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Green Your Halloween


Refried Greens – with a few fresh tweaks, here’s a post we’ve resurrected from our bed of Rose archives for all you aspiring witches and howlin’ wolves…

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As we say here at altCon, Happy Hallowgreen!  It’s that scary time of year. The pumpkins are out, the candy is everywhere you turn and you’re constantly trying to answer that same old question: “What are you going to be for Halloween?” October 31st is notoriously wasteful: individually wrapped candies, one-time-use costumes, lights on all night, not to mention all that wasted toilet paper and eggs. It doesn’t have to be all waste and gluttony though, with a few simple tips you can have a body- and planet-friendly Halloween without sacrificing any of the ghoulish fun.

Door to Door Tricks & Treats

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  • Rather than giving out individually wrapped candies, dole out little treasures instead. Kids get a kick out of polished rocks, seashells, pencils, erasers etc.
  • Okay – if you’re afraid the kids might egg your house for not giving candy, consider Fair Trade chocolate such as Endangered Species chocolates – (specially sized and priced for Halloween) or check out this wide array of organic halloween candy.
  • Make sure your kids use pillow cases or reusable bags when they trick-or-treat, rather than plastic pumpkins.  Want to get creative without sewing?  Cheap & Easy Make Your Own Treat Bags.  Or order these adorable Felt Treat bags from Etsy.
  • Give kids shakeable LED flashlights, they’re fun, the LED’s last for years and they keep batteries out of the earth!
  • Remind everyone not to litter – wrappers are easily dropped in the frenzy of candy consumption.
  • This might be a hard sell, but Global Exchange’s Reverse Trick-or-Treating campaign is a great way to teach your neighborhood about sustainability.

Costumes and Decorations

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  • Don’t slather on face paint unless it’s made of body-friendly ingredients. Pick up some non-toxic face paint instead.
  • Don’t buy stuff that can’t be used after Nov. 1st. Look for things you can reuse and recycle, rather than things you’ll just have to throw away. (more…)
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Genetically Modified Super-sized Salmon nears US Approval


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I was in my Environmental Biology lecture today and my professor was discussing genetic engineering.  One of the examples he mentioned was the super-sized genetically modified salmon that Aquabounty, a biotech company, has introduced to the market.  This salmon is able to reach market weight in half the time and with less food than naturally spawned farm salmon!  Imagine the aquacultures going crazy with huge salmon as supply of AquAdvantage salmon shoot through the roof.  Amazing, right?

Where’s the BUT?  Personally, I don’t know how I feel about eating salmon that has been “genetically modified.”  Media, biology classes, and the internet keep spamming my brain with caution when it comes to eating things with unnatural growth hormones. (more…)

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“Three Free” Non-Toxic Nail Polish & Remover


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If you love getting manis and pedis like me, it is crucial to know what kind of chemicals are inside your nail polish.  Most nail polishes contain Toluene, Formaldehyde, and DPBs (Dibutyl Phthalates), all of which are carcinogens.  “Three Free” means a nail polish contains none of those three chemicals and is a more sustainable (yet not completely natural) alternative.

Priti NYC offers a large variety of nail colors that are Three Free, non-toxic and void of petroleum, (more…)

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Grasshopper solar powered hybrid toy car


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Start your youngster thinking about renewable energy at a young age.  This educational toy car runs without batteries.  Take it outside and it charges via its little on-board solar panel.  When it runs out of solar juice your wee one can power it with its wind-up power generator.  Comes as an easy-to-assemble DIY kit for another learning and bonding opportunity.  You can find it @ bynature.co.uk

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eco news roundup


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