Tips for a Green Halloween

It’s only one week away. How about some tips to go green this Halloween?

1. Use the WHOLE pumpkin: Don’t just carve it and throw it in the trash November 1st. Use the pumpkin seeds and the carved out pieces for food. Pumpkin seed recipes are all over the web and make for a delicious snack. Puree the pieces of pumpkin you carved out for recipes that call for fresh pumpkin. And if you have a backyard compost pile, throw the rest of the pumpkin in there after Halloween.

2. Skip the expensive costumes: Save some cash by avoiding those expensive plastic costumes in the retail store. Make costumes made of reusable or recycled materials. Check out Green Halloween for ideas.

3. Use recyclable bags for trick-or-treating: Avoid using the orange plastic Jack-O-Lanterns that are used for a couple hours and discarded in the trash. This will also save you money too! Reuse plastic bags or even better, how about those cloth bags you have lying around? They’re strong and can hold more candy than you can dream of your kids bringing home for you.

4. DIY Decorations: DIY means Do It Yourself!. Making your own decorations is fun and expands your creativity. Give a little character to your decorations this year. It’s also a fun activity to do with the kids. Great Dad has some great ways to decorate DIY for Halloween.


Toys are Going Green

Greenzys is an eco-friendly children’s brand, taking going green to a whole new level. They are producing toys that are environmentally safe and educational, while also being fun. The plush toys are made from soy fibers and non-toxic dyes in socially responsible factories. The packaging these toys come in is also eco-friendly because it is made from recycled paperboard. Each character helps children learn different aspects of going green. Peat the Penguin for example, is a supporter of recycling, reusing, and reducing waste, while Yew Yew the Panda grows bamboo to prevent erosion and create oxygen.

The toy isn’t the only way Greenzys is being eco-friendly. For every toy purchased, a tree is planted. A printable digital certificate documenting the planting of the tree will allow you to cherish the moment. A portion of each purchase will also benefit the Environmental Media Association and the Arbor Day Foundation. Greenzys’ main goal is they want to promote green living and teach eco-friendly practices to children through their toys.

To learn more:


Earth Day, Everyday

In honor of Earth Day, Sunrise Packaging wants to highlight the importance of taking care of the environment. But more than just on a business level. We all know there are several ways for each of us to be “green” at home and in our everyday lives, 365 days a year.

We can switch out our light bulbs with newer energy efficient types. We can get rid of the old refrigerator and update to an energy star model. We can turn out the lights when we leave the room. All of these examples are great but we want to dig a little deeper and share with you some less obvious ways to be “green” so you can add them to your eco-repertoire.

1. Get rid of your junk mail- Nobody will be twisting your arm for this. Who wouldn’t want to get rid of all of their credit card offers? But how? You can opt out of pre-screened credit card offers. Simply click here.

2. Make your own household cleaners- Not only does this reduce waste by not buying an array of house cleaners from the store, it will save you money! A few simple ingredients can assist you in most cleaning situations. Here are a few recipes:

*All purpose cleaner- Mix half vinegar and half water. Add 4 tablespoons of lemon juice to give a fresh scent.
*Glass cleaner- Mix half white vinegar and half water.
*Carpet deodorizer- Mix 4 parts baking soda with 1 part cornstarch.
*Mildew and mold cleaner- Mix lemon juice or white vinegar and salt.
*Oven cleaner- Mix baking soda, salt, and hot water.
*Drain cleaner- Pour a quarter cup of baking soda down the clogged drain, followed by a half cup of vinegar. Close the drain tightly until fizzing stops, then flush with boiling water.
*Toilet Bowl Cleaner- Mix 1 part baking soda with 4 parts vinegar, pour into basin and let it set for a few minutes. Scrub with brush and rinse. A mixture of borax (2 parts) and lemon juice (one part) will also work.

3. Get green power- Sign up for green power with your utility company. The term “green power” is used to define power generated from renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, geothermal, hydropower and various forms of biomass. Find out where you can get green power by clicking here.

4. Go to the car wash- Few people realize that washing our cars in our driveways is one of the most environmentally un-friendly chores we can do around the house. The water that runs off from your car goes right into storm drains — and eventually into rivers, streams, creeks and wetlands where it poisons aquatic life and causes other ecosystem damage.

On the other hand, federal laws in both the U.S. and Canada require commercial carwash facilities to drain their wastewater into sewer systems, so it gets treated before it is discharged back into the great outdoors.

5. Compost your waste- Food and yard waste can be put into a composter rather than into a plastic bag or landfill. By composting, you’ll produce a rich soil filled with nutrients for your garden and plants. The soil is a natural fertilizer that is safe and eliminates the need of dangerous chemical fertilizers.

So what can be composted? Things like coffee grounds, eggshells, fruits and vegetables, grass clippings, leaves, shredded newspapers, etc. You can easily make a compost bin too and it’s cheap! Click here to learn how.

More info:
World Watch
Simple Mom

Set Goals and Measure Your Environmental Progress

If you’re like most people, you keep hearing about companies going green to both please customers and help the environment.  It can be overwhelming to try to manage your company’s green efforts if you don’t have much experience, but even small steps towards becoming more environmentally-friendly can help.  That is why it is important to set goals for yourself and your company that you can achieve.

I found some tips and goals to benchmark your environmental progress from the marketing magazine, Deliver, that can help your company in its start to become more eco-friendly:

Paper Procurement & Use


  • Increase wood/paper purchases from recognized forest certification programs (by X percent by X year).
  • Indicate use of suppliers affiliated with sustainable forestry practices that protect forest ecosystems and biodiversity as well as provide the wood and paper products our company needs.
  • Increase purchase of environmentally preferable paper used for marketing pieces, product packaging, and/or internal consumption (by X percent by X year).
List Hygiene & Data Management
  • Reduce unwanted and duplicate mailings and provide greater choice regarding opt out and/or subject matter of mailings to customers (by X year).
Mail Design & Production
  • Reduce waste allowances and in-process waste when designing and printing (by X percent by X year).
  • Calculate total waste reduction occurred through a lowering of waste allowances.
  • Increase purchases of environmentally preferable packaging (by X percent by X year).
  • Use recyclable packaging in (X percent/the majority of/all) shipments, imprinted with recycling information for customers (by X year).
Recycling & Pollution Reduction


  • Increase purchases of office papers, packing and packaging materials made from recycled materials with post-consumer content wherever feasible (by X percent by X year).
  • Use (X percent) post-consumer content recycled materials in all production (by X year).
  • Collect and recycle (X percent) of all discarded office paper (by X year).
  • Calculate your organization’s total carbon footprint (incorporating suppliers and customer as well as internal operations).
  • Reduce unnecessary/excess paper use for external and internal communications (by X percent by X year).

Zero Waste Week 2009

I recently came across a site for Zero Waste Week, which started on Monday and concludes this Sunday. All week long, people across the world have been making small changes in their lives to eliminate or reduce their amount of waste. By coming together and taking these small steps, we can reduce the amount of waste thrown into the landfills and become more environmentally-responsible.Going-Green-Zero-Waste-Week-Environmentally-Friendly

Last year, they offered prizes and incentives for people who participated, but this year, they wanted to try something different. There are no incentives, because they want people to want to help the environment by reducing the amount of waste generated and sent to the landfills. This way, they hope for people to continue in their efforts long after Zero Waste Week is over, rather than just doing it now for a prize.

You can reduce waste by using durable, reusable packaging or by making sure that it is recyclable and made from recycled materials. We can all work on doing our part to reduce waste and help the environment. Have any ideas to reduce waste even more? Let us know!

Seasonal Packaging Goes Green

Christmas is still months away, but Nestle is already thinking about their seasonal packaging and going green for the holidays. In the past, chocolate makers have often been known for wasteful and unnecessary packaging, especially for special seasonal promotions. This is the new target to work on, and Nestle is going at it.

Custom-Packaging-Boxes-Nestle-Seasonal-Green-Eco-FriendlyAccording to Food Production Daily, Nestle will be making all of its Christmas selection custom boxes fully recyclable. One change they made was removing the plastic inserts that held the chocolate bars in place and replacing them with a card presentation tray. This way, the chocolate can still be nicely displayed in the custom box and be easily recycled when you are finished with it. This is one step for Nestle to be more environmentally-friendly in their packaging to reduce waste and address the concerns of their environmentally-conscious customers.

7 Resources For Planning Green Meetings

From lists to directories, to informational articles, the following 7 resources will help any planner make their next event more environmentally-friendly:Green Meeting Planning

  1. A 10-step checklist to a more environmentally-friendly destination event from Blue Green Meetings.
  2. Three reasons why green meetings are a good idea from the Association for Green Meetings and Events. Not only are green meetings good for the environment, but there are also economic and social benefits that come with it.
  3. Article: Green Meetings Are Free from Meeting Professionals International. Going green does not have to cost you a lot of money. By reducing and reusing, you can save money that you could invest in other green expenses.
  4. Information on environmentally-friendly cuisine from Look for organic, local foods and foods that can be reused if not eaten at that meal.
  5. A list of members by state, so you can be sure the hotel you are using is truly environmentally-friendly.
  6. How to calculate your meeting’s carbon footprint from Being aware of your carbon footprint can help you see how much you are affecting the environment, where your problem areas are, and how you could improve.
  7. Green Environmentally-friendly BindersDon’t forget to use eco-friendly name badges, luggage tags, folders and ring bindersthat are reusable and recyclable! All of these eco-friendly products can be created to match and coordinate with each other and with your meeting or event. Then you can just send them back to us to recycle when you are finished.

Bonus Resource: The Meeting Planner Survival Guidefrom

Green-Minded Consumers

Environmentally-conscious Consumers AppleMore and more we are hearing about companies “going green” and offering eco-friendly products.  There is a growing concern being shown for the environment, but is that one of the main factors shoppers are looking for Environmentally-conscious Consumers Statisticswhen making purchasing decisions?

GreenBiz pointed out that consumers are becoming very eco-conscious.  According to a study by Ipsos Marketing, consumers are tending to choose healthier food products with fresh ingredients and green packaging over products with more convenient packaging and food preparation.  They even scored higher than improving the taste of the food.  But taste should not be taken out of consideration.  Taste is key to food choice and to many, taste and fresh ingredients go hand in hand.

Deloitte, along with the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), also conducted a study of over 6,000 customers on how sustainability affects purchasing decisions.  They determined that a substantial amount of consumers take social and environmental benefits into serious consideration when choosing a product.

What does this mean for you?  Clearly green packaging is deciding factor in purchasing decisions, and environmental concerns are not going away.  So if you want to stay on top of the market by paying attention to consumers’ concerns and help the environment, try using green packaging.

Green Meeting and Event Planning

Meetings and events tend to generate a significant amount of waste.  There are invitations, papers, forms, display boards, name tags, signs, souvenirs, decorations, place settings, etc.  You do not have to give up all of these to go green and reduce waste.

eco-friendly event and meeting planning trashThe Green Meetings Industry Council is trying to build awareness towards the goal of reducing waste generated by meetings and events.  According to their study, the average meeting/event creates 20 pounds of waste per person per day.  With 700 million event attendees annually in the U.S. and Canada, that brings the total up to 10.5 tons of waste per year.  GMIC started the Million Tons of Trash Challenge to attempt to reduce that amount of waste by nearly 10 percent.

reuse reduce recycle green event and meeting planningThe GMIC is hoping that this challenge will educate the industry about being more environmentally-friendly and that we will be able to see more improvements in the future.  GMIC is encouraging the efforts with a new web site that includes case studies, a blog, and a Waste Challenge Trash Calculator to record the amount of waste generated and determine the amount of waste reduced.  This helps to see the effects of your green efforts.  To be a part of this challenge, planners must report to the GMIC the amount of waste that they generated at their events, as well as the amount reduced and recycled.  By taking these small steps to reduce waste, you can do your part to help the environment while still putting on a successful and memorable meeting/event.

MeetGreen, along with Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), is also trying to promote more environmentally-friendly meetings and events.  They created “Eco-Event Zones” as a part of their new program.  The purpose of this is for meeting/event planners from the same city to work together to find eco-friendly opportunities in the same area and share event and meeting planning products nametags bagtags If planners are working together on this, suppliers and building locations will be hearing their requests for more green options, which will create a greater impact.

Meetings and events can produce a lot of waste, but it doesn’t have to be that way!  These programs have been created to help educate meeting and event planners on how to reduce waste.  One great way is using eco-friendly name badges and bag tags that are 100% recyclable for your meeting or event.  We all can do our part to help the environment by making small changes.  Read more about being environmentally-friendly.

Answering Your Recycling Questions

Ever get confused by all of the different recycling rules? According to an article on, the average American generates four and a half pounds of trash each day. 75 percent of this is actually recyclable. The article, inspired by Good Housekeeping magazine, tried to clear up some of the confusions about recycling, so that it would be much easier for people to properly recycle:

First off, make sure that you only use the bins or clear plastic bags approved by your recycling program. Otherwise, workers will not be able to tell what is recycling and what is garbage. Don’t waste your time by letting it end up in the garbage.

What materials can be recycled?

  • Paper. You can recycle most any kind of paper–magazines, junk mail, cardboard, envelopes (no need to rip out the plastic window), newspapers, etc. You don’t even need to worry about staples, paper clips, paper and cardboard recyclingor spirals in notebooks, because they will be filtered out. There are some paper items that cannot be recycled. Don’t bother with pizza boxes or other items that are food-stained, because the oils can ruin the whole batch. Plastic-coated paper plates, paper towels, napkins, etc. are not recyclable. Some brightly colored, dye-saturated papers are also not recyclable, because it can be difficult to bleach the color out.
  • plastic recyclingPlastic. Most bottles that have a neck smaller than the body can be recycled: beverage, cleaning products, shampoo, and some food jars). Make sure that the caps are removed. Aveda has a nationwide in-store program where you can recycle them. With plastics, pay attention to the recycling number on the bottom. This determines what kind of plastic it is and if it can be recycled. Read more on this.
  • aluminum metal and glass recyclingMetal. A large portion of metal items that are recycled are soda, juice, and other food cans that are rinsed, but only de-labeled if requested. Other items include: rinsed aluminum pie tins and foil, wire coat hangers, empty (non-punctured) aerosol cans, and other scrap metal. Be sure to not include batteries or any electronics!
  • Glass. Just like with metal and plastic, glass bottles can be recycled when they are rinsed and have the cap removed. Labels do not matter, because they will be burned off at the plant. Some places will not take certain colors of glass, especially blue, and treated glass cannot be recycled.

Now that you know more about recycling, don’t be afraid to use these tips! We can all work together to reduce waste and clean up for a better environment. Read more about recycling.