Don't Trash that Squash! Pumpkins Wanted for Compost at Greenmarkets

Repurpose Your Pumpkins for Christmas

Hair Care

12 Ways to Green Your Holiday Season

How to Scent Your Home Without Chemicals

EveryOne's New Holiday Products

nature conserve

Don't Trash that Squash!
Pumpkins Wanted for Compost at Greenmarkets

Food comprises about 17% of NYC's waste stream. When this material is sent to a landfill it contributes to NYCs disposal costs and can create greenhouse gas emissions. When composted, food scraps and other organic waste become a useful product that adds nutrients and improves the quality of soil for street trees, gardens and more.

Especially this time of year, non-profit GrowNYC reminds New Yorkers that there is a green alternative to turning sidewalk trash piles orange with pumpkins: compost.  GrowNYC hosts weekly collections for food scraps at 38 of its Greenmarket farmers markets, and welcomes the addition of seasonal jack-o-lanterns to the mix of apple cores, coffee grounds and other kitchen scraps.  Make landscape, not landfill! Shoppers at select Greenmarkets can drop off fruit and vegetable scraps to be transformed into compost.

In partnership with the NYC Department of Sanitation, organic waste collected at markets is transported to local compost sites, where it is processed into compost to grow food or enrich the soil of urban farms, tree beds, and other green areas throughout the five boroughs.  To date, New Yorkers have brought more than 3.5 million pounds of food scraps to GrowNYC collections. 
"Organic waste discarded as trash in NYC goes to distant landfills where it can harm our environment.  When composted, food scraps and other organic waste become a useful product that improves the quality of soil in gardens, tree beds and more," said David Hurd, Director of the Office of Recycling Outreach and Education at GrowNYC.   "Our compost coordinators work every week to show people how easy it is to separate food scraps and bring them to a market to be given a second life.  For those unaccustomed to the process, there's no easier way to help reduce organic waste than dropping off end-of-season pumpkins and gourds."

The organization estimates that more than 9 million pounds of pumpkin waste could be created if every house and apartment building in the city placed a jack-o-lantern at their doorstep.  

GrowNYC, a 44-year-old environmental nonprofit, improves New York City's quality of life through environmental programs that transform communities block by block and empower all New Yorkers to secure a clean and healthy environment for future generations.  Programs: Greenmarket, Office of Recycling Outreach and Education, Open Space Greening, Environmental Education and Grow to Learn NYC: Citywide School Gardens Initiative.  Learn more at
 For more information visit


Repurpose Your Pumpkins for Christmas

Here’s a step by step guide to bring new life (and season) to your pumpkins.  Watch how the one-season-only gourd can be transitioned into great wintery holiday décor.



Hair Care

Do you really know what’s in your shampoo and your other hair care products? If you’ve struggled maintaining length or mending split ends, take another look at what you’re putting in your hair and you might find the answer to your hair woes. The folks from Aviva remind us that it’s important to read ingredient labels and avoid products that contain synthetic ingredients such as: Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate, Parabens, Lanolin, Petroleum and Mineral Oil, which strip hair of natural moisture, cause dryness, and can have devastating health effects.

Products that contain naturally derived nutrients and oils that will improve the texture and overall health of your hair. Luckily, Aviva’s New Hair Care Collection is formulated with 11 botanical extracts that serve to build strength, improve texture, increase shine and control frizz (among other benefits!)
Some of the best ingredients include:

  • Chamomile – Known for its calming and restorative properties, it can also brighten color and reveal highlights.

  • Sage Leaf – Prevents early greying and is a natural way to sustain youthful color

  • Wheat Amino Acids – Helps to promote healthy hair growth by strengthening weak and brittle strands

  • Rosemary Leaf – Powerful herb that treats scalp dryness and irritation

  • Burdock Root – Traditionally used to reduce and reverse hair thinning because of its essential fatty acids complex

AVIVA Hydracreme Shampoo ($14.95, is a gentle cleanser that boosts strength and restores shine.  Free of parabens, sulfates and sodium chloride, the shampoo is suitable for all hair types and safe for both colored and chemically treated hair. The formula packs 11 botanical extracts to eliminate buildup without stripping your hair of the moisture it needs, leaving your locks nourished and your scalp soothed.  

AVIVA Hydracreme Conditioner ($15.95, is loaded with botanical extracts to detangle while maintaining moisture, softness and shine. The formula is safe for all hair types and free of parabens, sulfates or sodium chloride.

AVIVA Keratin Renewal Anti Frizz Serum ($24.95, is a keratin-infused leave-in serum that provides UV protection and seals the cuticle to tame any hairstyle.  Aviva keeps your strands frizz free so you can rest easy and shine.  Free of parabens, alcohol or sodium chloride.

AVIVA Hair Rescue Keratin Renewal Masque ($29.95, is infused with keratin and essential nutrients to repair damage and restore elasticity, while protecting from the drying effects of UV rays. Free of parabens, alcohol and sodium chloride, Aviva’s lightweight formula will leave hair noticeably more hydrated and healthy looking with a smooth and shiny finish.


12 Ways to Green Your
Holiday Season

1. Treecycling: Christmas trees can be re-purposed into mulch and used in gardening and landscaping or chipped and used on hiking trails and paths. Christmas trees can also been used for erosion control, soil stabilization and shoreline maintenance. When used in this manner, the trees not only stabilize the soil, but also provide habitats for fish and birds.

2. Scrap the Traditional Wrap: Wrap holiday gifts with children’s artwork or a colorful section of your local newspaper. Some beautiful remnant fabric or what was once a “must have” scarf would make cheerful holiday gift wrapping.

3. Light up the Night with LED Lights: Energy-saving LED lights burn brighter, last longer, and save you money.

4. Green Greetings: sending e-cards—saves time, money and the planet. When the holidays are over, why not turn some of those beautiful greeting cards you received into gift tags for next year? Start by separating the front of the prettiest holiday cards from the back. Trim the edges of the front, following the design of the card, to create a festive gift tag.

5. Give Back: give a gift that makes a difference—changing a life or saving a life. Donate to a local or favorite charity in a friend’s name.

6. Decorate with Nature: create a beautiful holiday wreath using gifts from nature. Collect pinecones, twigs, branches adorned with berries and more from your own backyard, use wire to create the round wreath shape, and decorate with festive ribbons. A great, and green, family project.

7. Shop local: walk into town to do your holiday shopping. Neighborhood shops offer festive and unique holiday gifts—no more gas-guzzling spins around the mall parking lot looking for a parking spot.

8. Use Wrapping for Scrapping: Use holiday-themed wrapping from gifts that you receive for festive scrapbooking page borders. Ribbons, bows and embellishments will also help to create lively holiday memory keepsakes.

9. Give Battery-Free Toys: battery sales spike during the holiday season and these batteries can end up in landfills. Art sets and craft projects provide inspiration and feed imagination.

10. Serve Organic and Locally Sourced Meals: visit local farmers markets to shop for your holiday menu. Locally made jellies and jams also make great gifts.

11. Teach Kids About Giving: after all the new gifts have been opened, ask kids to select a toy they no longer play with and have them donate it to a children’s hospital or child care center. What was old will now seem new again to a child this holiday season.

12. Remember Those in Need: Clean out your closets and donate gently used clothes and coats to local thrift shops and shelters.

How to Scent Your Home Without Chemicals

Have you heard of simmering pots?

They are a super simple way to scent your home without the chemicals of sprays and store bought fragrances.  They also make great gifts!

Here is a super simple fall simmering pot recipe from, this smells amazing and it’s SO easy!

orange slices
cinnamon sticks
whole cloves
apple peels

Combine your ingredients in a mason jar-you can use whatever quantities you have on hand—it will make your home smell fantastic!  For beginners, use one thinly sliced orange, the peel from one apple, one cinnamon stick, and one tablespoon of whole cloves.

Fill the mason jar to the top with water—it will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.  Try tying a little bow to give as a gift.

To use, simply pour the mixture in a pot and heat on low on your stove throughout the day.  Make sure you keep an eye on it and add more water as needed.  Never leave the pot unattended…Or better yet, you can do this in a crockpot or slow cooker so you can set it and forget it.

For another great recipe to try, thanks to The Happier Homemaker, click here.


EveryOne's New Holiday Products

It is no secret that the entire staff of the Green Living Newsletter LOVES all the products put out by this company…every item we’ve ever sampled has exceeded our expectations. And these new holiday items are no exception.

EO Holiday Products, the original and ultimate essential oil based personal care products company is excited to reveal our new EO and EveryOne fall products, in addition to two new products developed especially for the holiday season!

EO Products was founded in 1995 when it launched its first line, EO. The EO brand defines eco-luxury,v indulging the senses with aromatherapeutic and exotic essential oils and extravagant organic ingredients. In 2012, the company launched the incredibly successful, and more affordable EveryOne line. EveryOne by EO offers premium, effective, and affordable everyday care for every body in the family.

EveryOne Hand Soaps are made with plant-based ingredients and pure essential oils. No harsh chemicals, no synthetic fragrances. Just clean, healthy, soft hands!

Seasonal offerings include Pine Juniper + Cedar Wood ­ (a wintery woodsy scent) and Vanilla Cinnamon + Coconut ­ (a cozy and warm scent).

12.5 fl. oz., SRP, $4.99  Available at Whole Foods Markets and this holiday season at