Shop Green on Black Friday

I don't have to take any pledges to stay home from shopping Thanksgiving evening. Or even on Black Friday. Because I dislike shopping and dislike crowds, so there you go. No Black Friday shopping for me.

Except online. Black Friday is a great time to purchase some of those green products that have been sitting on your wish list for a while.

Thanksgiving Turkey Nature Craft with Fall Leaves

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know you'll be relieved to know that my natural leaf garlands still look great.

I noticed while collecting leaves that the abundant leaves from my neighbor's tree looked a lot like....turkey feathers.

It would have been much easier to glue the leaves down if we had pressed them overnight inside heavy books. Instead, we glued them so they would stay put long enough for us to glue the turkey's body on top of them, and then we pressed them flat while the glue dried.

Gobble, gobble!

Hope you get to spend time this week surrounded by loved ones.
Thank you for reading, commenting, and being a part of this little blog.

Click here to read the complete Green Holidays series.

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The Non-toxic Avenger: Book Review and Giveaway

It’s time for Eco-novice’s Great Green Guide Giveaway, during which I will be giving away at least four different books about green living. These are books from my own library that I am ready to pass on to another eco-novice.

This book by green blogger Deanna Duke (a.k.a. The Crunchy Chicken) chronicles Duke's efforts to live free of toxic chemicals. Duke, who is a long-time environmentalist and parent of two, used to believe that products sold in stores were generally safe since the FDA said they were. Although she started to think otherwise after reading Slow Death by Rubber Duck, still she was satisfied to let other environmentalists focus on toxins in products while she concerned herself with reducing waste and energy use. Then in 2007 Deanna received a "Double Whammy": members of her family were diagnosed with autism and cancer. Deanna was forced to confront the reality that environmental toxins, including those her family was exposed to through the use of everyday supposedly safe products, most likely played a role in these conditions. She then undertook a mission to reduce her family's exposure to toxic chemicals. The Non-Toxic Avenger chronicles these efforts. 

Unlike most green guides, The Non-Toxic Avenger is not organized by rooms or by types of toxins. Instead Duke's book is chronological, and reads a lot like a series of blog posts. If you like Duke's blog Crunchy Chicken, you’ll probably enjoy her book. The book does have a great index and lots of descriptive subheadings, which makes it easy to go back and find particular sections later. One of the strengths of Duke's book is that it really shows what trying to eliminate toxic chemicals is like, how difficult and maddening it can be. The incomplete labels. The endless internet research. The intransigent family members. How you think you’ve said goodbye to Teflon or BPA or phthalates, and then there it is again in a new guise. It's also fascinating how Duke gets herself tested for a variety of toxic substances before and after her numerous lifestyle changes to see if her levels changed. Finally, in her book Duke names specific products she and her family loved or hated. I found these explicit product recommendations (and criticisms) very helpful, and have since tried and enjoyed many of her recommendations.

You can read an excerpt from The Non-Toxic Avenger in this blog post.

You can read my interview with Deanna Duke about her transformation from a trusting consumer to the Non-Toxic Avenger in this blog post.


Enter to win The Non-Toxic Avenger below. The book is in used condition, and has some underlining of the text. Contest is open only to those with a U.S. mailing address, since I will be mailing it by media mail. Giveaway ends December 14. Hopefully, you’ll receive them in time for gift giving! You need a rafflecopter log in to enter below -- I'm hoping that's less hassle for you than leaving your email in the comments! 

Stay tuned for additional giveaways!

Upcoming Giveaways in the Great Green Guide Giveaway

Healthy Child Healthy World: Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home by Christopher Gavigan
And possibly more! (I'm still deliberating about a few.)
Are you interested in Going Green Gradually? Sign up for my free email subscription to get each of my posts delivered to your inbox (I usually post two or three times a week). You can also follow me on FacebookPinterestTwitter, or with your favorite RSS Reader. I hope to see you again soon!

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Your purchase via these links helps support my blog. Thank you for your support. Read my full disclosure policy here.

DIY Fall Garland Made with Real Autumn Leaves

I was thinking of making some kind of Thanksgiving banner this year. And while browsing Etsy and Pinterest for easy Thanksgiving banner ideas I had a stroke of insight. Why not make a banner/ garland out of real fall leaves?

I am not a very crafty person. But I do excel at something: collecting leaves. My kids and I love to collect leaves and other natural objects that have fallen from trees and plants. And fall is one of our favorite times to go for a Nature Treasure Walk, as we like to call them.

Now I'm sure at least 100 other people have already posted how to make a natural leaf garland on Pinterest. But I want you to know that I came up with this idea all by myself, and I'm pretty pleased about that.

If you'd like to make your own fall leaf garland, and are lucky to live in a nice moderate climate like mine where the trees are still losing leaves, here are the steps.

[Check out this post for photos of the leaf banner I made with my 5yo in 2017.]

Another Craig's List Success Story

Actual photo on Craig's List.

I thought I would share with all of you my latest Craig's List find.

Two days ago my daughters asked me to attend their puppet show. They have been very into puppet shows lately.

While watching them perform this show while unsuccessfully ducking behind pillows on their bed I thought, maybe we should buy a puppet theater.

Of course I could make a puppet theater, but I've had that thought about a dozen times already with nothing coming of it. I know myself well enough to know that I probably won't get around to making a puppet theater until my kids are too old to enjoy it. Or I'd make a cheap and fast one out of cardboard which my toddler would destroy within a week.

Six Simple Steps to a Paperless Kitchen

1. Switch to cloth napkins.

Not ready to commit to a paperless kitchen? Still in love with paper towels? Just try switching to cloth napkins. You'll feel like you are eating in a fancy high-end restaurant every night! We use a mish-mash of cloth napkins at my house. I like cotton napkins that are somewhat absorbent best, because then they can soak up a spill in a pinch. We use our cloth napkins for a full day (sometimes longer) before washing. We just leave them on the table between meals. You can get different napkin rings if you want to make sure each family member reuses the same napkin.


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