Archives for October 2010

Any Eco-friendly Halloween Decor Ideas?

How do we gear up for Halloween here at the Green Baby Guide? Normally we just stick a baby in a pumpkin and leave it at that. (See my niece sporting her compostable pumpkin diaper below.)

Do you have any green Halloween decorating tips and tricks? Let us know!

Katherine Heigl loves BornFree bottles . . . and so do we (Giveaway!)

You may be surprised to hear that we at the Green Baby Guide have a lot in common with the actress Katherine Heigl. You know her for her stint as a doctor on Gray’s Anatomy and her numerous film roles. She is a glamorous movie star, and we are glamorous authors of The Eco-nomical Baby Guide. You can see how we feel a special kinship to her. This bond was reinforced when we learned that she is a green mom, too! Check out this picture of her along with her husband and daughter, Naleigh:

Note that Naleigh is drinking from a BornFree bottle. BornFree offers a BPA-free plastic bottle that is safe for your baby and better for the environment, as it is recyclable. (Check out their recycling facts for more information.)

Embracing Green Fallibility as a New Parent

We are all perfect before our babies arrive. We do the newborn rearing research and survey our fellow moms. Before the shock of sleep loss, before the hormones surge, and before the poopy diapers pile up, we have it all figured out.

If you read our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: Down-to-Earth Ways for Parents to Save Money and the Planet, you know that we try to prepare you with our humble input, but also assure you that progress is far more important than perfection. We are so hard on ourselves as new parents when exhaustion seems to exacerbate our insecurities.  (Example of ridiculous self-judement:  I once cut my baby’s finger instead of his nail.  A full teaspoon of crimson blood leaked out of his tiny wound. I wept heartily and earnestly questioned my ability to parent.  No joke.)

The Easiest Halloween Craft in the World: A DIY Paper Jack-o-Lantern

1. Cut a pumpkin out of orange paper. (Go directly to How to Make a Paper Jack-o-Lantern if this step seems too daunting!)

2. Have your child draw a face on the pumpkin.

For more advanced Halloween crafts, check out some of our vintage posts:

How to Make a Paper Spider in Its Web (I’ll have a new version of this coming up soon!)
How to Make a Cardboard School Bus Costume out of a Wagon
How to Make Your Own Compostable Diaper out of a Pumpkin
How to Make a Paper Jack-o-Lantern

Green Halloween’s National Costume Swap Day: A Hand-Me-Down Costume Tradition

Imagine inheriting gently used Halloween costumes for your children every year.  No shopping, no sewing, and no innovating with tinfoil and cardboard boxes.  That was the vision of the people over at Green Halloween, a fabulous little site packed with all sorts of eco-friendly resources for your celebration this year.  They came up with National Costume Swap Day, a free event where people can bring their old Halloween costumes and swap them for new ones without paying a dime.  Since the official date is October 9, 2010, you probably missed the local Halloween costume swap in your area this year, but you will still be able to participate in the online Halloween costume swap for a few more weeks.


What are your favorite zucchini recipes?

It’s October—and now my garden has decided to go crazy with zucchini? I have just one zucchini plant, but I’ve been harvesting one to three zucchini a day for the past few days. What are your favorite zucchini recipes? Have you had success grating and freezing summer squash? (And then how do you make use of your frozen zucchini during the year?)

To make this post somewhat more relevant to the Green Baby Guide, I will share my tip for turning zucchini into baby food: simply grate it and cook it up with ground-up oats or some other baby cereal. My daughter loved this as a baby. Unfortunately her love of vegetables has turned to hate over the years . . . but that’s another post for another day.

Eco-friendly Halloween Baby Gear, Diapers, and Accoutrements

Everyone in the green parenting community has been wondering how to dress and accessorize those babies this October. You will be thrilled to know that I have found the latest and greatest in Halloween baby gear:

Bummis Tots Bots Easy Fit Pocket Diaper, Orange (8-35 pounds) $23.95

Blueberry Minky One Size Pocket Diapers, Black $24.99

gDiapers Great Value Diaper Covers Bundle, Orange/ Vanilla $89.99

Bella Infant 100% Cotton 5.8 oz T-Shirt $5.99

Yellow Label Kids Halloween Treat Bag – Eco Friendly Cloth Loot Bag – Orange With Black Pumpkin $5.99 (ethically made!)

Happy accessorizing!

Low-Cost Green Crib Mattress Options: The Sealy Naturalis Crib Mattress Update

Last week we reviewed the Sealy Naturalis crib mattress with organic cotton but somehow accidentally merged it with the  Sealy Soybean Foam-Core crib mattress.  After some thoughtful readers clarified our error, we emailed the company to get more information and are now back to you with the answers.

The Sealy Soybean foam core crib mattress (from $131) doesn’t claim to be organic in any way, but does use soybeans in the mattress core.  You’ll save 32% at Amazon on this mattress, which adds up to nearly sixty bucks!  Since the soybeans only contribute partially to the foam, it isn’t a perfectly green solution but it is trying to utilize a renewable resource instead of depending on crude oil for a completely polyurethane mattress.  The cover is vinyl but is tested for phthalates, lead and other chemicals.

Organic and Eco-friendly Halloween Treats

My search for organic or otherwise “green” Halloween treats did not get me far. Everything I found seemed to cost much more than your $2.50 bag of candy dripping in corn syrup. And, to make matters worse, some of organic candy I found came with too much plastic packaging. Still, there are a few options out there if you want a break from the regular Halloween fare:

YummyEarth Organic Lollipops, Assorted Flavors, 5-Pound Bag $26.92

EnviroKidz Organic Crispy Rice Bars Peanut Choco Drizzle Treat Size, 9-Ounce Packages (Pack of 12) $55.29

This is a gluten-free Halloween treat

Tasty Brand Organic Fruit Snacks, Mixed Fruit Flavors, 2.75-Ounce Bags (Pack of 12) $27.38

Family Themed Halloween Costume Ideas

If it seems far too difficult to come up with individual costumes for everyone this year, why not just choose a Halloween costume family theme? You can buy your Halloween gear at a thrift store or maybe even use the contents of your closet to create Halloween costumes. And why not involve grandparents and cousins as well? You can form a huge matching trick-or-treating team!

Band of 1960’s hippies: This works well for the green and groovy among us. Dress your family up in fringy vests, headbands, and tall boots. Throw in a few peace sign accessories and you’ll be set!