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Green Halloween Costumes

When we were kids, my sister and I had some of the most original costumes on the block. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, but that didn’t stop our parents from creating some truly awesome Halloween costumes. A big part of the costume process, was finding items from around the house and incorporating them into the costume. Coming up with costume ideas and then being able to participate in the making of those costumes was a ton of fun, and a creative way to spend a little family time together. If you happen to be interested in having some fun creating green Halloween costumes with your kids this year, check out this article from Seventh Generation, which has a few ideas for costumes made from recycled materials.



A Green Halloween: Kids Costumes from Recycled Materials

From fall foliage to pumpkin picking, October is always an exciting month. With all of that fun, the days seem to pass by a little too quickly, and next thing you know, Halloween night is right around the corner! We’ve found some easy, adorable costume ideas made from recycled materials that are sure to have your little ones be the talk of the neighborhood.

DIY Rocket Power Jetpack

Natalie of Doodle Craft shares a simple jetpack accessory, made by recycling 2 two-liter bottles. Needing only 20 minutes to put together, this costume couldn’t be any easier. Get ready for takeoff!

WALL-E Made of Cardboard

Created out of recycled boxes and paint, this tutorial features step-by-step instructions with photos, creating a WALL-E version that may me more adorable than the original. No empty boxes around? This dad found his supplies out behind his office.

Homemade Snail Costume

With a little imagination, Oh Happy Day shows us how to turn brown craft paper and cardboard into the perfect garden critter costume. Instructions for both the shell with a headband of antennas, this snail is sure to stand out!

Recycled Umbrella Bat Wings

Penny of Mother Natured gives a step-by-step tutorial for creating bat wings from an umbrella – perfect for recycling a broken umbrella you may still have tucked away. Pair with black clothing and this bat is ready to spook its way throughout the neighborhood.

A Few Tips for Fall Cleaning

Fall cleaning often gets overlooked as being as important as spring cleaning. However, after a long summer of having the windows and screen doors open, along with dirt brought in on kids shoes after long summer days/nights playing outside; a good fall cleaning can be very important. Luckily, the good people at Seventh Generation, have a few tips to help you out with your annual fall cleaning, to make sure you go into those chilly autumn months with a nice clean home.


5 Tips For Fall Cleaning

Do you Fall clean as much as you Spring clean? You should! Summer is a time of open windows and little ones running through the house from outside, which provides a lot of opportunity for germs to enter your home. Take advantage of these cooler fall weekends and get the house ready for winter with this checklist:

  • Clean from top to bottom. Go through each room and dust everything! Walls, ceilings, baseboards, etc. Summer is a common time for the house to collect dust, and an dust is an easy way to cause irritation in the winter. Follow through with a thorough vacuuming of carpets and any fabric drapes you may have.
  • Winterize the beds. Pull out all of your heavier winter blankets and give them a solid wash to make them feel like new. Flip or rotate your mattress (you should be doing this every three months).  Tuck your kids into a warm, cozy and clean winter bed.
  • Organize the closets. Go through your closets and your kids’ closets and pull items that you no longer wear or don’t fit anymore. Make a pile of clothing to donate. Swap out the summer styles for the winter coats and sweaters that have been packed away.
  • Wash the windows. Go through the house and was all the windows, indoors and out, to avoid this step during the cold and snowy winter months. Take out the screens and wash them so they’re ready to go next summer. Replace them with storm windows.
  • Deep clean the kitchen. Fall means the holidays will be here before we know it, and holidays often bring guests. Deep clean all of your appliances – refrigerator, oven, and dishwasher. Organize your cabinets and drawers to make sure you can easily find what you need.
  • Use VOC-free OR Low-VOC cleaners. In winter, windows are open less, and according to the EPA, our indoor environment is two to five times more polluted than the air in our outdoor environment. Because of this, it can be important to choose the cleaners you use indoors wisely – and make sure to open your windows for 5 minutes a week during the winter!

How to Avoid the Spread of Ebola

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last several weeks/months, I’m sure you are well aware of the situation of Ebola, making it’s way into the United States. While the major outbreaks seem to be localized in the Texas area, you never know if it will spread further. You can help protect yourself and the ones you love from this virus by staying informed. Understanding the symptoms of the virus, how it’s spread, and how to clean to avoid it spreading; are all ways you can help protect yourself from Ebola. The following is an article from The Associated Press, which answers a few of the more common questions about how Ebola, is spread.


Ebola: How it spreads

Here are some facts about how Ebola spreads:


Only when someone is showing symptoms, which can start with vague symptoms including a fever, flu-like body aches and abdominal pain, and then vomiting and diarrhea.


Through close contact with a symptomatic person’s bodily fluids, such as blood, sweat, vomit, feces, urine, saliva or semen. Those fluids must have an entry point, like a cut or scrape or someone touching the nose, mouth or eyes with contaminated hands, or being splashed. That’s why health care workers wear protective gloves and other equipment.

The World Health Organization says blood, feces and vomit are the most infectious fluids, while the virus is found in saliva mostly once patients are severely ill and the whole live virus has never been culled from sweat.


Ebola isn’t airborne. Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has said people don’t get exposed by sitting next to someone on the bus.

“This is not like flu. It’s not like measles, not like the common cold. It’s not as spreadable, it’s not as infectious as those conditions,” he added.


No one knows. Authorities euthanized the pet dog of a Spanish nursing assistant who caught Ebola while caring for a patient there. No case of Ebola spreading between dogs and people has ever been documented. But at least one study suggests dogs may be able to get Ebola without showing symptoms.


Hospitals with a suspected case call their health department or the CDC to go through a checklist to determine the person’s level of risk. Among the questions are whether the person reports a risky contact with a known Ebola patient, how sick they are and whether an alternative diagnosis is more likely. Most initially suspicious cases in the U.S. haven’t met the criteria for testing.


The CDC says bleach and other hospital disinfectants kill Ebola. Dried virus on surfaces survives only for several hours.

Eco-Clean Your Yard This Fall

Autumn is now in full swing, which means many people are beginning to notice an abundance of leaves accumulating in their yards. If you happen to be one of these people, you’ll definitely want to check out this article from Seventh Generation, on how take care of fall yard work the eco-friendly way. The article has tips on how to clean your yard, create compost heaps, transfer your outdoor vegetables to indoors, and prepare your lawn for spring.


Eco-Friendly Fall Yard Work

Fall marks the environment transitioning from summer to winter, and we experience many of our own transitions as well. You probably winterize your house, and your car, but what about your yard? Here are some eco-friendly fall yard work tips to keep your yard happy until spring:

Compost. This time of year generates a lot of waste that is often bagged up and thrown away. This year, take your lawn clippings and fallen leaves and turn them into top-notch fertilizer to use in the spring! To successfully compost fall waste, first shred leaves and grass clippings using a mulcher or shears. This will make it much easier for the leaves to break down. Try to have equal parts grass clippings, which are a nitrogen source, and leaves, which are a carbon source. Moisten the pile slightly, and then just let it be. Turn the pile just about once a month to keep things moving.

Use Your Own Power. Fall chores tend to bring out a lot of machines. Leaf blowers, lawn mowers, rototillers – the list goes on. While these tools may make your job a little quicker, they also release hazardous emissions and use up a ton of energy. Garden equipment engines make up 5% of the nation’s air pollution, with gasoline powered lawn mowers at the top of the list. Running a gas-powered mower for one hour emits as much pollution as 11 cars being driven for an hour! Make the environmentally friendly choice while getting a workout in and trade the leaf blower for a rake.

Put Your Lawn to Bed. If you want to keep your lawn happy, you need to prepare it for the cold weather that’s about to come! Do your final mow of the season with a push mower and cut a little shorter than usual – this will discourage matted grass and snow mold over the winter. Spread a thin layer of compost on top of your lawn to keep it happy under the snow, as well as promote healthy soil and help nourish the many creatures that live in the soil! The fall is also a great time to fill in any bare spots with new seeds for a lush green lawn in the spring.

Do an Outside House Check. You’re not going to want to repair leaks or cracks in the middle of winter, so use the fall to check the outside of your house for any areas that may need attention. Making sure all windows and doors are tightly sealed will prevent heat from escaping, and in turn prevent you from turning up the thermostat.

Final Garden Harvest. Go through the garden and harvest the rest of those tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce. If you have herbs or other plants that you like to enjoy year round, transplant them to a pot and move them indoors to grow.

6 Tips for Cleaning Your Kitchen

Keeping your kitchen nice and clean should be a priority. Think about it, the kitchen is where you store and prepare all of your food, not to mention, where you store and clean all of your plates and utensils. Part of keeping your kitchen clean and safe, is keeping potentially harmful cleaning chemicals out of it. So, how can you maintain a clean kitchen without using traditional cleaners? Our friends at Green Cleaning Magazine, have a few answers for you. In the article below, 6 tips are given on how to clean your kitchen naturally, with items you probably already have in your home.


6 All-Natural Kitchen Cleaning Tricks

7 kitchen cleaning tricks

Need some inspiration in the kitchen when it comes to cleaning up? Take any (or all) or these 6 cleaning tricks for a test run for a fresh—and green—take on scrubbing up the most-used area in the home.

  1. Try using lemon as a surface cleaner. You will find that a lemon’s acid is perfect for cutting through grease and grime. Bonus: it will leave a very pleasant scent. Lemon juice kills bacteria, but is natural and not at all harsh on surfaces. Dilute the juice of one lemon with a little water to make it go a little farther.
  1. Clean as you cook, so that you don’t have as much cleaning to do afterwards. Lets face it, there are many different points during the preparation of a meal where you could be scrubbing a few pans, or wiping down the surfaces. Make you own life easier, and get all that done while you are in the swing of things, so that you don’t have to after you’ve relaxed with your meal.
  1. Vinegar is the solution if you are having trouble with limescale on the taps. If you regularly clean your faucets and taps with a little acidic vinegar there will be no need for deep cleaning later on when limescale has built up too much.
  1. If your drain is seemingly blocked up don’t call the plumber—yet. Try pouring some boiling water, two teaspoons of baking soda, and a 1/2 cup of vinegar down there. The reaction will be a large and fizzy one, so stand back, but it should unclog your drain. Be aware that using too much baking soda could leave you with a bit of an explosion, so keep its use to a minimum.
  1. If your fridge is getting a bit smelly, then you should try taking a lemon rind, scooping out the inside (and using it for surface cleaning), and filling it with baking soda. The baking soda will absorb the smells, whilst the lemon rind will replace them with a nice, fresh scent. This should keep your fridge fresh all day long.
  1. Use dish washing liquid to break through the unappealing build up that can happen on top of your cupboards. If you get a look up there you may find that the dust has settled in with the grease from your regular cooking. Try making a thick lather of dish washing liquid, apply it to the problem areas, and leave it there for a while. Scrub it all off, rinsing with a wet sponge or dish towels.

Information provided by South East London deep cleaning company.