Black Friday or “Buy Nothing Day”? (= free giveaway!)

(This giveaway is now closed for entries.)

Black Friday… I NEVER shop Black Friday! Instead, I celebrateBuy Nothing Day.  Every year.  Period.

Yesssss, I know… the bargains, the excitement, the tradition… I simply choose to spend the day NOT spending.  It’s a great reminder that we don’t need to spend obscene amounts of money, rise in the wee hours of the morning and push and shove our way to luxury items that aren’t even needed, if we really think about it.

So, if you would like to get a step up on a great green gift, I will help you… no purchase necessary… I’ll sponsor some giveaways in the coming weeks and I’m starting today with a 33 oz. EcoUsable stainless steel water bottle and “Green 4 Life” water wrap that will make a fabulous gift for someone on your list… or simply for yourself, for that matter!ecousa wht

You want it, don’t you?  Well, it’s a great one too!:  Stainless steel, no BPA, reusable and free.  You won’t even need to get your toes stomped either…

So leave a comment here saying you’d like to win and tell me who you’d like to “gift” it to (there is no penalty for saying you want it for yourself!), send a Twitter message that includes a reply to @momgoesgreen and a link to this blog, or leave a comment on Facebook to be entered. The winner will be selected two weeks from today’s post. (US entries only… sorry!)

grn 4 lifeSkip Black Friday… celebrate “Buy Nothing Day”… and take a chance to win something absolutely FREE instead!

Keeping it green for Halloween!

j-o-lanternHalloween is just around the corner… and it’s the ideal time to let the creativity flow.  But it’s also an opportunity to make some fantastic green choices.

While that creativity is in action, remember to give these green tips a try!:

  • Crafts & games – this is a great chance to upcycle materials, from jars & cans, to toilet paper and paper towel tubes… crafts don’t require a trip to a craft store!  And choose games that don’t require major purchases, like “Rotten Pumpkin” with a miniature pumpkin (played like “Hot Potato”) or create a large jack-o-lantern from paper and play “Pin the Nose”.  All of the paper can be recycled afterward.
  • Costumesyour own closets and drawers are a great resource!  Visit your local thrift store.  Or organize a costume swap with your friends.  Avoid face paints, unless you make them yourself… they often contain some harsh chemicals that you truly don’t want on your children’s face!
  • Decorationsnature provides plenty of resources, from pumpkins and gourds, to mums and leaves, to cornstalks and Indian corn.  After the season, they’re all completely compostable.fall decrtions
  • Partiesavoid disposable anything.  Use real serveware, cups, silverware, fabric table coverings and napkins.  If you MUST purchase disposables, at the very least, choose paper over plastic.  Try to help carry these rules over to classroom parties too.
  • Treats & candy – organic candies would be fabulous, but not easily found, so just be conscious to avoid some treats that are over-wrapped and over-packaged and, truly, treats don’t need to be candy.  Consider recycled-content pencils or mini-notepads.  Avoid plastic trinkets.
  • Treat bags – cellophane bags are the easiest to find but, with a little extra effort, you can find Halloween-themed paper bags instead.  Reusable bags are also ideal for collecting the loot!
  • Over-abundance of treats? – Consider pilfering some of your kids’ haul and drop it off at a homeless shelter!

Happy planning, Happy Halloween and be sure to keep it green and “EEK”-o-friendly!

Giveaway: Bazura Bag… upcycled with a mission & a cause

(This giveaway is now closed for entries. See “comments” for winner announcement!)

My absolute favorite products have to be those that serve a real purpose, help the environment and also contribute to a cause… today I want to give you a chance to learn about and win one of “those”…

baz bagLet me introduce Bazura Bags!  These bags are created by a co-operative of women in the Philippines desperately working to put their lives back together after a devastating typhoon last fall.  Made from otherwise unusable drink containers collected by local schoolchildren (who are paid for their “supplies”), the women of the co-op create and sell these unique, fair trade bags to support themselves and recover from this disaster.

It should come as no surprise that Bazura is actually a Filipino word for “trash”!… well, not anymore!  They are creating these bright and cheery bags that can be used again and again for any shopping trip or occasion when you need a simple tote.  Just yesterday, I saw them for sale in the shop of Cleveland’s Museum of Contemporary Art, so they are truly considered little works of art!

I have a market bag* to share too!  Would you like to win it?  Well, just leave a comment here saying you’d like to win and tell me how you’d like to use your bag, or send a Twitter message that includes a reply to @momgoesgreen and a link to this blog.  Fbaz womenacebook friends can also leave a comment to be entered. The winner will be randomly selected on May 24! (U.S. entries only… sorry!)

Even if you don’t win, consider buying one of your own or take a look at their site for a whole variety of products the next time you have a gift to give… and then smile when you realize all of the ways these bags are making a big difference in the lives of these women and for the sake of the environment!

(*Please note:  because all bags are unique, the bag will not look exactly like the one shown above, but it will be very similar!)

Simple buying tip: rechargeable batteries are mighty green!

btteriesEach year over THREE BILLION dry cell batteries are sold in the U.S. alone. That’s a lot of trash that will eventually end up in a landfill, adding toxic chemicals and metals to our ground, air and water.

Now, if you’re like me, you’ve priced rechargeable batteries and their initial cost looks frightful, but did you know that just four rechargeable batteries can replace approximately 100 regular alkaline batteries?!?!?

The cost of buying four rechargeable AA batteries (with its charger, mind you!) is equivalent to buying a 20-pack of single-use disposable AA batteries.  By my math calculations, you’ll be saving about $60 in the long run and that not only sounds eco-friendly, but also wallet-friendly to me!rechrg btteries

Today’s alkaline batteries are much safer than they were prior to 1997, but they still can’t be recycled, but guess what?… rechargeable batteries CAN! As always, you can check out Earth911, drop them off at any Batteries Plus location near you or ask at your local home improvement/hardware store or drugstore.  Some will even accept alkaline, button cell and lithium batteries for proper disposal too.

Face it, many of us are parents with kids that have far too many electronics and toys that require mountains of batteries, but you can help reduce your corner of the mountain by investing in some rechargeables instead!

Giveaway: The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge!

(This giveaway is closed for entries.  See “comments” for winner announcement.)

As if I haven’t mentioned it at least a dozen times, I love reading with my kids.  During Earth Hour we read books by flashlight(!) and, with Earth Day just around the corner, there is a lot of eco-reading happening at Mom Goes Green’s house!

msb clim challOne of our new favorites is The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge… the newest installment in the series.  My daughter was thrilled to help me review this book because ever since she picked up her first Magic School Bus book, she’s been hooked… and so have I!  This time the adventure takes us from the Arctic to the equator to see all of the causes and effects of global warming… and give kids ways to make a difference, in terms that they’ll understand.  And, as always, Ms. Frizzle and her class does it in their usual fun and humorous way that makes “eco-friendly science” extraordinarily kid-friendly too!

Our daughter loves the book and it’s clear that she’s learned a lot because she loves spouting off little facts every so often.  Clearly, The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge made an impact on her and thanks to Scholastic a few Mom Goes Green readers can share the adventure too!

These fantastic prizes are up for grabs:snakbags

  • One Grand Prize winner will receive a copy of The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge, plus a set of organic, reusable sandwich and snack bags
  • Two additional readers will receive a copy of The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge

How do you enter?…. well, just leave a comment saying you’d like to win and tell me about the “little adventurer” you’d like to share these prizes with, or send a Twitter message that includes a reply to @momgoesgreen and a link to this blog. The winners will be randomly selected on April 26! (US entries only… sorry!).

msb spreadIf you’d like to take on an additional adventure join in the live webcast with author Joanna Cole and Bruce Degan on Tuesday, April 20th (1 pm ET/10 am PT) as they join Ms. Frizzle to celebrate Earth Day and their new book at the Liberty Science Center.

In the meanwhile, climb aboard… and join Mom Goes Green on The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge!