Happiness Has a New Address – Tagged "Zero Waste" – Dulse & Rugosa
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    Halloween- Celebrating Sustainably

    Halloween- Celebrating Sustainably

    Going Zero Waste during any holiday is tricky but Halloween is especially challenging.  The fun quickly turns into trash.

    Here are some simple tricks to help reduce waste but don't procrastinate, DIY takes time.

    Thrift stores are a great resource for DIY and Zero Waste Halloween.

    COSTUMES-

    • Organize a costume swap.   Costumes are typically worn just a few times and not made of sturdy material.  Extending the life of a costume keeps it out of the landfill.
    • Use your imagination and the recycle bin for any cardboard based costumes.  
    • Visit a thrift store for inspiration.  A prom dress can become a princess gown.  A bathrobe a super hero cape.
    • A glue gun will become your new BFF.
    Natural or well made items make the best Halloween decorations.

      DECORATIONS

      This is the easy part.  Fall is the harvest season filled with natural beauty.  Pumpkins, corn stalks, gourds.  If you want a bit more, invest in quality items including wreaths, bunting and treat bags that can be used for years.  My best advice is to have a Halloween box filled with reusable decorations, favorite books and most importantly memories.  

      Zero Waste treats include shells, polished rocks and glass

      TRICK OR TREATS

      It's helpful to limit the number of houses you visit.  Planning an after party can help with the transition.  The after event can be a special video or family game with a big bowl of popcorn and fresh cider.  Instead of playing "Old Maid" switch it up to a Halloween theme.  Have your family make the cards together.  A fun memory is to use old Halloween photos for the pairs.  Yes, this takes time but if you have your Halloween box it's worth it and your deck can grow each year.  

      REFUSE

      Simply refuse some items including all cheap plastic ones that have an interest span of seconds but a life span of centuries.  

      Pass out natural items.  A bowl of polished stones, rocks or shells is exciting.  Coloring sheets, puzzles or candy packaged in cardboard including Dots or boxes of raisins.

      Plan ahead.  Celebrating Zero Waste takes time.

      You need to start early for your DIY Zero Waste Halloween celebration.  It takes time to collect materials and craft.  You might also need time to set and manage your children's expectations.  

      Let's take the truly scary out of Halloween- the trash and still have fun.

      Essentials for Going Zero Waste

      Essentials for Going Zero Waste

      Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed with your Zero Waste journey?  The good news is there is a lot of advice out there.  However that can also be the bad news- it can be a bit overwhelming.  

      In my opinion the most essential tool you need to begin, continue or refine your Zero Waste journey is your brain.  Yes- your brain.  Any advice you get needs to be filtered to fit your lifestyle.  Not the lifestyle you imagine or are striving towards but how you actually live.  The nitty gritty day to day life with home, work, family, pets, etc.  Big ideas and goals need to be tailored and adjusted into achievable steps.  When we are successful, we feel positive, motivated and more open to examining and refining life changes.

      Your brain is also the most powerful tool in educating yourself in order to make informed choices.  In our blog 19 for 2019- Tips for Going Zero, Tip #1 was-

      1. Educate yourself.  The more you know, the more motivated and committed you will be to keep your resolutions to be plastic free and zero waste.

      I wrote my first eco-conscious blog back in 2016.  At the time, I was working on not using plastic grocery bags.  I know!  Now it seems quite ridiculous but back then if I remembered my reusable bags it was all well and good but if I forgot I would take plastic bags and feel guilty.  Now I never use plastic grocery bags and my town has banned them.  The most important change for me was making a conscious choice and then tweaking to make my choice a reality. 

      We all have a responsibility to do our own small bit to help reduce the amount of trash and plastic waste we create.  The journey is an awakening if you open your heart and use your brain. 

       

      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

      Easy Peasy Soup Stock

      Easy Peasy Soup Stock

      My daughter Carly and I were talking about "garden guilt" recently.  That's when you have more produce than you can eat and not a lot of time to can or freeze all your garden goodies.  If you have a crock pot here is an easy technique for turning an abundance of garden produce into a tasty yummy stock that you can freeze and enjoy summer's bounty on a cold winter day.

      Easy Peasy Soup Stock made with tough garden vegetables.

      If the garden gives you tough green beans make a stock.  You can use basically anything to make your stock.  I like to start with a nice chunk of kelp.  Kelp is a wonderful seaweed that adds depth and flavor to cooked dishes especially stocks, soups and beans.  The rich flavor that seaweeds add to foods is known as umami.  It's the Japanese word for the fifth taste sensation. Umami is a great substitute for meats in your stock.  Another way to boost the umami flavor is to use dried mushrooms.  There's no hard and fast rule for making this broth and it will be different each time you make it- it all depends on what's available in your garden and farm market.  For more information about cooking and enjoying sea vegetables check out the cookbook Sea Vegetable Celebration.

      DIY Garden Stock

      The next step is to load your crockpot up with vegetables, onions, beans, tomatoes, squash, carrots, greens, whatever you have an abundance of including bunches of herbs.  This is a perfect opportunity to use older and tough vegetables including clean skins.  Turn the crock pot on and let it simmer away for hours.  I like to cook mine over night, the house is cooler and you wake up to a lovely savory smell.

      When everything is cooked, strain the stock.  You can stop here and freeze a soup base or you can use gorgeous, lovely vegetables and make a soup.  For this step I like to use the best veggies I can.  Tender and sweet.  I'll put onions and carrots in to simmer until tender and will lightly simmer other veggies including corn, beans, peas, chopped greens and herbs.  I freeze my vegetable soup without any grains, pasta or rice.  It takes up less room and I can quickly cook up my choice of starch to add to my soup before serving.

      It's not a lot of actual work making the stock, it takes awhile for the broth to simmer and then simply pop into your choice of containers and freeze.