Come Visit my Online Store

Visit My Website

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Happy Halloween a Time to Be Green

Halloween can be a scary time of year for the green-minded. Last week was waste reduction week. This week the days leading up to Oct. 31st can be a minefield of candy wrappers and other waste items. It makes things difficult for anyone trying to celebrate Halloween in a more environmentally friendly manner. Here are some ideas for celebrating Halloween that may be better for the environment.

If you think of all the waste involved with Halloween between the candy packaging and the costumes that are only worn once for a couple of hours of fun, and the money involved in purchasing these items, the whole idea of Halloween becomes very scary indeed.

One suggestion regarding your Halloween decorations - try to decorate your home with locally grown pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn or attractively colored, natural fall leaves; they're more attractive than most of the plastic and paper decorations. However, if you go for the plastic decoration you can reuse them next year.

For party food, think pumpkin pie, sweets made with local apples, and other dishes that emphasize ingredients of the season where you live. The farmers’ market in Amherst should be able to supply all of these local food and decorating ideas.
Cloth or canvas shopping bags, or even pillowcases, make terrific eco-friendly alternatives to paper or plastic bags. Reusable bags are not only better for the environment at Halloween, they’re also better for kids. Paper and plastic bags can tear easily, spilling your Halloween treats. Reusable bags are much more durable.
Choose treats that use very little packaging, which is produced using fossil fuels and cannot be recycled. Whenever possible, buy locally produced treats from local merchants. Buying locally supports your local economy, and also reduces fuel consumption and pollution associated with transporting products.

If you prefer not to give out candy of any kind, you do have other options. Some people choose to hand out coins, pencils, stickers, little gadgets, stamps, small colouring books, small boxes of crayons, erasers in fun shapes, or other inexpensive items you can find at your local dime store or dollar store. Check these items first and make sure they do not present a choking hazard.

Have fun and be careful. Please compost your pumpkins and try to add some green to your orange and black Halloween celebrations. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Waste Reduction Week in Canada

October 18th to October 24th is Waste Reduction Week, which is typically held the third week of October each year. Waste Reduction Week's origins can be traced back to the mid 1980s, when a number of recycling councils and environmental organizations began holding provincial Recycling and Waste Reduction Weeks. In 2001, these organizations came together and decided to pool their resources and expand their efforts into a national event called Waste Reduction Week in Canada.

Clean Nova Scotia began Waste Reduction Week about 15 years ago. The program urges everyone to do their part in by reducing, reusing and recycling in every aspect of their lives – at home, school and work. The theme of Waste Reduction Week is, ‘Too Good to Waste’. Traditionally this event concentrated on the reduction of solid waste; however, the word reduce can and should be a reoccurring theme in our use of water and energy.

According to the Clean Nova Scotia website the three Rs are in order of importance with “reduce” being at the forefront. Each person can help by practicing the 3Rs everyday in their lives. The 3Rs being reducing waste, recycling and reusing materials. Reducing waste is by far the most efficient method of conserving resources and protecting our environment. We are all responsible for the waste that we produce. Some thoughts on reducing waste at work or at school, we could: Reduce paper by using both sides; pack your lunches in reusable containers; and/or purchase products with a recycle content.

Reusing items gives the resources that they were made from another life, meanwhile reducing pollution and conserving the energy needed in the manufacturing or recycling processes. Samples of reusing materials would be reusing jars, plastic bags and containers for storage or by purchasing durable products that can be repaired and then reused.

Recycling or buying products with recycled content is another way to conserve our resources. At work or school there should be thought put into creating a recycling program which will help save money in disposal costs. Our economy has been traditionally measured in production and consumption. Rising incomes will lead to rising consumption and more waste in the form of packaging and other materials that will enter the landfills.

Businesses should therefore consider waste reduction initiatives to reduce their environmental impacts. There are some advantages for business that choose to reduce their waste, which include: a reduction in pollution; possible revenues from marketing reusable materials; savings from more efficient work practices; and it may enhance the corporate image. If businesses communicate their efforts to their consumers and encourage feedback they will have more success with their initiatives.

For more information you can visit the website of Waste Reduction Week Canada at:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Next Monday marks the first Holiday of our fall season. Traditionally, Thanksgiving is the second Monday, of the month of October and marks the end of the growing season in this climate region. At this time, nature begins its decline and becomes ready for winter. This was the time that the first settlers brought together all the types of food they managed to grow and hosted a feast for the season.

There is still fresh produce at roadside stands and at the local farmers markets. Now is a good time to pick up that fresh pumpkin, squash, corn, zucchini, potatoes and radishes. You can check the local grocery stores for local meat, ham or poultry or perhaps an organic turkey is more your style. There are plenty of places to buy local dairy products such as butter, eggs, milk and cheeses. .

When you start eating foods grown closer to home you are ready to explore what a sustainable diet should look like and begin to develop a relationship with the growers and producers.

We do live in a global culture that takes for granted the fact that we can eat strawberries from New Zealand in the middle of January or other fresh fruits from other far away places in the dead of our winter months. But at this time of the year our own local bounty, which can be bought and frozen for a later meal is much better for you and for the environment.

The result of eating locally produced foods goes above and beyond the reduction of greenhouse gases produced in global shipping, it is support for a local economy that in turn will also be propelled towards more sustainable practices. It is easier to make decisions about sustainability in the produce that you buy when you can walk into the local farmers’ market and see the produce fresh from a local for yourself. The food that travels a great distance then becomes the enemy of awareness.

On another note, It is rather ironic that recycling has always been an integral part of the Thanksgiving celebration. Just think – in the days following the meal, you find yourself eating turkey soup, turkey sandwhiches, and turkey pot pie. In fact, by tradition, no part of the turkey is wasted. When you get down to the bones it is time to compost. During the Thanksgiving Holiday celebrate wisely with you family and friends and help make dinner a sustainable event.

This Thanksgiving see what you can create with local ingredients in keeping with the spirit of Thanksgiving. A Holiday that was created to give thanks for the local bounty.