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Archive for the ‘Frugal ideas’ Category

A Wicked Good Read

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

As school is back in session, there are a lot more reading assignments to do. Your little scholar might have to trudge through a few different novels, textbooks, and workbooks. It’s tough stuff! What better way to help them through it than by having a little book-themed fun with a Halloween twist? These scary origami bookmarks are a roar! You can make a whole family of paper creatures. Use scrap paper, old newspapers, or magazines to make this more eco-friendly

Find the instruction here at the blog CT Baker in the Acres. She gives great pictures of the step-by-step process.

Check out this list of inspiring “green reads.” However, The Secret Garden will always be the book that inspired by love of nature.

So this weekend, dig through some scrap paper, fold up a new friend, and plop down with some of that school reading.

For more creepy crafts  follow us on Facebook at or Twitter @greenhalloween

One Cozy Owl

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

So it seems like a gust of cold air blew through the neighborhood this evening. The temperature is well below 60°. It’s quite a shock after weeks sweating in the 90° heat. Of course, October 31st will likely be chilly and it’s important to be prepared.

This costume, which comes from Fiskars designer Lisa Storms, is a great solution. The costume uses a long-sleeve shirt, but a sweatshirt could easily be substituted. You can also sewing scraps from around the house.

So, grab that old stained shirt and get started!

This owl costume is simply a brown shirt with rows of fabric ovals sewn beginning at the bottom. Trace the ovals and cut them out. Then sew the pieces on with a needle and thread. Fabric glue or safety pins will also get the job done.

For the hat:

Turn a knit cap inside out. Cut off a semi-circle from the top, then sew the large remaining hat piece back together. Circles and a triangle glued to the hat complete the cute face.

Viola! An owl with a cheap and eco-friendly coat of feathers.

I would say, now we might finally know how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, but this is Green Halloween! Give your owl Yummy Earth Lollipops instead!

For more ways to stay warm this Halloween follow us on Facebook at or Twitter @greenhalloween



Carton Castle

Saturday, September 14th, 2013

Happy Saturday!

Hopefully you and your little rascals have room for some playtime today (and you have time to do some errands). Here’s a great weekend afternoon activity – a milk carton haunted house!  The great thing about this project is that your structure can be any style you desire. Architecture nerds, go crazy! I am hoping to make a Hogwarts inspired castle. You can also incorporate toy cars, LEGOs, or other figurines.

You’ll need:

- Empty cardboard milk cartons
- Newspaper, origami paper, or pages from a novel
- Card stock or watercolor paper
- Pens and paint of your choice
- Glue stick
- Craft glue
- Candy


- Thoroughly rinse and dry milk cartons.
- Completely cover cartons in paper.
- Draw windows and doors onto card stock and paint. Cut them out and attach to the front of the milk cartons.
- Fill cartons with candy.
- Use craft glue to seal containers closed.

Send us pictures of your haunted mansion! We would love to see these rad pads. Get in touch at

For more craft ideas follow us on facebook at or Twitter @greenhalloween

This activity comes from the blog Little Lovely. Thanks for the idea!

Last Minute Green Halloween Costumes for Guys

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

by Corey

Yup. I know these guys. The one in the “This is what AWESOME looks like” t-shirt is my brother, Chris (dad, teacher-by-day, ACDC-cover-band-rock-star by night). The bathing beauty is my dear husband, Ryan. Like many dads (and moms, to be fair!), they hadn’t thought twice about their Halloween costumes until their kids we’re hanging all over their legs,  one hour before the Halloween party began, begging to see their costumes.

“Uh-oh,” Ryan whispered to me. “What am I going to be?”

We quickly scanned the room, his eyes settled on my old robe. “Gimme that. And that,” he said pointing to my blue shower cap.

He threw the get-up on (yes, with shorts underneath!) and there it was, his Halloween costume.

Chris’ kids apparently helped him throw his costume together too. (Although he swears he’s not actually wearing one. “What? You don’t think I wear this everyday?”) Still, the costume works.

So, green guys – even if you too have less than an hour, and not a dollar to spend, you can still hold your head up high with these last-minute (green) Halloween costumes (for guys):

  • Young Republican: Oxford shirt, khakis, blue and red tie, loafers, hair parted on the side.
  • Plumber: Saggy pants, work boots,  old-white t-shirt (one size too small), baseball cap, tool-belt, toolbox
  • Olympic swimmer: Speedos, kids’ swimming medal around the neck
  • Mommy“: Wear Mommy’s clothes
  • Greek God: White sheet wrapped into a toga (Yes! Wear shorts!), cut ivy down from your tree outside and form into a wreath

Get the kids in on the fun and invite them to dress Dad for Halloween. They may (or may not) come up with a killer costume, but the process is sure to bring on the giggles (and the good memories too).

Have fab and funny costume ideas for your last-minute, eco-friendly man? Do tell!


Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are mother and daughter and authors of  Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family, and founders of Green Halloween®.

2012 Green Halloween Blogfest!

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

2012 Green Halloween® Blogfest

Halloween is fast approaching, and we here at Green America are doing our best to support a Green Halloween® – one that is healthy for you, your families, and our planet. Since we know that you care about kids, families and the planet, we’d like to invite you to participate in our Green Halloween® Blogfest that will be taking place from Wednesday October 24th to October 31st. We hope that our invitation inspires you to share your own ideas about having a Halloween that is both fun and healthy.

For this BlogFest we would like to put a spotlight on the health concerns that have grown around traditional treats that are handed out on Halloween. Halloween is big on fun, but unfortunately, it is also big on unhealthy traditions. Many moms and dads worry about the impact of this holiday on the health of their kids and the planet. There is growing awareness and concern for the connections between children with diabetes, food allergies, and obesity and the presence of processed ingredients, hidden sugars, synthetic chemicals, and artificial colors in our food system.

On the flipside of this, it is easier than ever to find helpful information and make healthy choices. Green Halloween proudly advocates for this and supports a Halloween that is easy, affordable, fun and oh yes, healthy. Green Halloween encourages families to give out healthier treats and non-food “treasures” to trick-or-treaters, and luckily, there are now many awesome options available this Halloween. Green Halloween itself has partnered with these great organizations, whose missions support the Green Halloween goals of showing families that it is possible to keep the fun, while losing the unhealthy, un-Earth-friendly traditions.

We hope that you will join us and share your ideas on what a healthy Halloween means to you. Share with us your thoughts and tips on:

  • How do you make Halloween healthier?
  • Why is it important to think about health when celebrating Halloween?
  • What the challenges are to making Halloween healthier and more Earth-friendly?
  • What are your favorite ways to “Think outside the {conventional} candy box” and provide alternatives to traditional candy? Do you do treasures, have traditions like the “Switch-Witch”, or provide healthy alternatives?
  • Your tips for managing the amount of the junk candy your children consume at Halloween?
  • How has your environmental ethic or interest in health framed your celebration of Halloween?

It’s not about telling parents how they should celebrate – it’s about inspiring them to make choices that make sense to their families, their budgets and their schedules. And when many families make healthier and more sustainable choices for Halloween – taking even the smallest of steps – big impacts can be made for the short and long term.

Please join us in celebrating a Green Halloween.

To participate you can:

  • Write your own post based on our questions. You are more than welcome to use as a resource, clicking on the tags at the bottom of this post are a great place
    to start. We also recommend clicking on the links to our sponsors below as well. They perfectly exemplify what we are all about at Green Halloween and are a great inspiration.
  • Update a past blog post that you have written that fits with this topic. (Now is a great time to remind people about your work and bring a new audience in on your tips and ideas)
  • We can provide you with an original Green Halloween post for you to repost as is, or personalize yourself. (Just contact for this)

Other Instructions

  • Post a link to your blog post in the comments below, so we can read it and promote it.
  • Green Halloween(R) is a registered trademark, so the first time it is mentioned in your post, please be sure to include the registration mark
  • If you are on Twitter, share your post on there. Please include the Hashtag, #GreenHalloween
  • Your Blogfest entry should mention that is a part of the 2012 Green Halloween® Blogfest, and link back to this original signup post so that people reading your post can find our other entries.
  • We encourage you to check out each other’s blogs, comment, and provide feedback.
  • Don’t be shy, any entry, no matter how big or small, is welcome to be a part of this.
  • Have fun, write about what you believe, and read the work of others with similar interests.
  • Connect to Green Halloween on Facebook and Twitter
  • And please feel free to pass this on to other bloggers you think might be interested.

What’s in it for you?

  • We will have a page on GreenHalloween.Org with links to all participating blogs
  • We’ll do our best  to support your post with Tweets and via Facebook, and of course you’re welcome to post on our Green Halloween Facebook page
  • If we receive media calls from anyone interested in hearing from bloggers, your name and blog will be added to the list (if you choose)
  • Grow your profile, increase your network, and share your work with a new audience
  • You’ll feel great having supported this effort to make a difference for parents and planet!

Any questions, requests for posts/photos/resources, or support are more than welcome. We are here to help! The best way to ask questions is:

Lastly, We’d like to extend an invitation for you to join us for a #GreenHalloween Twitter Party on October 22 from 9-10pm EST. There will be plenty of inspirational ideas for those of you having trouble getting started on your post!

Green Halloween is a non-profit, grassroots community initiative to create healthier and more Earth-friendly holidays, starting with Halloween. It began in the Seattle area in 2007 with backers such as Whole Foods Market and was such a huge success that in 2008, the initiative expanded nation-wide. In cities across the country, volunteer coordinators are turning their city’s Halloween holiday
healthy and eco-friendly, but many are also raising money for their own, local nonprofit beneficiaries via the initiative. Green Halloween, as of 2012, is a program of Green America. Green Halloween is possible because of their partnerships with Honest Tea®, Lara Bar®, Stretch Island Fruit Co.TM, Endangered Species Chocolate, Plum Kids, UnrealTM, Applegate® , Cascadian Farm®, Surf Sweets®, Bitsy’s Brain FoodTMBrainard’s Natural Remedies®, and Glee GumTM.

Green America is a not-for-profit membership organization founded in 1982. Our mission is to harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace— to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. We work for a world where all people have enough, where all communities are healthy and safe, and where the bounty of the Earth is preserved for all the generations to come.