Have a Green Halloween

Halloween doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money…or be bad for the environment. There are many things you and your family can do to have a more eco-friendly Halloween and still scare all of the ghosts and goblins.

First of all, make your own costume. You don’t have to be a seamstress to make a decent Halloween costume. Raid your father’s closet — get all of the old mismatched clothes and the socks with holes and voila…you’re a bum! My best Halloween costume ever was that of a bum — I even got money, I mean a decent amount of money, probably a total of $10, because I was so beliveable! Other suggestions include reuse cardboard boxes or other reusable materials — avoid using plastic materials because it just goes into a landfill anyway.

Secondly, try to hand out individually wrapped candy in paper, which is biodegradable and earth friendly. If you can get away with it and explain to the neighbors make your own treats — try organic fudge, candy apples, or baked pumpkin seeds. Sure, parents and kids have been trained not to accept individual goodies, but if you explain why maybe you can convince some of your neighbors.

If you are having a Halloween party consider using regular dinnerware, glasses and utensils — sure, you have to clean the dishes afterwards, but you’re doing the earth a favor. Otherwise, there are plenty of biodegradable plates, cups and utensils out there to choose from.

Last, don’t just throw that pumpkin away after Halloween — scoop the seeds out. Baked pumpkin seeds are an easy and tasty after school snack for your little ghosts and goblins.

It’s Not Easy Being Green

This is a little different post than I usually write, but I haven’t blogged in a while and I really needed to update my blog.

I am passionate about the environment — I believe we must do something now in order to preserve the Earth for future generations, but during this recession I am finding it extremely difficult to do my part. I have been in job transition for nearly two years and my money is extremely tight. I’m working a “survivor job”, but that’s what it is…a survivor job. So, my need to just stay afloat has obviously become more important than doing what’s best for the environment. Unfortunately “being green” still costs money — I used to buy all of the green soaps and cleaning products, now I have to just buy the cheapest products. Thank goodness more and more dishwashing detergents are phosphate-free, so I don’t have to worry too much about that. I still buy the biodegradable kitty litter for my girls — can you imagine switching kitty litter?! That would just be a bad mistake! I am using good old vinegar and water to clean my windows — works just as good and is cheaper. Buying less packaged goods just because I can’t afford it — guess that’s a good thing. I guess I’m doing the best I can do.

But really…when is this recession going to end — the past two years have been a nightmare for me and many other people. I go to job support/networking groups and I see the same people week in and week out. I thought things were supposed to be getting better?! I’m not seeing any sign of things lightening up. And, of course since I’ve been out for so long it’s really taken a toll on my self esteem. I just don’t know what else I can be doing. I have an extremely limited income so I can go back to school or pay membership dues, so I feel like I’m stuck. I network, search online, cold call and e-mail — what else can I do?!

This is just such a hard time, not only for me, but for others around the nation and I guess we have to hunker down and continue to be frugal because personally I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel anytime soon.