Happy Halloween: Links I Like

Happy Halloween - Almost All The Truth

 

Happy Halloween to one and all. I wish you good weather and fun times for witches and goblins of all ages. Looking for a little reading to get you through until it’s time to put on the costumes and join the reverie? I’ve got a few I’ve been reading this week I’d like to share…

Community Changes the World - “It is past time to stand together and say enough is enough. United is how we will effect change. Community changes the world.”

Environmentalists sue over nuclear reactor’s impact on Columbia River – Something we must keep in mind as the fight to build more nuclear reactors in the U.S., as an option to reduce dependency on fossil fuels, heats up.

This piece right here, Calls to Ban Toxic Chemicals Fall on Deaf Ears Around the World, can be enough to cause most consumers to give up in frustration. The fight is not yet dead. Read this, understand the system that allows these chemicals in our shampoos and soaps or on crops trickling down into the soil and water, and make your voice heard. Enough is enough.

But just when you think hope is lost… Victory. Women’s Power Convinces Corporate Giants to Come Clean on Fragrance is a massive one. “This victory is a tribute to women’s tremendous economic power to shift companies toward healthier and more transparent products, and ultimately toward a green economy.”

There are brilliant innovators out there hoping to solve one of the world’s problems, like Solveiga Pakstaite: This Brilliant Expiry Label Decays So Your Food Doesn’t Have To and Boyan Slat: The Dutch boy mopping up a sea of plastic. While others are going back to our roots: What Do You Do When Something Breaks?

Or were you just looking for a little Green Halloween fun for today?

Share your thoughts on any of these links in the comments or just tell me what you have planned for Halloween!

 

 

5 Fun Ways to Use Carved Pumpkins After Halloween

5 Fun Ways to Use Carved Pumpkins After Halloween

Halloween is almost here and pumpkins everywhere are waiting to make their way to homes, stoops, and porches. What to do with them after the carving and decorating is done? Here are 5 fun ways to use carved pumpkins after Halloween is over…

 

1. Pumpkin Bird Feeder. What better way to use a good chunk of pumpkin than to feed the neighborhood birds? There are several ways to make a bird feeder depending on how you carve your pumpkin.

If the bottom, top, or side is left as a bowl or curved shape it is quite easy! Just cut the piece away from the rest of the pumpkin to form the bowl. If it is large enough you can cut small holes on each side to form handles to tie twine and hang. If not, use two lengths of twine and attach to the bottom where they crisscross and hang. Fill with birdseed (including any leftover pumpkin seeds) and wait for the neighborhood critters to come enjoy!

2. Pumpkin Planter. Choose a nice fall plant you’d like to transplant or buy from a local nursery (look for one that does not treat with neonicotinoids) as you won’t have time to grow much from seed. Fill your pumpkin with your plant and fill in with organic potting soil.

Your pumpkin does need drainage, but works best when your jack-o’-lantern’s face is not so large it loses much soil. It would be ideal for a painted or etched pumpkin too (add small drainage hole(s) at the bottom)!

3. Pumpkin Guts Stock. Every wondered what you could use those super slimy pumpkin guts for? Wonder no more. Use those guts to make a flavorful vegetable stock and reduce food waste!

Take all the pumpkin guts and place them in a stock pot full of water. Throw in any other veggie parts you might have, like carrot and celery tops, plus a whole chopped onion and up to 2tbsp of olive oil (optional). Boil for 30 minutes or so (or until it starts to change color), then strain all the veggie pieces out. You have just made yourself some delicious Pumpkin Guts Stock!

Use it in any soup or freeze for later!

4. Pumpkin Compost. – Once it starts to get rotten, just bury the whole thing in your backyard as a soil amendment. Either bury it whole in or break it up into smaller pieces. If there are any seeds left, you might have some volunteers next year. It is also easy to toss into your backyard compost as a green layer!

5. Pumpkin Catapult or Batting Practice. If you have little people in your home who love to build take this chance to create your very own catapult! When those pumpkins start to go, the entire family will have a blast watching them go splat. Then toss the results into the compost (see #4).

Alternatively if you have any budding baseball/softball players in the house that won’t mind getting splattered a bit, work on their hard hits straight at an incoming pumpkin.

Note: I highly recommend some serious supervision with this idea if you have kids giving either a try. But won’t you be the coolest parent ever?!? ;)

 

So tell me:

  • Do any of these ideas strike your fancy?
  • Do you have any other ideas to share?
  • Have you carved pumpkins yet?

 

Breast Cancer, Pinkwashing, and Strength

Chances are, if you are reading this you are aware of breast cancer. You may not know all the details, but you know it can be an incredibly scary diagnosis. By now, you are aware that women should regularly do breast self-exams. You should are regular mammograms are important, especially after a certain age or based on family history (please communicate with your doctor when it is right for you to begin these). You should also be aware that men can get breast cancer.

We are a society full of awareness. Thank goodness for that. In fact, when you see that color pink on products and people, especially in October, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

If you are buying something because you need it and it also happens to have a pink ribbon (plus it doesn’t contain carcinogenic ingredients or hazards; more on that in a minute), then go for it. If you’re buying something simply because it has the pink ribbon? Rethink that pink!

Rethink The Pink - Almost All The Truth

We pledged at ShiftCon to rethink the pink.

Did you know that the largest corporations with their huge pink marketing campaigns spend more money on their pink products, many of which directly and indirectly lead to this very cancer, than on breast cancer research? Even the Susan G. Komen has simply become a marketing monolith of pinkwashing.

Pinkwashing - Almost All the Truth 

There is little in the pink that leads to prevention or cure for breast cancer. What you will find instead are, in partnership with the Susan G. Komen Foundation, fracking drill bits which will help inject possible and known carcinogens into the ground. These then leak into the surrounding environment and water supply. That was this year’s palm-to-forehead product.

I am sure you’ve seen more, from plastic water bottles to endocrine disruptors in fragrances and cosmetics, the list goes on and on what people will slap a pink ribbon on to show their “support.” Often this support costs them little, goes to organizations with little aspirations of prevention and cure, yet reaps huge profits. 

Ugh. Can I shake off my disgust for a minute?

It is time to move our focus from awareness and move toward new research on breast cancer cause, prevention, and cure. Luckily there are some great organizations helping us do just that and they need our help to get their names in front of the people.

 

Last, but not least, YOU are invited to Strong, not Scared #CleanCouponing Twitter party on breast cancer prevention! RSVP here and enter for prizes! I will be one of the panelists, along with two of the above mentioned non-profit organizations and other activists. Will I see you there?

Have you heard of pinkwashing before? What do you do to make sure you are not supporting it? I especially welcome comments from breast cancer survivors on how they feel about the pinking of October… Please join the conversation!

 

 

Community Changes the World

Community Changes the World

 

What do you think of when you hear the phrases green living, environmentalist, green blogger? I am sure there are a few ideas that immediately spring to mind if one self-proclaims to belong in one, or all, of these groups. Would it surprise you then to learn just how many different principles, beliefs, and life experiences are brought to the environmental and green living movement?

If you really stopped to think about it, it shouldn’t, but somehow we all tend to get lumped together with our most vocal “spokespeople” whether we chose them or not.

There are nuances and extremes in how we vaccinate our children, whether we allow plastic into our homes, whether we will chain ourselves to pipelines or March Against Monsanto. We do not all agree and it can hurt us until we pause and realize where our common ground lies.

 

This video may be old, but with the global fights we still have, it is a reminder we need now more than others. Are there nutters out there that self-subscribe to be change makers, planet defenders, truth-tellers? Absolutely. Let them be and focus on those making a positive impact in their families, communities, and beyond.

It is past time to stand together and say enough is enough. United is how we will effect change. Community changes the world.

The generations to come deserve better. Wildlife deserves better now. Our natural places deserve better. Let’s roll up our sleeves and clean up the mess we’ve made. There’s our common ground.

 

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