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Gluten-Free Holiday Treats

A gluten-free diet doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy treats during the holidays. Try these gluten-free holiday treat recipes, you are sure to love them!

Gluten-Free Holiday Treats, Gluten-Free Desserts, Gluten- Free Cookies, Gluten-Free Christmas #GlutenFree #ChristmasCookies

The holidays are full of delicious treats, cookies, cakes, pies, and more. If you are avoiding gluten it can be hard to be around all of these treats.


Having gluten-free holiday treats available makes the holidays more fun. Even if you aren’t gluten-free you likely know someone that is and having these recipes on hand is great in case you are going to a party or want to bake a fun treat for your gluten-free friend.

Gluten-Free Holiday Treats

Gluten-Free Holiday Treats, Gluten-Free Desserts, Gluten- Free Cookies, Gluten-Free Christmas #GlutenFree #ChristmasCookies

Gluten-Free Holiday Treats, Gluten-Free Desserts, Gluten- Free Cookies, Gluten-Free Christmas #GlutenFree #ChristmasCookies

Gluten-Free Holiday Treats, Gluten-Free Desserts, Gluten- Free Cookies, Gluten-Free Christmas #GlutenFree #ChristmasCookies

Additional Resources: 6 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Holiday Party

Gluten-Free Holiday Treats, Gluten-Free Desserts, Gluten- Free Cookies, Gluten-Free Christmas #GlutenFree #ChristmasCookies

Additional Resource: 101 Christmas Cookies Recipes

Gluten-Free Holiday Treats, Gluten-Free Desserts, Gluten- Free Cookies, Gluten-Free Christmas #GlutenFree #ChristmasCookies

Gluten-Free Holiday Treats, Gluten-Free Desserts, Gluten- Free Cookies, Gluten-Free Christmas #GlutenFree #ChristmasCookies

Having trouble finding gluten-free ingredients? Find them and save money by shopping at Thrive Market

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Eco-Friendly Artificial Christmas Tree

Artificial Christmas trees may not be the most eco-friendly option but if you have one you can make it a bit more eco-friendly with these tips.

How to Green Your Artificial Christmas Tree, Eco-friendly Christmas Tree

There is something magical about a Christmas tree, especially when it’s all lit up at night and you turn off all of the other lights. My brother and I used to love laying under our tree and just looking up at it. We also used to sleep in the living room at least one night during the Christmas season, just so we could sleep with the Christmas lights on.


We had real Christmas trees the first couple of years of my life. However, my parents figured out I was allergic to the real trees and the rest of my childhood we had an artificial Christmas tree.

There are advantages and disadvantages to real versus artificial. From an environmental point of view live is likely best but from a homemaking point of view artificial likely wins. For me, there is no choice, artificial or an asthma attack. Any surprise that I stick with artificial?

If you go with a real tree be sure to try to get one locally, bonus green points if it’s potted. If you do choose to go with an artificial Christmas tree, there are ways to make it greener.

HOW TO GREEN YOUR ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREE

  1. TAKE CARE OF IT.

    The best thing you can do is take care of your tree and get as much use out of it as possible. If you do decide to get a new tree when your old one still has some life in it, donate it. Many can’t afford a tree and would be happy to take your tree, even if it’s not perfect.

  2. VACUUM AND DUST OFTEN.

    Most artificial trees contain PVC which can contain lead and most lights also contain lead. Make sure to vacuum and wet dust the room the tree is in often to reduce lead exposure. Also, don’t let kids touch the tree and wash your hands well after handling it.

  3. CHOOSE A LOW PVC OR PVC-FREE TREE.

    PVC-free trees are hard to find and quite expensive. However, you are now seeing more trees that use more PE plastic in place of some of the PVC. Our tree is mostly PE with just some PVC. It’s from Balsam Hill and we are very happy with it. Look for the trees they call “most realistic.” The realistic branches are the non-PVC ones.

  4. USE LED LIGHTS.

    LED lights use less energy and last longer. They also put off less heat making them much safer. Remember, even LED Christmas lights can contain lead. Wash your hands after using them and don’t like kids handle them.

Want more green Christmas tips and to have a stress-free Christmas? Check out A Stress-Free Christmas: A Complete How-To Guide.

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Eco-Friendly Gift Guide

Need gift ideas for the people on your list? These eco-friendly gift ideas that are perfect for everyone on your list!

Eco-Friendly Gift Guide, Green Gifts

Christmas can mean a lot of waste but choosing eco-friendly Christmas gifts can help reduce the waste and help the people on our list continue to make a positive impact.


Eco-friendly gifts don’t need to be boring or smell like patchouli, there is a wide range of eco-friendly gifts now and they are anything but boring. Eco-friendly also doesn’t have to mean expensive, this list features a ton of items under $25.

These gifts are online but don’t forget to also shop locally to support your local community. Use these ideas when you can’t find what you want locally.

Eco-Friendly Gift Guide

These gifts are great for everyone on your list and all budgets. Don’t forget to wrap your gifts in eco-friendly wrapping paper.

Stocking Stuffers

Eco-Friendly Gift Guide, Green Gifts

  1. Theo Holiday Organic Chocolate Bars
  2. Liquid Lip Trio
  3. Organic Farm Buddies Plush Toy
  4. Eco-Dough
  5. Upcycled Charm Bracelet
  6. Christmas Tree to Be
  7. S’Well Insulated Bottle
  8. Peppermint Bath Bombs
  9. NibMor Organic Drinking Chocolate
  10. Felt Penguin Ornament

Under $25

Eco-Friendly Gift Guide, Green Gifts

  1. Toy Food and Beverage Set
  2. Recycled Wine Bottle Platter
  3. Salsa Grow Kit
  4. Camping Play Set
  5. World of Tea Collection
  6. Death Wish Coffee
  7. Multicolor Glass Tumbler Set
  8. Ceramic Travel Cup Gift Set
  9. Sari Lunch Bag
  10. Donut Baby Rattle

Under $50

Eco-Friendly Gift Guide, Green Gifts

  1. Plant Therapy Essential Oil Gift Set
  2. NatureBox
  3. GlassDharma Straw Set
  4. Crepe Myrtle Bonsai Tree
  5. Alex and Ani Snowflake Bracelet
  6. Bodum French Press
  7. Organic Cotton Robe
  8. Toy Kitchen and Tableware Set
  9. Recycled Glass Rainbow Wind Chime
  10. Brew-in-Mug

Over $50

Eco-Friendly Gift Guide, Green Gifts

  1. Instant Pot
  2. Play Parking Garage
  3. Wine Tasting Flight
  4. Thrive Market Membership
  5. Blue Apron Sub Subscription
  6. Dollhouse
  7. Phyto-Pigments Makeup Gift Set
  8. All-Clad Cookware Set
  9. Sea Glass Necklace
  10. Kombucha Kit

Looking for homemade gift ideas? Check out these great 20+ Homemade Christmas Gifts.

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide

Looking for some great homemade Christmas gift ideas? People will love these gifts and they are all eco-friendly. 

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Christmas is a magical time but sometimes the magic is lost when we are stressed about our budgets and finding gifts. Homemade gifts come from the heart and can save us money. It’s also a great way to reduce waste this holiday season.


There are so many great homemade gift ideas out there, you are sure to find some you would like to make and give this year. All of these ideas can use eco-friendly materials, many can even use upcycled supplies.

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Additional Information: 25+ More Homemade Christmas Gifts

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Additional Information: 8 Reasons to Shop Locally for the Holidays

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Additional Information: A More Meaningful Holiday Season

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Want to get more tips like this delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to our mailing list below. 

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Lead Exposure and Christmas Photos

Christmas photos of kids, pets, and families wrapped in lights are cute but they may not be safe.

Could your Christmas photos be dangerous? Lead and Christmas lights, lead poisoning, lead exposure

This time of the year you will see photos of kids, pets, and couples wrapped in Christmas lights. Sure these photos are cute but are there hidden dangers?


One big danger is the fact that most Christmas lights contain lead. According to one CNN analysis, four common brands of Christmas lights contained lead levels that are considered to be dangerous to children. And many experts say no level is safe.

“There is no level at which lead exposure is safe,” Dr. Trasande said. “Even at one microgram/deciliter — the lowest level in a person’s blood stream that we can detect — that level has been associated with cognitive impairment in children.”- read more

A quick search on Pinterest and you will find hundreds of photos of babies wrapped in lights, some with the lights in their mouths. This is very concerning given the amount of surface lead found in Christmas lights. Also in many of the photos, the lights are plugged in, adding an extra danger to the situation.

Protect Yourself from Lead Christmas Lights

  • Don’t let children handle the lights.
  • Wash your hands after handling lights.
  • Wear gloves while handling lights.
  • Choose Made in the USA lights when possible, generally, they have lower levels of lead than imported brands.
  • Buy lead-free lights.
  • Vacuum often with a HEPA filter vacuum and/or wet mop.
  • Dust often with a wet rag.
  • And of course, skip the photos with people and animals wrapped in Christmas lights.

Artificial Christmas trees often contain lead as well, so use the same caution with the tree. Also look for trees that use PE tips, it reduces the amount of PVC and lead.

Be sure to share this post to help prevent lead exposure this holiday season.

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8 Reasons to Shop Locally for the Holidays

Christmas will be here soon. While buying gifts give back to your community by shopping locally. 

8 Reasons to Shop Locally This Holiday Season, Buy Local, Small Business Saturday

The holidays are fast approaching. There is so much to do, including gifts to buy. This holiday season you can help support your community by shopping locally. Here are eight reasons why it’s important to shop locally.

Reasons to Shop Locally for the Holidays

  • Create Jobs – “If every American spent $64 on something made in America, we could create 200,000 jobs right now.” [source]
  • Keep Money Local – Sales taxes help fund vital services in our communities. Also, local businesses are also more likely to spend money locally, keeping more money in the community.
  • Creates a Diverse Community –  Shopping locally encourages people to businesses that are unique and an alternative to chain stores.
  • Better for the Environment – Many locally owned businesses also offer local products which require far less transportation.
  • Better Customer Service – Local businesses owners are passionate about their businesses and connected to the community. This often contributes to better and more personal customer service.
  • Helps Your Community Grow – Keeping tax dollars in your community and creating demand will help encourage new businesses and help your city grow.
  • More Support for Nonprofits – Studies show that nonprofits receive 250 percent more support from small businesses than larger businesses.
  • Connect with your Community – Shopping locally helps you connect with people in your community and learn about more things going on around you.

Encourage your friends and family to shop locally this year by sharing this post and this graphic.

shop local

Consider supporting Small Business Saturday instead of Black Friday this year as well. It’s a great way to save money while supporting local businesses. It also gives you more time with family for Thanksgiving before going out shopping.

Be sure to also follow us on Facebook to learn about great local shops and gift ideas. 

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Why You Shouldn’t Rake Your Leaves

Raking leaves is a chore you may want to skip this fall. There are several reasons to let the leaves be instead of bagging them up.

Why You Shouldn't Rake Your Leaves

As the leaves change color and fall we start to see bags of leaves lining the streets. Raking leaves isn’t a fun chore but one many believe is necessary but it may not be. Not only that but raking leaves may be harmful to wildlife and the environment.


Scientists are urging people to skip raking their leaves. It’s one chore you can remove from your list this year.

The Benefits of Not Raking Leaves

Creating Wildlife Habits

Many wildlife species including box turtles, toads, earthworms, and chipmunks live in or rely on the leaf layer for food. Many butterfly and moth species overwinter in the leaf layer. When you rack the leaves you are likely getting rid of some beneficial insects as well. These insects are also important food sources for birds in the spring.

Increased Soil Health

Leaves create a natural mulch that can help suppress weeds and also fertilize the soil. This can save you money on mulch and fertilizer and also is safer than many of the commercially available options.

Reduces Waste

Many people rake and bag their leaves. This can waste a lot of trash bags and means a lot of plastic ending up in our landfills. According to the EPA yard trimmings and food accounted for 28.2 percent of household waste.

Reduces Pollution

Leaf blowers save a lot of time and are becoming more common but they also often rely on fossil fuels and create a lot of pollution.

What to do Instead

Sometimes you do need to remove leaves from your yard. If you are in a high-risk fire area, a homeowners association, or maybe you just really don’t like having leaves in your yard. Instead of just bagging your leaves and letting them go to the landfill try one of these options.

Compost

Composting your leaves is a great way to get the benefits from the leaves without the mess. Home composting is easy and can reduce your waste. Check out this Composting Guide: Using Leaves for Composting.

Additional Resource: How to Start Composting in 30 Seconds for Less Than $3

Use for Mulch

Leaves are a free and effective mulch. Put the leaves in a big trash can and use a weedeater to shred them. Then apply the shredded leaves to flower beds, trees and shrubs, vegetable gardens or simply mow the leaves and leave them on the yard.

Donate Your Leaves

Check with local community gardens or schools to see if they could use some leaf mulch. It’s a great way to keep the leaves out of the landfill, clean your yard, and help your community all at once.

Use all that time you’ve saved not raking leaves to enjoy fall activities around Oklahoma

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes

Looking for vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes? These are delicious and perfect even for your non-vegetarian friends. 

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

No matter if you are vegetarian, flexitarian, or just trying to reduce your meat intake, these recipes are perfect for your Thanksgiving meal.


Many of these recipes are also vegan-friendly. None of them are short on flavor. Everything from main dishes to a tasty dessert is on this list.

Many are also gluten-free so everyone at your Thanksgiving meal will have something delicious to eat.

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Additional Resource: Thanksgiving Planning Guide

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Additional: How to Freeze Mashed Potatoes

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Looking for even more meatless recipes? Check out Meatless Instant Pot Recipes

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Recycled Halloween Crafts

These recycled Halloween crafts are adoreable and easy to make. Many are easy enough for kids to make.

Recycled Halloween Crafts, Upcycled Halloween Crafts, Halloween DIY

Looking for some easy Halloween craft projects? We have gathered some great ones that use materials from your recycling bin!


It’s a great way to save on craft supplies and be a bit greener this Hallowen. It’s amazing what you can make with things that were headed to the landfill.

These recycled Halloween crafts are perfect for different ages and skill levels. They would also be fun to do at a school Halloween party.

Recycled Halloween Crafts

Recycled Halloween Crafts, Upcycled Halloween Crafts, Halloween DIY

Additional Resource: How to Have an Eco-Friendly Halloween

Recycled Halloween Crafts, Upcycled Halloween Crafts, Halloween DIY

Additional Resource: Have a Greener Halloween

Recycled Halloween Crafts, Upcycled Halloween Crafts, Halloween DIY

Additional Resource: Things to Do This Fall in Oklahoma

Recycled Halloween Crafts, Upcycled Halloween Crafts, Halloween DIY

Start saving up your recycling to use in these great crafts. It’s a great way to upcycle your trash and help the planet.

Interested in more green living tips? Sign up for our mailing list below.

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Have a Greener Halloween

Halloween is a fun time of the year but it can also come with a lot of waste. Have a greener Halloween this year with these great tips.

Have a greener Halloween, Eco-Friendly Halloween, Zero Waste Halloween

Halloween will be here before we know it and that means lots of candy with questionable ingredients and a lot of waste. So how can you stay green and still celebrate Halloween? All you have to do is rethink Halloween and we have tips to get you started.

Candy & Treats


Halloween Treats

Look for natural candy and when possible Fair Trade certified and/or organic candy to help avoid nasty ingredients and be a bit more gentle on the planet. A great place to look for these items is Natural Candy Store, just be sure to order in time.

You can also skip all of the sugary candy altogether and go with non-edible treats, like eco-friendly packs of crayons, little notepads made from recycled paper, and other fun things.

For Halloween parties and your own family consider making your own homemade Halloween treats using natural ingredients.

Costumes

Look for local costume swaps, borrow costumes from friends, make your own using tips from sites like Pinterest, and check out thrift stores, you will save money and avoid extra packaging. Be sure to also avoid costumes that contain PVC, which is toxic and often contains lead.

Carrying Your Treats

If you have brown paper bags around your kids can decorate them for their bags. They can also make one from a shoe box and magazines using this cute treat bucket tutorial. Or get a reflective reusable Halloween bag. It’s fun to use for trick or treating but also can be used as a reusable bag when not being used for candy.

Decorations

A lot of Halloween decorations are made of cheap plastic and don’t hold up long-term. They may also contain harmful chemicals. Instead, make your own decor, shop second hand, or shop the options below.

Have a greener Halloween, Eco-Friendly Halloween, Zero Waste Halloween

Don’t forget to place your Natural Candy Store Halloween candy order before the shipping deadline. 

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