more green when going back to school including lunches which is the subject of another blog.

     

    Zero Waste Alcohol- Oh Yeah!

    Zero Waste Alcohol- Oh Yeah!

    If your idea of a good time is sitting outside listening to the birds chirp and watching your garden grow while sipping a fruity, boozy drink then infused vodkas are for you.

    I first read about infusing vodkas in the cookbook "How to Be a Domestic Goddess" by Nigella Lawson.  Her rhubarb schnapps recipe caught my eye.  Living in Maine rhubarb is one of the first things to pop up in the garden and this was a new way to preserve it.

    I've been tinkering with infused vodkas ever since.  I tend to focus on seasonal fruits but my Finnish friend told me wonderful stories about herbal infused vodkas that pair beautifully with fish.

    Perserve fresh, seasonal fruits in vodka for delightful sipping.

    You need three simple ingredients- fruit, sugar and vodka.

    Fruit infused vodka needs only 3 ingredients- fruit, sugar and vodka.

     

     Plus big glass jars.  I don't recommend plastic.  The easiest jars to repurpose usually contained a vinegar based product so wash quite a few times.  Otherwise you'll end up with this slightly vinegar note that is so disappointing.  

    It's a bit of a balancing act and a mystery how much sugar to add.  If you are super serious about the process- keep notes but remember you are working with natural ingredients and there will always be variation due to weather and growing conditions.  In general, I use more sugar because my favorite way to enjoy is to sip from a glass filled with vodka, a slice of citrus and lots and lots of ice.  I found if I skimped on the sugar it has a raw taste.  If the infusion is too sweet I can tone it down by adding seltzer, juice or water to dilute.

    Strawberry Rhubarb Liquor

    1 lb rhubarb chopped and 1 cup sugar

    1 lb strawberries  and 1/2 cup sugar

    Combine fruit and sugar in a large bowl and mix to coat fruit evenly with sugar.  Put in glass jar, fill with vodka.  Shake.  Store in cool, dark cupboard for at least 6 weeks.  Strain into a pitcher and pour into a fancy bottle.  Viola- perfect holiday gifts and what a treat it is to sip summer fruit on a snowy winter's night.

    Capture summer by infusing vodka with seasonal fruits.

    If you keep vodka and sugar on hand you are ready for whatever is in season is in season. You don't have to make big batches, have fun experimenting with flavors and combinations in small jars.  

    And finally the trash- I composed my rhubarb and strawberry bits, the strawberry baskets I'll see if my local farm can reuse them first or  compost or recycle.  The vodka bottle can be returned for my bottle deposit and the sugar bag will get recycled.  That's not to bad for waste.

    Happy infusing!  I'd love to hear about your adventures and combinations.