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25 Halloween Costumes w/Your LBD

The easiest way to create a last-minute or inexpensive Halloween costume is to start with things you already have. I do it every year, because I get so frustrated with how expensive yet poorly-made most Halloween costumes are. I'd rather use what is already in my closet, or spend a little extra on accessories or a new dress that I can wear anytime of the year. A little black dress is the easiest way to use what you have to create a Halloween costume with a few inexpensive accessories and other accessories you probably already have in your closet.Pictured Above: Halloween Black Mesh Dress

1. Black Cat - This is the easiest way to use your little black dress on Halloween. I know it's pretty much the most generic costume in history, but for good reason - it's just so easy and affordable. It's the perfect last-minute costume for women, because you could really use any black outfit even if you don't have a little black dress. Pair it with your black flats or heels and a…

10 Tips for A Green School Year

The Back to School shopping mania has begun! Mothers are fearlessly roaming the school supply isles in search of the perfect folder while their children shout, "Over here, mom! There's only one Justin Beiber folder left!"

Marketers are so smart. They know that our motherly instincts kick in, and all we can think is "must prepare my child!". We loose all self control and let our good intentions fly out the window. I mean, why buy recycled supplies, when the Hello Kitty folders are all in the unrecycled section? My baby wants Hello Kitty, dammit, and she's going to get it! And I know her back pack from last year is still in great condition, but that ICarly one is on sale!!!
It's okay, I feel your pain. But let's take a step back and think about what we're doing. Here are some tips to help you stay on track with an eco-friendly school year.

1. Reduce. Only buy what your child really needs. I know it's tempting with rows of shiny new school supplies. It is a newly discovered medical condition called Back 2 School Fever. I understand. I too suffer from this condition. As fall nears and it's time to buy school supplies, I become excited about scotch tape! Scotch tape, people!!! The syptoms are easy to recognize if you too suffer from this condition. The remedy? Wait oh so patiently for your child's official back to school list and buy ONLY the things that are in that list.

2. Reuse. If a pencil box or backpack is still in good condition, DO NOT buy new ones. I know this can be tough whenever your child really likes a certain character and there is a product in that character staring you in the face, and your child is going gaga. The solution here is simple; do not take your child to the store with you! Assess what you already have from last year, then make a list of what you really need and stick to it!

3. Recycle. If you do need to buy something new, there is no excuse not to buy recycled anymore. Most products are affordable and are available even at Walmart. I know, most of them are plain or have pictures of leaves or the recycle symbol on them. Sasquatch has a line of eco-friendly notebooks, folders and binders that are stylish, affordable and available at places like Walmart.

4. Think Beyond Recycled Paper. Recycled paper products are very popular these days, but did you know you can find lots of other recycled school supplies? You can find recycled crayons on sites like Etsy, and you can even make your own. Click here for directions from Planet Green. You can also get really cool pencils made from recycled newspapers at . Clothing is something you must buy new every year. Here at you'll find a list of shoes made of recycled materials. At Natural Living for Women you'll fing a glossary of accessories, clothing and purses made from recycled materials.

5. Buy Sustainable. Another eco-friendly option for buying new is buying things made from sustainable materials like hemp, organic cotton and bamboo. Click here for a list.

6. Buy Used. You can also find used items at local thrift stores or on .

7. Swap. Swapping is a great way to save money, buy used and dispose of your own used clothing in a responsible way. You can host your own clothing swap in your community or swap online at sites like and .

8. Avoid Toxic Chemicals. My Green Side has a list of safe products and links about chemicals to avoid like PVC. Click here for a guide on avoiding this toxic chemical in back to school supplies.

9. Cut Down on the Gas. If you're child lives near a bus stop, use it! And if your child is in a sports or group activity, make sure you and the other parents are carpooling to events. Even when it's just the parents going to events, like PTA meetings, try to set up a carpool for the parents. You'll help the environment and save on gas!

10. Pack a Green Lunch. Start with an eco-friendly lunch box. Then think about how you can reduce waste. Pack reusable food supplies like refillable drink bottles, reusable food containers, silverware and cloth napkins.


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