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save energy | The Green Beagle

Eco-Chic Party Tips

Eco-Chic Events

Eco-Chic Events

 

 

This article was written by our fave guest blogger and one of my closest friends Danielle Mosley! She wanted to share some excellent tips for hosting eco-chic parties in 2012.
Even though the holiday’s are over there is still a full year of events left to be scheduled!
Here are some simple tips on throwing zero-waste “eco-chic” parties:

1. First things first are invitations.
The easiest way to send an eco-friendly invite is an Evite. There are so many sites doing that these days so you can find the perfect one. Try Evite.com or Stationery by Amy Adele.You can also make your own invites out of things you have from around the house or find items such as recycled card stock at your local craft store. You can be original with the writing by using cut outs from a magazines or even images and make the invite a game to figure out, left over ribbon from the holidays, buttons, you name it!  Be Creative and have fun with it! Guests appreciate when the host goes out of their way and personalizes the party.

2. No matter the size of your party you are going to notice a pile up of trash from plates and cups to straws and cutlery. Skip the plastic and try reusable flatware. Plenty of places also sell biodegradable utensils and flatware, even napkins. Like these Bamboo Plates, Biodegradable Trash Bags or these Biodegradable Paper Straws.

3. Next is décor…you can deck out the whole party with biodegradable goodies like balloons and crepe paper steamers Make your own confetti with scraps of paper from your amazing homemade DIY invites. You can make a pretty amazing centerpiece with magazine flowers . You can even create a mini version of this for a party favor for your guests. Use clean vegetable cans, decorate the outside with a solid piece of recycled paper and decorate in a similar fashion to the invites. If your event calls for real flowers please make sure to buy them locally, make sure they are organic like OrganicBouquet.com.  If you keep bottles and jars like i do you can use them as vases or votives and make cute take aways for your guests as well. If you use candles safely you can save energy and since it is winter if you cook your food and plan arrival times can keep your venue warm without having to turn on your heat.  If you have to use party lights make sure to get energy saving bulbs, no need for your bills to sky rocket just because you want to have fun!

4. Next are food and drinks obviously. I know you know to go local and organic which is easy enough now many local groceries have their won organic or natural sections. In some areas it isn’t as easy to find organic wine or liquor. One of my fave organic wine retailers is OrganicWineCompany.com or you can try Crop Vodkas or Prairie Vodka. If beer is more  your style then try Eel River`s Certified Organic I.P.A .
If you are unsure what kinds of apps and fun food to serve you can always check out our receipe section where I have plenty of fun food for the greenie in you! Also keep in mind if you use all organic foods and biodegradable flatware, cups, utensils you can throw it all to be composted.

The Beagles Green Tips for Turkey Day

Green Turkey Day Tips
Green Turkey Day Tips

 

 

 

Turkey Day is almost here and every year I post plenty of do it yourself decorations, crafts and activities to green up your Thanksgiving. There are some tips I mention over and over because they are that important. Thanksgiving has become a holiday of gluttony and not thanks for anything in my opinion. Try really being thankful this year and try to give back to the earth.

1. Save the seeds from your dinner and plant them when you can. You can also include the dried and cleaned seeds in a holiday gift for people who attended your Thanksgiving. Give them something to remind them how thankful they should be. You should be thankful for those seeds, they gave you a great meal.  Maybe if properly cared for you can serve those very veggies at your next holiday meal.

2. STAY LOCAL! Get your produce from local farm stands or local grocers. This season for fall harvesting didn’t do that well for some fruits and veggies. I know by me apples took a hard hit locally. You want to keep your neighborhood from becoming a ghost town? You want to make sure you have places to spend your money near you than purchase from around you. Not at the chain places at the Mom and Pop places. Helping your community helps you.

3. Compost all of your leftovers. If you can’t give things away,eat them all or reuse them in other recipes compost them for your yard. No need to throw food into the trash. Depending on what we have I make yummy meals for our pets. I know I am thankful for them so I share to make sure they know it.

4. Use as little packaging and throw away utensils as possible. I personally don’t appreciate disposable items. Not because of their wastefulness but because I feel like you are telling your guests you don’t have the time for real utensils or that they aren’t worth it. I understand disposing is easy but you can put that much more effort into a meal you have slaved all day over and make it look that much nicer. Again, remember show your guests you are Thankful for them!

5. Conserve Energy where you can. Your house is going to obviously get hot with all of the cooking, eating and people in the near vicinity. Turn your heat down or off (depending on the temp. outside) and open some windows. Let’s not forget to not turn every light and electrical gadget on in the house the entire time. While people are cooking try to get people to go outside and be active. Don’t have multiple tv’s, video games and lights on in the house. Force your friends and family to spend time with each other. You will be thankful you saved on your bill the month before the real spending begins.

6. Potluck? I know some people take pride in cooking the whole meal but think of the time and energy everyone saves if they are in charge of bringing one or two things. Everyone gets to actually sit, relax and enjoy time with their friends and family. Try it, you might be thankful that you did!

7. NO TURKEY PLEASE!!! I can read off a ton of statistics about how horribly turkeys are treated and the processes but that isn’t going to make most of you listen. I don’t expect all of you to listen but I hope some do. There are plenty of delicious options to having turkey on your plate. The photo is Tofurkey which looks delish! You can go with other less traditional and or vegan dishes. Get creative. Just because it is called Thanksgiving aka Turkey Day doesn’t mean we can’t change it to Tofurkey Day. If they called it Horse day would we have to eat horse????

Green is a Holiday Color for a Reason!

Green Christmas

The holidays are very near or maybe almost ending for some! It is a time for sharing and caring not only about friends and family but the environment too. The holiday’s are about over indulging and over doing but that doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips to make your season greener and brighter!

* Re-gift all you want! There is nothing wrong with putting unwanted/unused past gifts to good use! We do it all the time with the 3R’s is there any difference if you recieve something you think someone else would enjoy more?

* Send out e-cards or eco-Cards. I know there are traditionalists that say receiving an e-card is lazy or unfestive however it saves on many trees and garbage that will be thrown out after New Years. There are many companies around that make cards with that have a low impact on the environment so if you must have something tangible then use those. For example Good Greetings LLC, Pear Tree Greetings or Season’s Greenings.

* Gift Grab Bags! To cut down on spending and large amounts of wrapping paper try picking names out of a hat with your family so you only have to purchase 1 gift. Grab Bags are fun too! Set a price limit and go to town! The holiday’s aren’t about how many prezzies you get or how much money you spend. They are about family and togetherness! You can be more relaxed and enjoyable when you aren’t worried about money.

* Holiday Lights. The winter holiday’s are quite bright with all the homes decorated with millions of lights and lawn ornaments. I understand it gets darker earlier and decorations are always pretty to look at but try to purchase energy saving lights or solar powered ones. Decadance does not need to carry over into all aspects of the holidays! Give yourself the gift of lower energy bills during the holidays. Try lights like these Multi Color C9 LED Holiday Lights – Energy Saving – Outdoor or Indoor.

* Recycled Wrappings. Now that you have presents that will need to be wrapped try using recycled content paper or bags. I personally prefer bags or boxes because they last much longer and can be reused multiple times. If you keep an eye out for particular patterns and colors they can even be used for more than just the holidays. The Gift Wrap Company Festive Tidings Eco-wrap, Gift Bag, and Ribbon Assortment, 10-Count

* Be crafty! There is nothing wrong with making meaningful gifts either! It is the thought that counts after all…right? Bake some cookies or winter breads to give to co-workers or neighbors. You could even plan a cookie exchange. You can find plenty of crafty gifts on the internet and use what you have around the house. Be creative and green! Best of Christmas Ideas

* Decorations. Speaking of being crafty why not craft your own holiday decorations! This way you get exactly the decorations you are looking for, you save money and have a super fun time doing it. Making your own holiday decorations can double as gifts for others while speding quality time with your family and friends. Simply Handmade: 365 Easy Gifts & Decorations You Can Make (Crafts)

Holiday Savings

A different kind of 12 Step Program

So there is all this stimulus talk going around and all sorts of people telling you about how you should be spending it.   Besides the bills we all have to catch up on, possibly repairing the house or buying those precious little things you have been doing with out lately.  I read an article recently about making your stimulus green and their recommendations were simple. These are measures everyone can take now with or with out a stimulus! Not only will taking these steps and continuing them help you save money but also you will be helping save the environment.

1. Only shop locally, purchase local items when possible.  Help stimulate your local economy. Harvesting support for locally grown food: Lessons learned from the be a local hero, buy locally grown campaign

2. Repair/replace leaky fixtures in your home. You can conserve water, save on heat, gas and electric. Green Toys Tool Set

3. Buy a GPS and it set to take the most efficient route to your destination.  You can save on gas and time management. Garmin – nüvi 255W GPS. (click link to purchase)

4. Buy & carry reusable shopping bags, most stores sell them for under $5.00.  There will be less clutter in your home as well as creating less waste. Green Bee 3pk Reusable Shopping Bags W/Pouch

5. Buy recycled content items such as toilette tissue, paper towels, tissues, trash bags, ink toner, and copy paper. 100% Recycled Facial Tissue – 100ct

6. Don’t buy disposable kitchenware, purchase things that are reusable.  Doing the dishes really isn’t that bad. Dapple Dish Liquid – 17 oz.

7. Use a bicycle or walk if/when possible.  That is good for you and the environment.  Or even car pool with friends and neighbors when you can! Shop for Cycling Gear at Eastern Mountain Sports
8. Turn things off when they aren’t being used. The Home Energy Diet: How to Save Money by Making Your House Energy-Smart (Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series)

9. Recycle what you can.  Even though some places may not have the best programs doing something is better than nothing. Suncast Recycle Bin Kit BH183PK

10. Buy a few reusable wate r bottles to keep with you.  You can rotate bottles during washes. Base Brands 16-Ounce Reduce WaterWeek Bottle, Set of 5
11. Do your bill paying and banking online you can save your receipts & statements.  Use e-vites for invitations and cards. ONLINE BANKING ORGANIZER bill pay monthly record book

12. Keep yourself informed.  New easy ways to help the environment are being introduced everyday.  The more you know the more you can help. Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution–and How It Can Renew America

Going Green Today