Eco-Friendly February Tasks

Can you believe it’s already February? Last year seemed like the longest year and yet it also flew by so quickly! With February already in full swing, there are lots of things we can do this month to kick start our goals for an environmentally friendly New Year!

VALENTINE’S DAY– Yes, yes, I know most people think this holiday is a marketing ploy, and I gotta admit, brands probably make tons of money for this holiday. Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, I think it’s a fun tradition to begin or continue with your children. The colors of Valentine’s Day is quite festive – reds, pinks, lavenders, and even blues. But how do we make this holiday more eco-friendly? Candy wrappers are bound to be thrown into the trash along with other plastic and not so easily recyclable items. Here are some tips to keep it eco-friendly:

  • Send e-gift cards. This might seem less sentimental, but you don’t have to send gift cards to only your significant other. You can send them to your friends, siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins, teachers, and the list goes on! Electronic gift cards are fast and don’t require any shipping via mail or using those pesky unrecyclable plastic cards.

  • Purchase locally grown flowers or from family-owned farms. Locally grown flowers require less carbon footprint to ship and flower farms owned by small families usually have more unique and fresher varieties.

  • Try making a vegetarian feast for Valentine’s Day with these dishes: – Exotic mushroom pasta by using oyster mushrooms, Shitake mushrooms, or Enoki mushrooms. You can find the more exotic versions at Asian grocery stores and natural grocery stores. – Heavenly Layer Dip, which uses red tomatoes, red bell peppers, sour cream, light shredded cheese, olives, and strawberry jam (or any berry flavored jam). – Chocolate covered fruits such as chocolate-covered strawberries, peaches, mangoes, or any other unique fruits.

  • Most children love to be spoiled on Valentine’s Day! Gift them with homemade heart shaped cookies, chocolate-covered strawberries and mangoes, and a special trip to a local zoo or museum (if they are open in your area).

CHINESE LUNAR NEW YEAR – This year is the Year of the Ox so it’s important for those born under the Ox sign to be especially aware. Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year is a huge celebration every year. But with the pandemic and safety concerns in mind, families might have to celebrate with only their immediate household. Traditionally, there are parades, firecrackers, and huge family and friends gatherings, so you would have to see what your state, country, and city have restrictions on. To make it eco-friendly this year, here are some tips:

  • Red envelopes are traditionally given to children or unmarried young folks. It’s still okay to give cash as cash is a recyclable and reusable commodity.

  • Celebrate the traditions of Chinese Lunar New Year by reading books. There are some great books that children can read to learn all about this holiday. Include books with pictures to make them more festive.

  • Decorate with paper decorations. Red is the traditional good luck color for the new year. You can find paper decorations at specialty Asian stores to decorate your house with.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH – During Black History Month, it’s a great way to teach children about historical and iconic leaders who helped change the world. Purchase books with pictures that can be read every year.

VEGANUARY – The month of January was to celebrate Vegetarians and Vegans. But we could still continue with this tradition through February. Try to include at least one vegan or vegetarian meal during the week. Vegetarian dishes are fairly easy to make and don’t have to be just salads. You can make vegetarian pasta, vegetarian soup, and vegetarian tacos. Reduce the amount of animal protein to up to 3 times a week. Meat production is one of the largest polluters in the world and one of the biggest hidden pitfalls in carbon dioxide consuming our planet.

CAMPUS CLEAN UP – Depending on where you live and the safety protocols at your school, you can host a campus cleanup day. With the permission of the school principal, teacher, or an environmental club, pick a day where students can go around the school campus to pick up trash and or/pick weeds. A campus cleanup day promotes environmental awareness of trash and how students can help keep our schools and communities clean. Be sure to wear gloves while doing the cleanup.

SPRING PLANTING – With the spring season sneaking upon us, now is the best time to start your indoor seed planting. When you plant your own vegetables and fruits you get the full quality of your bounty and children can learn the growing process from seed to harvest to eating them! Easy plants for children to grow include: Peas, beans, beets, carrots, radishes, and sunflowers. Planting your own garden also helps with cleaning the atmosphere, reduces carbon footprint, and promotes healthier eating. Start by planting the seeds indoors and then transplant them outdoors when it’s warmer.

Start off the year with a goal to be more environmentally conscious in everything you do and buy. Take small steps if you’re just starting out and soon you’ll become an advocate for the planet!

*photo courtesy of Arbor Day Foundation, Food&Wine magazine, KidsGardenNews

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

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Yes! You can have an Eco-friendly Halloween!

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Halloween is THE favorite holiday of the year for me and my family. Is it a holiday though? I don’t care – we celebrate it no matter what! Much like a few other holidays celebrated in the US, Halloween is also a celebrated event in other countries such as England, Germany, Taiwan, and Mexico has something similar in their Dia de los Muertos festival. And the best thing about Halloween is that it doesn’t matter if you’re young or old – you can dress up, eat treats, and decorate to your hearts content!

But let’s pause a few moments and think about the environmental impact that this fun holiday creates. We buy bags of candy and treats, we wear store bought costumes, and we adorn the house with store bought decorations. Do you ever think about all those plastic wrappers that the kids throw away after eating the treats? Or the polyester materials that usually make up the costumes you find in stores? All those things will eventually end up in the landfill and they are usually not recyclable nor do they decompose properly. So how do we be more environmentally conscious this Halloween? Is it possible?

Yes! You can have an eco friendly Halloween this year and every year. Let’s start with these suggestions:

1- Choose Halloween treats with less packaging. Candies in individual boxes might be saved for recycling. You can also buy in bulk and choose the candy that has the less packaging.

2- Reuse plastic bags for trick-or-treating. Or better yet, cut out the plastic bag altogether and go for a reusable cloth bag or make your own from an old T-shirt or pillow case.

3- Avoid store-bought costumes. Costumes on the rack are often made of nonrecyclable petro-chemical based plastic and synthetic fibers. One of these plastics is polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is a carcinogen that releases harmful toxins in its creation and breakdown. Opt for an eco-friendly costume made of natural materials.

4- Create your own Green Halloween decorations. Make creepy ghosts by stuffing old bed sheets with leaves, newspaper or other filling then tie with a string to form a head and hang from your trees. Or, instead of buying synthetic spiderwebs that you’ll throw away after the holiday, make your own with shredded black pantyhose or cotton balls.

5- Know what’s in your Halloween face paint. Campaign for Safe Cosmetics sent 10 kid’s make-up sets to a lab and found all 10 contained lead, as well as nickel cobalt and chromium. These products aren’t listed on product labels. Look for organic non-toxic face paints that comply with Campaign for Safe Cosmetics standards.

6- Buy locally grown pumpkins. Sure, those plastic pumpkins can last for years as long as you remember to use them every year instead of throwing them out and buying new plastic ones. You can also make delicious treats from the large pumpkins buy, such as pumpkin seeds, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin pie.

7- Swap costumes. Costumes swapping is an easy way to reduce your waste on costumes that your child will likely outgrow next year. Find friends or family members who are willing to exchange costumes with you.

8- If you’re having a Halloween party, consider all the environmental impact. Follow the steps above as guidelines and help your guest be more environmentally friendly too.

9- Keep sweets at a minimum. It’s good for your health and the health of our planet too!

10- Remember to reuse and upcycle anything leftover from Halloween. Upcycling is a fun and creative way to reduce your waste.

So this Halloween, don’t let extra plastics and waste scare you from having a fun and safe Halloween. Use and buy consciously and enjoy!

*photos and content credits given to deliciousliving magazine.

 

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm