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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.

Here is what I just purchased from reuseit's Black Friday sale:

(Quantities limited, free shipping over $30 with code FSBLKFRI)

reuseit Reusable Sandwich bag and reuseit Reusable Snack bag
One of my favorite types of reusable food bags. Extra thick (double layer of nylon) and very moisture resistant with Velcro closure. My favorite bag to store cheese in the fridge and small amounts of baked goods in the freezer.

reuseit Produce & Snack Bag, Organic Cotton Muslin
A favorite for bulk items and produce. The large size holds a ton of stuff (10+ pounds of apples). I always run out of produce bags at the farmers market.

My favorite bag for apples, citrus, persimmons, onions, potatoes, and any other produce that doesn't need to be stored in a plastic bag in the fridge.

This is a new one for me, but I like the see-through window, and for $3.50 I figure I'll give it a try.

I've had friends express reluctance to replace disposable plastic baggies with reusables because they like to be able to see what's inside. So I'm going to give this clear PEVA bag a try and see what I think. Blue Avocado also makes snack and sandwich size bags.

ChicoBag Produce Bag Sets
I am going to try their rePETe™ 3 Pack. I am intrigued by the description that this type of bag "is great for squash, broccoli, carrots and celery because it restricts airflow and locks in moisture." I have yet to find a reusable bag that works as well for fridge storage as disposable plastic produce bags.

Reuseit is a great place to shop for all kinds of reusables. They have a huge selection of lunch gear, water bottles, reusable food bags, alternatives to disposable paper products, and more. You can check out more of my favorite tried-and-true reuseit products in these posts about reusable shopping and produce bags and eco-friendly lunch gear.

And of course, if you don't feel like making your own reusable gift bags and wrap, you can purchase some from Reuseit

A few other Black Friday deals:

Enjoy 15% off off my new favorite source for organic cotton underwear and clothing for kids.  

MightyNest sells non-toxic, natural & organic products for your family. Get $20 off orders over $100 with the code MIGHTY20. I've purchased many kitchen supplies and some toys from them.

Enjoy 10% off and free shipping on already discounted organic and natural goods with the code SNEAKPEEK. 

15% off and free shipping with the code SAVE15. I am especially fond of their toy collection (lots of wood and fabric stuff). They also sell kids' furniture, bedding, storage, and decor. 

40% off a single discovery box with coupon blackfri or 50% off first month of monthly subscription with the code cybermon. I reviewed one of their craft boxes in this post.

Have a great weekend!

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 one or two 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 is chock-full of affiliate links. I only promote stores with eco-friendly products that I would buy for my own family. Your purchase via these links helps support my blog and costs you nothing. Thank you for your support. Read my full disclosure policy here.

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.

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 one or two times a week). You can also follow me on FacebookPinterestTwitter, or with your favorite RSS Reader. I hope to see you again soon!

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.

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.