Posts Tagged ‘Halloween’

Simple Green Ideas

It’s close to Halloween…

Who doesn’t have some of these in the house?

Empty jars

Empty jars

Or some of these cluttering up a corner?

emptywinebottlesTry something new this year.


Jar lanterns


Bottle pumpkins

Both images from Pintrest.

Or string some little lamps in old milk or juice containers…

Plastic lanterns

Plastic lanterns

Or… if you don’t like my ideas, have a look at StyleMotivation for some more simple decorating ideas

Mean Green Halloween

I hope you all have a Mean Green Halloween

Click the image for green Halloween tips

Click the image for green Halloween tips


Click the image for more green Halloween tips

Click the image for more green Halloween tips


Check this out for Halloween’s Environmental Footprint


Click the image for more Mean Green Halloween ideas

Click the image for more Mean Green Halloween ideas


Have a Happy Hallowgreen!

Click on the image to make your Hallogreen

Click on the image to make your Hallowgreen



Change the World Wednesday – 31st Oct

It’s Halloween tonight.

Happy Halloween!

Not that it bothers me, I don’t do Halloween and it’s not that popular in Brazil, some places have Halloween Parties.

I hope you all recycled your pumpkin guts… oh, I love that expression.

Nice to have Small Footprints back; it seemed strange without the weekly CTWW.

My posting has been a bit irregular over the past three weeks. Haven’t been 100%, but that is over now.

I couldn’t find anything to ‘moan’ about on Monday, Tuesday I did the things I was supposed to do on Monday, and this morning I am running late because of a visit to the dentist. I had a wobbly front tooth removed (ouch! I am such a coward at the dentist) and fitted with a partial plate. But the joy is I can bite without wincing when I forget the ‘tooth.’

This weeks CTWW, is a difficult one for me, but I guess I win again.

It’s all about preparing for the holidays. I assume it refers to Thanksgiving (which we don’t have) and then Christmas.

This week consider the upcoming holidays and suggest Eco-friendly, Waste-free gifts, gift wrap and decorations. These might include handmade gifts, recycled materials for gift wrap and natural decorations. The idea is to come up with a list of ideas to help everyone have a “green” holiday.


Or …

If you don’t celebrate the holidays or would simply prefer to do something different, then your challenge is to suggest ways in which we might help those around us. This might include giving the gift of food to someone who needs help or donating to an organization which provides meals to families in need. It could also include helping a neighbor with recycling, composting or starting a garden … or giving your time to someone who could use a “listening ear”. The idea here is to come up with a list which will help us give in an Eco-friendly, meaningful way.

I’m a contracted teacher, I don’t have holidays, I don’t do Christmas, I just keep working. So I have to look at the second part of the challenge.

Each year I buy more than a half dozen panetones (Latin American Christmas cakes) and give them to some of the kids who frequent our little praça (park). Many of them come from poorer families that don’t have enough money to buy such luxuries; Dad has enough money for beer, so the kids miss out.

They come in a Christmassy box with a Christmassy wrapping and ususally cost around R$8 (USD4) for good ones. There are cheaper, there are more expensive, but the cheaper ones are a case of you get (or don’t) what you paid for, and I don’t have the money to splash around unnecessarily for more expensive ones.

Also at Christmas I don a Father Christmas hat (recycled for four years) and a red T-shirt and dish out sweets (candy) at the bar to passing kids. I have the white beard, I have the paunch, most of the kids call me Papai Noel (Father Christmas in Portuguese) anyway, so why not play the part for one day of the year. Many of the local parents bring their kids along for photos, so it’s all a bit of fun. There is also the litter side, any kid who drops his candy wrapper on the ground, gets the message from Papai Noel.

So this Christmas shouldn’t be any different from past Christmases.

Change the World Wednesday – 12th Oct

I love Snoopy

Last week’s challenge was about Hallowe’en and greening it up. I loved the many ideas that I read through the week from comments and blogs that I visited.

As I said, we don’t have Hallowe’en here in Brazil, officially. One of the ideas I liked most was ignoring the commercial trick or treating version and get back to grass roots, the original idea of Samhain. The world needs this more and more in these times of crisis.

Remembering those who have gone. Image credit:

Here in Brazil, we have Finados (2 Nov), which is pretty much the same as the other Latin American countries with the Dia de los Muertos (1 & 2 Nov), a time when the departed are remembered.

Up the Ante:

So, I am going to up the ante! Late, I know. But, apart from your pumpkin (because many people don’t have the conditions to grow their own) – Don’t buy anything that is used only once for Hallowe’en! Make, or use what you have. That means no costumes, no sweets, no plasticky gimmicky things, nothing that is bought specifically for Hallowe’en. Things like candles, okay, they are used in emergencies the year round; food items, okay; if your little witches want to fly around on a broom, cool, buy one, they can use it the rest of the year to keep their room clean (saves electricity).

This week’s challenge is:

This week, replace at least one incandescent bulb in your home with either a CFL or LED bulb.

OR …
If you accomplished this challenge when we first ran it in July of 2009 (or before) … or if you felt, at that time, that you couldn’t participate … we’d like to know how it’s gone since then. Are you using Eco-friendly bulbs … why or why not? Do you prefer CFLs or LEDs … and why? If you’re using Eco-friendly bulbs, have you noticed a decrease in your electric bill? Do you recycle bulbs … if so, where? We’d like to know where you’re at now in regards to light bulbs.

Damn ugly looking things

I can only accuse Small Footprints for looking over my shoulder at the supermarket last Friday when I was studying eco-friendly CFLly light-bulbs. Yes, despite all that I have written about and against them, I was looking, prices and wattages.

I have only five light bulbs in the house. All are incandescent, all are 60 watt. In the nearly three years I have been in this house I have replaced four of them (having said that, Murphy dictates that the bathroom one will blow within days).

I will buy one this week and replace the lounge one, and as each one needs replacing, I will succumb to the dictates of being ‘green’ and buy another one. Just out of curiosity to see how they go and if they do make a difference in the power bill.

I still think they are ugly!


Read Rather Frightening for my recanting of this decision.

Change the World Wednesday 5th Oct

Artfully grotesque

Everything is happening today. Pay day, CTWW, day off, supermarket day, pay bills day so it’s going to be full on. All this takes a whole day, mainly because of the 45km (30 mile) trip to Barra and then back again. But I will console myself with a leisurely sushi lunch while there, so all is not lost.

It’s Hallowe’en month. Here in Brazil we don’t do Hallowe’en, neither did we in New Zealand when I was a kid. I actually had my first taste of this event in Peru when I lived there, the Peruvians have taken to it a little.

That’s what Change the World Wednesday is all about this week, Hallowe’en:

Halloween is coming up so … this week consider the environmental impact of the treats we give out and offer suggestions for better alternatives. Let’s expand on Jen’s idea and include parties, costumes, etc.
OR …
If you don’t celebrate Halloween, please offer us some ideas for Eco-friendly snacks and entertaining.


Pumpkin guts

I am going to address the green bit and the purple bit, even though I don’t do Hallowe’en. Do you do a pumpkin for Hallowe’en? Is it as artfully grotesque as the one above or a little simpler? When your pumpkin has met its demise, you are left with ‘pumpkin guts’

So what do you do with pumpkin guts?

Don’t try to put them down the disposal, the fibres are strong and will clog it; you could throw them on the compost heap and be prepared for pumpkin vines growing everywhere, or you could do this:

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:


Crunchy roast pumpkin seed

1. Rinse pumpkin seeds under cold water and pick out the pulp and strings. This is easiest just after you’ve removed the seeds from the pumpkin, before the pulp has dried.

2. Place the pumpkin seeds in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet, stirring to coat.

3. Sprinkle with salt (or try cayenne pepper or garlic salt) and bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit until toasted, about 25 minutes. Check and stir after 10 minutes.

4. Let cool and store in an air-tight container.

Think green!

Remember, pumpkins are food for us and animals. Try to limit your pumpkin to one Jack o’ Lantern per house. The aftermath of Hallowe’en sees millions of pumpkins thrown in the garbage or compost, while they rot and make nice compost, it is an incredible waste.

Green Trick or Treat!

Food colouring

Yes, no Hallowe’en is complete without it. But all that candy, all that colouring, you know that food colouring is one of the biggest enemies we have in our diets of our kids, right. Try to find eco or natural candy, it’s out there if you look. Or make your own, do some googling for some ideas and recipes. Make your own glacé (crystal) fruit pieces (candied fruit). Oh, sound too hard? Google it, you’ll be surprised at how simple it is.

Use recyclable bags (paper sacks), try to avoid individually wrapped candies.

Green Decorations

Going batty

Get some black card,  cut out various size bats, make little yellow eyes, stick them on the front of the house, windows, around the front door or make a mobile to hand from the ceiling. Get the kids to do it, sure theyll make a mess and have a ball.

Use autumn (fall) leaves as a base for other decorations and ideas.

There are so many simple ideas that you can use, even a dead branch can look spooky if places strategically.

Candy sacks

The imagination needs to work overtime. How long does it take to cut a few paper sacks to make things a little more presentable.

Bloody hand prints on the door, but make sure it’s washable, you don’t want the new neighbours to be wary the year round.

That’s it from me, have a great CTWW and a terrific Green Hallowe’en.


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