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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

How to Waste Less for Halloween

Oh hey, jeez, Halloween is in less than a week! Since I'm just proud that I even bought pumpkins before October ends this year (only because we were having house guests for the wedding, and I wanted the front porch to look...not decrepit), I am going to recycle this photo of the jack-o-lantern I carved a few years back.

Halloween is not exactly known for being zero-waste, with all of the fun-size candy in non-recyclable wrappers, not to mention the polyester costumes that are only worn once.

While we're a long way from making Halloween truly sustainable, there are small steps you can take to reduce, reuse and recycle as you trick or treat.


Go for reusable autumn decorations that can be put out year after year, and skip the cheap decorations made of styrofoam or Mylar. Investing in good quality decorations saves you from having to replace them more often.

Don't just throw your pumpkins out! When you carve jack-o-lanterns, save the seeds for roasting. I shared a few links for delicious recipes in this previous blog post. They're such a great seasonal snack, and help reduce the waste caused by carving. If you don't carve your pumpkins, scrape all the seeds out before you get rid of them.

When the holiday has passed, add your pumpkins or jack-o-lanterns to your compost pile. Anyone who's left a pumpkin on the porch a little too long can attest to the fact that decomposition happens pretty quickly.


First off, use what you have around the house already to craft your costumes. If you have to purchase items, look at secondhand shops before hitting up big discount stores. You'll at least give new life to something that's been used already. I'm brainstorming my own costume for our office costume contest on Monday, and I'm planning to check out my local Goodwill to find the one piece I don't already have. (Always a procrastinator!)

With children, ask other families for costumes their children have already outgrown. Swapping with friends and family is a great way to give your children a "new" costume, while giving costumes life year after year.


As I've written about before, there's really no way you can avoid individually wrapped candy if you actually want to give candy out at all. And you probably don't want to be That Person who gives out pencils or erasers or crackers or seed packets. It's great, and it's more eco-friendly and healthy, but let's face it. Kids don't want pencils for Halloween.

You could look for organic or fair-trade candy, as suggested by Forbes, but you may either have trouble finding it at your grocery store, or not want to pay extra for candy being given out to children who won't know the difference, or care about it. And it is tough to justify spending a lot on responsibly made candy for a holiday such as this one. So think simply. Look for candy in the least amount of packaging possible.

Think about those fun size packs of Starburst. You get two individually wrapped Starbursts inside another wrapper. Three things to waste for one treat. Or you've got all that candy wrapped in cellophane plastic. Definitely not recyclable. Go for something wrapped only once (think, pieces of Hershey chocolate, or other kinds of chocolate candy), in something a little better than plastic. It's kind of just one of those "less bad" situations, rather than "good".

Trick or Treating

Give each child a reusable basket, bucket, lunch bag, or cloth bag that you already own for them to carry their treats in. Get creative, but make sure it's big enough and has a handle for children to carry.


Recycle as much as you can, and if you choose disposable plates and cutlery, look for ones made with recycled materials. 


Conserve energy, and stay safer, by walking from house to house instead of driving. With so many children on the road, it's just better to leave your car parked at home.

Use energy efficient light bulbs on your porch to signal to trick or treaters that you're handing out candy, a tip from Rachelle Carson-Begley.

How do you plan to be greener this Halloween?

Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday, October 21, 2016

Photo Friday | Sustainably Ever After

It may be quiet on the blog front, but certainly not behind the scenes, as we are now officially ONE day away from getting hitched!

I'm so excited and anxious to see all of our plans put into action, all of our friends and family gathered in one place, and our wedding party all dressed up.

I also cannot wait to share all of the eco-friendly elements with y'all in the next few weeks. It's been extremely hard to not divulge everything on social media before the big day! 

Today's Photo Friday features a few wedding-related snapshots. For our engagement party/couple's shower a few weeks back, I had a lot of fun showing that sustainability doesn't have to mean sacrifice.

My dress is secondhand from ThredUp (and I had it altered since it was slightly large); my earrings (which you can see in the second photo) are sustainably made by Australian-based Pimelia (and a contest prize courtesy of Sustainably Chic!); my necklace was a vintage find in New Orleans during my bachelorette weekend; and my nail polish is 5-free, vegan, and Louisiana-based by Native Polish. My shoes are from when I was a bridesmaid four years ago, which is probably the most sustainable thing about them. And the balloons were used to mark the house our party was at, and were properly disposed of at the end of the night, keeping them from littering the road or a nearby waterway.

And my fiance is handsome. :) He has certainly embraced my treehugging ways by recycling, conserving energy at home, using reusable water and coffee mugs, and reusing/salvaging usable items.

And this is Dax in a bow tie, because the world needs more adorable photos like this. He may or may not be our honorary ring bearer.

See y'all on the other side of married!! Follow me on Instagram and Snapchat (ecocajun, of course) to catch all the fun times.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Friday, October 14, 2016

Photo Friday | Repping the River

When the weather is perfect outside, you always want to take advantage of it. Last weekend was one of those gorgeous days, and a group of friends invited us to spend the afternoon on Bayou Vermilion, soaking in the sun and catching up.

The water was a sparkling brown and the scenery looked almost like real autumn! Even with the watercolor sky and vibrant trees, there's still a reminder of the flood with the water line that still covers the banks.

Bayou Vermilion is one of Lafayette's defining characteristics (for both good and bad), but spending time on it gives you a new perspective on the city. In January, I wrote about how Bayou Vermilion District's operations crew goes out on the water every day (weather and water-level permitting) to clean trash and other debris so that residents like myself and my friends can have enjoyable days like we did.

See how much nicer it is when there's not litter floating downstream!?

When you get out on Bayou Vermilion and take photos, share them on social media with #RepTheRiver!

Hope you all have a happy Festivals Acadiens weekend! Don't forget to be green and recycle!
Eco Cajun | The Earth Just Wants To Be Loved Ba-You! All posts, content, graphics and photographs copyright 2009- 2016 Eco Cajun, unless otherwise credited. BLOG DESIGN BY Labinastudio.