DIY Halloween costumes for this year’s virtual parties

October 21, 2020 by  
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Halloween 2020 will likely look a bit different than past years, considering we’re in the middle of a pandemic. But even if your shindig is a virtual Halloween party, the costumes are still at the heart of the fun. When planning the perfect outfit for your socially distanced event, remember to consider the impact on the planet. It’s easy to bring the ‘wow’ factor that will keep party-goers talking for weeks to come while still avoiding plastic and using materials that are natural and recyclable or compostable. Happy Halloween! Use what you have The easiest way to create DIY Halloween costumes with little to no additional environmental impact is to use what you already have. Dig through the closet and the holiday totes in the garage. You might be surprised what you find that could make for a fun, unique costume. Related: Have an eco-friendly Halloween and aim for zero-waste this October Scarecrow A plaid shirt alongside a straw hat will help you pull off a scarecrow costume sure to keep the birds at bay. Add some non-toxic face paint to complete the look. Farmer Some overalls and a bandana with that same flannel shirt and straw hat will spin your look into a farmer instead. Put the scarecrow and the farmer together for a cute couples’ costume idea. Skeleton Much of the skeleton look relies on the face paint. But for clothing, adorn all-black shirts and pants with white paint or fabric to create the appearance of bones. Cat A black cat, leopard or cheetah are always popular for Halloween. Dress in all black or pull out the printed onesie for starters. Then add some easy ears, a tail and face paint for the finishing touches. If you don’t have fabric around, look to old linens or clothing you can cut. Attach triangular ears to a headband. For the tail, sew two long strips of fabric together and stuff with additional material, cotton, packing paper or another natural material . Elephant Similarly, you can don gray clothing head to toe, and add an empty gift wrap tube or paper towel roll for your trunk. Create some floppy ears from fabric-covered or painted cardboard. Robber A robber costume is quick and easy. Throw on a black-and-white striped top, some black pants and a black beanie. Pair with a pillowcase to hold your spoils. Ladybug Children and adults alike can pull this look off with a bit of black paint, fabric or stickers and a pair of red pajamas you may already have around the house. Leggings and a long-sleeve shirt will do the job, too. Simple apply black circles randomly around the red fabric. Put together a simple matching mask or rely on face paint for the final touch. Turn to the recycling bin Save those boxes for your 2020 Halloween costumes and choose from this variety of quick, DIY costume options. Robot For the upper body of a robot costume, cut holes in a box for your head, lower body and arms. You can make it slide on over your head or attach in two pieces so it wraps around your body before securing with tape or ties. For your helmet, create another square box with a face cutout. No plastic required! Dress in gray with a long sleeve shirt and pants. Complete the look by painting the cardboard gray and attaching or painting knobs and a display on the front. Tip: recycled plastic or metal bottle caps make great knobs. Dice Roll the dice for a win with a simple cardboard box painted to look like a die. Remember, an accurate die adds up to seven on all opposite sides, so five dots are across from two dots, four across from three, and one across from six. Rubix Cube For a more colorful look, use the same cardboard box idea as the die, but paint it to resemble a Rubix Cube instead with various colorful squares. Knight Be a knight in shining armor for the planet with a cardboard shield, helmet and body armor. Embellish with paint if you like. Remember the cardboard or wood sword for your defense in battle! Mummy It’s a classic costume for a reason — it’s so easy. Head out to the paint supply cupboard or linen closet for an old white sheet , rip or cut it into shreds and wrap yourself head to toe. You’ll be ready for your next virtual Halloween bash in no time! Images via Adobe Stock

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DIY Halloween costumes for this year’s virtual parties

4 Tips for Buying a Tiny Home Kit

October 20, 2020 by  
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Some Americans are rethinking how much money and resources they … The post 4 Tips for Buying a Tiny Home Kit appeared first on Earth 911.

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4 Tips for Buying a Tiny Home Kit

Simple, sustainable DIY Halloween decor

October 12, 2020 by  
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Fall has arrived, and the holiday season is right around the corner, making for the perfect time to get creative with Mission Fall Decor 2020. While you might find inspiration walking through the local home improvement or craft store, dedicating yourself to DIY decor saves you money, adds a personal sense of accomplishment and presents the opportunity to recycle or select materials that are sustainable and environmentally-friendly. Use products of the season  Autumn is the season for apple and pumpkin  everything, which launches a starting point for your seasonal decorating. Select glass bowls to fill with apples or gourds for an easy table centerpiece. Similarly, carve out the tops of apples or pumpkins and place a candle inside. To fill the house with the smell of cinnamon and apples, cube or slice an apple, add a cinnamon stick and some nutmeg and top with water. Allow the mixture to simmer on the stove, and keep an eye on the water level so it doesn’t boil dry. Related: DIY fall decor using upcycled items from thrift stores To add a cozy feel, grab a flannel blanket and drape it over a hay bale near the door to welcome guests. Top with a few pumpkins and give it a backdrop of corn stalks. After the season, everything except the blanket can go into the compost pile. Now with your scene set, put on your crafty hat for some additional decorations easily made from home-sourced supplies. Twig wreath Walk into a craft store this time of year, and you’ll likely see an assortment of wreaths, including a basic design with nothing more than twigs glued together. Instead of doling out the cash, make your own using  natural materials . Bundle up the kids and head out for a stick-collection party. With your selections back home, scrape the sticks free of moss and dirt. Overlap them and adhere with a hot glue gun, creating a circle as you work. After completing the first layer, add additional layers for depth. Once the twigs are securely attached, you can keep the ultra-natural look or spraypaint the wreath black or even orange for a bolder display. Add a burlap bow, or glue berries, mini pumpkins or dried apples on if you desire. You can check out this tutorial from  Ernest Home Co.  for more guidance. Metal Jack-O-Lantern luminaries Of course, a very popular fall holiday inspires specific witchy and graveyard appeal. To get started on your Halloween Decor 2020, hang luminaries with a Halloween theme, or use them to line a walkway up the driveway or through the garden. To make, select clean, dry cans from the waste pile and remove the lids. Watch for sharp edges. Depending on the look you want, you can use anything from a large coffee can down to a tuna can (although the latter might work better with a floating candle). Spray-paint your cans black or orange. Use the opposite color of poster board to cut out a variety of facial features such as eyes, noses and mouths. Cut up those thin marketing magnets that seem to accumulate from mailings and the front of phone books, then glue a piece to the back of each poster board cutout. You can then mix and match the faces to the front of the cans. Using a drill, create holes around the can in a random pattern. This will allow light to glow through. Place a candle or LED light inside the can so you can enjoy spooky or funny Jack-O-Lantern faces during the day and luminaries when the sun goes down. Visit  Fun Cheap or Free  for a peek at what the end product will look like. Fabric pumpkins Small, large, orange, cream or black fabric pumpkins are easy to make by recycling fabric you already have around the house. Dig through your sewing box for a basic needle with a large eye. Use whatever thread, string, yarn, ribbon or jute you already have. If using a piece of fabric, start by creating two panels and connecting them on two sides. A shortcut and wonderful way to upcycle is to use a shirt, sweater or sweatshirt for the fabric. With either source of material, roughly gather and sew closed the bottom of the pumpkin. The gathering technique helps to form the rounded bottom. Next, stuff the pumpkins with other discarded clothing, fabric, cotton, newspaper or any other material you’d like to reuse. Gather the fabric around the top of the pumpkin, cutting off the rest of the shirt parts if needed, and tie off with burlap strips or jute. You can make these pumpkins in a variety of sizes for a display. Reclaimed wood-painted blocks and signs If you enjoy  wood crafts, you likely have an assortment of wood pieces laying around just waiting for the right project to match. Use or create blocks out of 1x1s or 4x4s. Paint them using freehand techniques or stencils. You could also use a wood burner or router to sculpt a design. For longer boards, make some ghoulish signs to greet, or deter, your guests. Guide them towards the warm cookies in the kitchen or the scary graveyard in the front yard. Bat Mobile No, this isn’t a Batmobile, but a mobile, like the decorations that hang above a baby’s crib. To make, simply create bat cutouts from poster board or cardboard. Spray-paint them black and attach them in a series of heights using string or yarn. Attach the top of each strip to a round hoop, then add strings that connect the hoop to a central hook for hanging. Images via Pexels and Shutterstock

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Simple, sustainable DIY Halloween decor

World Habitat Day

October 5, 2020 by  
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For decades, habitat conservation has been such a major focus … The post World Habitat Day appeared first on Earth 911.

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World Habitat Day

Earth911 Interview: Exploring America’s 110 Million Acres of Wetlands With Jeremy Schewe

October 5, 2020 by  
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Earth911 talks with Jeremy Schewe, a wetlands scientist who is … The post Earth911 Interview: Exploring America’s 110 Million Acres of Wetlands With Jeremy Schewe appeared first on Earth 911.

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Earth911 Interview: Exploring America’s 110 Million Acres of Wetlands With Jeremy Schewe

A net-zero compact home in Seattle is inspired by Shibui minimalism

October 2, 2020 by  
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Refined, elemental and minimal: these words were the inspiration behind a recently completed net-zero home in West Seattle. Built to endure the test of time and incorporate elegance with an unobtrusive aesthetic and restrained size, the home takes inspiration from the Japanese concept of Shibui. Uncomplicated and honest, the concept of Shibui in design favors simple, subtle beauty. The architectural team followed the client’s suggestion to utilize the technique by creating a minimal -yet-elegant home with few superfluous touches. Though the design is uncomplicated, leading to a sense of peace while inside, it is not lacking in convenience. Despite being on the smaller side when compared to similar luxury homes, the 1,153-square-foot house still has an open-plan kitchen, a living and dining area, a den to be used as an office or guest room, two bathrooms and a garage with electric vehicle charging capability, bike storage and a trash room. Related: Twin timber buildings draw inspiration from traditional Japanese shrines The home also maintains a small carbon footprint with energy-efficient features like Passive House-certified windows for high thermal performance, LED fixtures and WaterSense-certified fixtures. To put more value on privacy, the home is set farther back from the street to create a sense of distance from the public. Setting the house back also gained the additional bonus of preserving an existing cherry tree onsite. There is a non-infiltrating bio-retention tank to collect rain and stormwater, filtering the collected water before applying it to landscaping inside the raised yard. The location of interior spaces, also guided by privacy and control, features diagonal views and sliding doors that block neighbor views. A large roof accommodates a substantial solar panel system and guards the home against the elements. On the upper level, the home opens fully to the west deck through patio sliders while roof overhangs provide protection for occupants. + SHED Architecture and Design Photography by Rafael Soldi via SHED Architecture and Design

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A net-zero compact home in Seattle is inspired by Shibui minimalism

A net-zero compact home in Seattle is inspired by Shibui minimalism

October 2, 2020 by  
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Refined, elemental and minimal: these words were the inspiration behind a recently completed net-zero home in West Seattle. Built to endure the test of time and incorporate elegance with an unobtrusive aesthetic and restrained size, the home takes inspiration from the Japanese concept of Shibui. Uncomplicated and honest, the concept of Shibui in design favors simple, subtle beauty. The architectural team followed the client’s suggestion to utilize the technique by creating a minimal -yet-elegant home with few superfluous touches. Though the design is uncomplicated, leading to a sense of peace while inside, it is not lacking in convenience. Despite being on the smaller side when compared to similar luxury homes, the 1,153-square-foot house still has an open-plan kitchen, a living and dining area, a den to be used as an office or guest room, two bathrooms and a garage with electric vehicle charging capability, bike storage and a trash room. Related: Twin timber buildings draw inspiration from traditional Japanese shrines The home also maintains a small carbon footprint with energy-efficient features like Passive House-certified windows for high thermal performance, LED fixtures and WaterSense-certified fixtures. To put more value on privacy, the home is set farther back from the street to create a sense of distance from the public. Setting the house back also gained the additional bonus of preserving an existing cherry tree onsite. There is a non-infiltrating bio-retention tank to collect rain and stormwater, filtering the collected water before applying it to landscaping inside the raised yard. The location of interior spaces, also guided by privacy and control, features diagonal views and sliding doors that block neighbor views. A large roof accommodates a substantial solar panel system and guards the home against the elements. On the upper level, the home opens fully to the west deck through patio sliders while roof overhangs provide protection for occupants. + SHED Architecture and Design Photography by Rafael Soldi via SHED Architecture and Design

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A net-zero compact home in Seattle is inspired by Shibui minimalism

Will Your Next House Be a Tiny Home?

October 2, 2020 by  
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Although the American dream used to involve a white picket … The post Will Your Next House Be a Tiny Home? appeared first on Earth 911.

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Will Your Next House Be a Tiny Home?

Earth911 Inspiration: We Belong to the Earth

October 2, 2020 by  
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Today’s Earth911 inspiration is from Chief Sealth of the Suquamish … The post Earth911 Inspiration: We Belong to the Earth appeared first on Earth 911.

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Earth911 Inspiration: We Belong to the Earth

This luxurious home is a pollutant-free paradise and it’s for sale

October 1, 2020 by  
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Located in Norwalk, Connecticut, this recently listed pollutant-free home at 88 Old Saugatuck Road has been void of chemicals, insecticides and pesticides for more than 26 years. The house has been rebuilt to 100% green standards by the seller, an award-winning LEED AP interior designer specializing in sustainable luxury, green consulting and holistic homes. The house at 88 Old Saugatuck Road isn’t just an energy-efficient, green home built with non-toxic materials and finishes — it is also a stunning example of a residence with clean air . The indoor air is refreshed every 20 minutes with a specialized heat recovery ventilation system that exchanges indoor air with fresh outdoor air. The system filters out allergens like dust, pollen, mold, mites, dander and VOCs all while recovering up to 80% of the heating and cooling energy. There is even a whole house central vacuum system designed to prevent dust from going back into the air while vacuuming. Related: IKEA’s new air purifying curtain will decrease indoor pollutants Thoughtfully constructed with fewer natural resources to minimize its environmental impact , the house also has custom, FSC-certified solid rock maple cabinetry throughout. The cabinetry is free from interior particleboard and formaldehyde-based finishes. Additionally, the walls and trim are painted with no-VOC, water-based latex paint. During the remodel, when a wall was taken out between the original kitchen and living room, the design team reused the appliances in a lower-level catering kitchen rather than purchasing them new. The garage has a charging station for electric vehicles as well as an automatic air filtration system that activates for 20 minutes each time the car pulls in to filter harmful fumes. To reduce electromagnetic fields, there is metal-clad cable electric wiring used instead of non-metallic sheathing. For landscaping, the property’s 1.15 acres are planted with trees and pines to help filter out any car fumes from the street and organic, perennial gardens to promote less maintenance. A driveway storm drain filters pollutants before runoff can enter local waterways, and a five-ring meditation walkway can be found in the back garden . The 4,094-square-foot, single-family home has three bedrooms, three full baths and a two-car garage. + Coldwell Banker Images via Coldwell Banker

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This luxurious home is a pollutant-free paradise and it’s for sale

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