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Archive for the ‘going green’ Category

I’ll be making the kids’ Halloween costumes this weekend and thought I would share what I’m doing.

Eden is a princess or a ballerina or whatever pretty little being wears a tutu. I am making it out of tulle from a tutu I wore when I danced as a teenager. Yes, awkward Stephenie danced and it was probably hilarious. I had fun and that’s what really matters, right? So I am repurposing my old tutu and making it into one for my sweet Eden. I am making it with a Ribbon waistband in hopes that it lasts awhile because I am sure that as soon as she is old enough to get it, she will want to twirl around in it!

Here’s the video for the tutorial I am using.

Keagan’s costume, I am making up as I go. He’s going to be a doggie. I am going to sew some felt spots and ears on to a hooded sweat shirt from the thrift shop. If I am feeling super lazy, I may just use iron on adhesive or fabric glue. I may just be that lazy because I am not all that into Halloween and have both in my craft closet.

I’ll post photos when I have our costumes all finished and on my very cute models. 🙂

We’ll be attending a “Green Halloween” event with the Holistic Moms Network a few days before Halloween. It should be a lot of fun!

As for the big day itself, we’ll take them Trick-or-Treating, but the sad part is that even if we wanted to let Keagan fill up on sugary treats, he just can’t. When you combine several allergies with probable hypoglycemia, Halloween is not as fun. So we’ll go, and he can get all the candy he wants in his bag, but then we’re “giving it to the faeries” whom Keagan believes live in our yard. Faeries, you see, live off chocolate and other sugary treats. In return, they will give Keagan a few small gifts and some dried fruit or home baked cookies or something of the like. I think this will work out. I hope so anyway. As the candy the faeries collect, I think we’ll give it to the homeless in our city. Everyone loves chocolate right?

We’re also taking them to a local pumpkin patch that sells organic heirloom pumpkins. Well it’s almost local, in the town my parents live in and we’re there all the time. I think the kids should have a blast. Okay, Keagan will. Eden likes being outside. Keagan is pumpkin obsessed! He loves them. So picking one should be a lot of fun, plus there’s a petting zoo, corn maze and other activities as well.

What fall/ harvest/ Halloween plans does everyone else have? I’d love to think of some activities to celebrate the change in season with the kids. We don’t have enough family traditions, so can we steal yours? 🙂

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This is something I have been circling around for awhile, but didn’t really know how to express. Then, I came across the phase “green consumerism” and it helped me to be able to articulate something that’s been on my mind for quite some time.

I’ll preface this by saying I know I am not like most people. And I am okay with that, we each choose our own path (or is it chosen for us… oh that’s another topic in itself!) My family and I purchase very few new items. This is for a lot of reasons. We refuse to support evil cooperations who enslave and abuse children in order to make their products. Please don’t try and tell me that it’s not happening. It is. Make whatever excuses you have for buying products that aren’t “fair trade,” but when it’s said and done, disgusting things are almost certainly done to end in the result of your cheap t-shirt. (And your expensive one…)

The next reason we don’t buy new is a selfish one. It saves money.

The third, very important reason we buy used is because so much of the “stuff” we use goes to landfills. It’s heartbreaking and disgusting. So we buy perfectly good clothing, toys, shoes, books and many other items from thrift stores. And when we no longer have use for an item, we find it a home other than the landfill. Why waste the Earth’s resources like that?

Now onto the recent push for the green movement. It’s great in a lot of ways. But there is another side.

We came into the possession of an item that I think puts it all into perspective. (Hand me down from a friend) It’s a toy recycling truck that came with a child’s meal at a fast food restaurant. A piece of plastic that is meant to be forgotten, thrown away and replaced with the next toy McWendy King puts out. A RECYCLING truck. The toy seriously made me sick to look at.I hope I am not the only person who sees this irony. (It went to Goodwill, where hopefully someone is less bothered by it and it will find a home)

The Green Movement is everywhere. Happy Meals included. But buying that Happy Meal was no less wasteful than buying any other Happy Meal. Nor is buying a new organic cotton t-shirt when you don’t really need a new shirt. It still had to be produced, probably overseas and shipped to your retailer. So when you decide that you need new “green” clothes to replace your old, perfectly good clothes, you are still negatively effecting the environment. When you walk into Target and see little trinkets in the $1 section that say “Going Green” or “Save the Earth” on the front and “Made in China” on the back, you are negatively effecting the environment.

All of this going green buzz has created a new kind of consumer. The green consumer. The green consumer either wants to feel better about their need to consume, so they buy green now, or they are missing the point.

We don’t need all this stuff, people. We don’t need Green Happy Meals. In fact, we don’t need unhealthy meals with too much packaging and cheap plastic prizes at all. We don’t need 20 organic cotton t-shirts when we have a closet full of regular cotton t-shirts at home. We have forgotten what it is to need in America. I am not saying you should never buy new. But take the time to think about if you really need something before you purchase it. Food included. Just because your tropical fruit you enjoy over the winter is organic does not mean it didn’t require a lot of shipping. Local foods are the best when possible.

Buying a product just because it’s “Green” is not always the “Earth Friendly” thing to do.

I just don’t think the consumer driven lifestyle and the green lifestyle really mesh. It’s hard to let go of that “must shop” attitude. It is engrained in us all. It’s taught to us at every angle from a young age. TV, magazines, role models, school… it’s everywhere. What did President Bush tell Americans we should do after 911? Shop. What?!! It’s everywhere. And it’s not an easy attitude to lose.

And some things are good purchases. Reusable shopping bags, (better yet, make your own out of those clothes you don’t want to wear any more…but I digress) water filters, chemical free cleaning products, reusable food and water containers. If you can’t find it used, buy it new because it is the wiser choice.

So when you have to buy new, buy green. But please, don’t buy “green” products for the sake of shopping. It will only end in the landfills and cooperate pockets simultaneously filling.

I am probably going to make all sorts of people mad with this post, but please just think about it. And I am not saying I never slip and do anything I shouldn’t – because I do! It’s just a perspective to consider.

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So we cloth diaper about 50% of the time. I want to do it all the time, but sometimes the disposables are so darn tempting. We’ve been on a really bad sposie kick – I was so busy getting ready for Christmas, we’ve had a ton of snow and I feared power outages(and this the inablity to wash the cloth) and I just haven’t been motivated.

Well today, I got my motivation.

Keagan somehow tore his diaper. I didn’t notice for a few minutes. The living room got covered in those gross crystal things that fill disposable diapers. It was a gross, messy reminder of why we got into cloth to start with. Disposables are nasty!

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The brain is complicated and even after a visit to his neurologist, we don’t have a lot of answers. He has to have an EEG next Wed. I guess his last one had some abnormalities in it that were not brought up to me because we were not able to go to the follow up appointment last April. We were without insurance for a bit and that happened in that time frame. Anyway, he has to have this EEG and if he has another seizure (febrile or not) he will probably have to go on a daily anti-seizure medication. Poor kiddo. Keep him in your prayers.

In other news, I found him an easel with a chalkboard today at Goodwill for Christmas. Yay. Now I just want to find him a used kiddy table and chairs and I think we will be done with his Christmas shopping. We only do three gifts. I bought him this giant stuffed dog awhile back, but he has seen it on accident a few times. I can not decide if I should just give it to him now and get another gift or keep that as his gift. If I do give it to him now, I want to make some Montessori inspired learning toys. I think he’d like a memory game.

We’re giving gifts that are handmade, used or purchased from a local artisan this year. We don’t want to support commercialism this year. So far we’re doing well. I am having a hard time trying to figure out the men in my life. They all will get a bottle of “Dirty Boy Shampoo.” I found the “recipe” for it in “How it All Vegan.” But other than that, I am stumped. Women and kids are much easier 🙂

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check out
http://storyofstuff. com

It’s 20 minutes, but it’s worth it. I never realized the extent of the wastefulness of America until I watched this. I am in awe. It really makes me think about what I should be doing on my own without comercial influences and it makes me want to figure out ways around the system as much as I can. I don’t want to be part of that problem.

It seems sad to me that while Americans are convinced that we need so much stuff that both parents in most families are forced to work so that they can keep up with all this “stuff,” somewhere across the world, someone else is paying for the pile of crap I don’t need in my garage.

I am to tired to get into it any better than that right now.

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