Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Green and Orange Halloween

I’d planned this month's main blog to focus on autumn harvest, but my green teen friends, Jenna and Jessica, and Mr. GP convinced me otherwise. Mr. GP enjoyed dressing up as Mr. Potato Head so much, he became excited when his teen friends offered to make him a Halloween costume and refused to discuss the harvest until next month. To placate the gardener in me, the girls designed a pumpkin/tuxedo costume. Both Mr. GP and I were blown away by their work. The best thing about his dapper costume is that it hides the perpetual scowl he wears as a sign of his anger over the state of our planet. For a few days, at least, he has been enjoying happier thoughts.

Mr. GP's costume, like those other green revelers created this year, is made of natural fibers and totally biodegradable. There are many ideas for eco-oriented costumes like Captain Recycle, Baby Bin, and other recycle characters I found at:


For a more green than orange holiday, this year party hosts are using recyclable and biodegradable decorations--holiday decor they can add to the compost bin when the party’s over--like cardboard and paper cutouts or cotton-ball ghosts. As always, the trusty jack-o-lantern makes rich compost, perhaps offering a surprise next year: home-grown pumpkins.

Many hosts create or purchase decorations to last year after year. This is a super way to reduce the waste stream. Another way is to choose pumpkins, gourds, scarecrows, fall leaves and other decorations to carry decor through Thanksgiving.

To eliminate purchasing over-packaged snacks creating party trash depicted by the costumes at the left, green hostesses make their own party food and serve one drink for all guests--apple cider. Cider can be jazzed up or toned down to meet the taste needs of guests no matter their age.

To include guests (whom you've invited with paperless invitations, of course) in the fun, ask them to bring eco-friendly, homemade decorations. Enjoy the surprise creativity and camaraderie as your home is decorated for you. Then hold a contest for the most original use of recyclables, best eco-message with a Halloween theme, most likely to enrich the compost bin, and other such categories. Don't forget to make all prizes more green than orange.

Mr. GP reminds us, when trick-or-treating, as always, "Take no more than you need and leave no litter on the ground." It doesn't matter how it got there, he says, "Pick it up." After all, where would he be if I'd left him where I saw him just because I hadn't been the one to toss him away?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Green Teens' work ignored?

I wasn't ready to post another blog, but when I read this letter in the Key West newspaper, The Citizen, on October 14th I had to share. This news should be headlined, along with other positive environmental news in the Keys such as rescuing wildlife, protecting lobster traps, and releasing rehabilitated sea turtles.
Let's applaud, let's support, let's encourage a new generation of environmentalists. Let's not ignore them. Here is a teen who... Well, read his letter to the editor for yourself.

I'm doing what little I can to get the word out, Heindreck.

Nobody wants to print a positive news story

I am a student currently enrolled in Key West High School's alternative energies program. We recently got a grant to build two wind turbines on campus, which I have started a student movement to name after comedian Stephen Colbert in an attempt to draw attention to our program. We will be the first public high school campus in the country to have wind turbines.

I wish I could say that is the point of my letter; sadly it is not. This past Friday, I spent my entire lunch period collecting signatures for my "student interest form." I ended up getting over half the student body and more than half of the staff. This is despite the problems I have encountered with everybody in the media.

In order to help publicize this event I talked to the teacher in charge of The Snapper, who promised me it would be in the paper. I submitted two tips to The Citizen about our program before that.

It never got in either paper. After the school newspaper came out without my promised article, I submitted yet another news tip to this newspaper and yet again got no reply of any kind. I practically wrote the article for them.

I'm not sure that this should surprise me. After all, an enterprising young high school student trying to gain national attention to his school has nothing to do with sex, drugs, death, a scandal, or "anybody who disagrees with Obama is a racist." No, my story is simply one of those feel-good stories that might catch somebody's interest and make them feel good at the same time. Sorry if this bored you; perhaps I should just let you get back to your depressive stories.

Heindrek Allen

Cudjoe Key

Saturday, October 3, 2009

And the Cover Is.... Ta Da!

There are some amazingly insightful marketers out there. Twenty three BonnieBlogsGreen readers agreed with the design and marketing departments at Leap Books. You may have already known which one was chosen if you perused this blog or my website:

Most readers agreed with Leap Books. These comments were pulled from emails that don't show up in the comment section below the Five Covers, One Book, You Pick post. You know who you are.

  • Black against yellow is the most contrast you can get.

  • I like the understated type.

  • It seems to visually communicate more than the others.

  • It would draw me to pick it from a shelf filled with hundreds of other books.

  • The bullet holes in what looks like a road sign and the skid marks ...convey a sense of mystery and danger, with shooting definitely involved. The cover promises to put the reader in the middle of the action.

  • It is the one that stays in my mind long after I leave your blog.

  • I like the close up of the caution sign.

  • It pulls me right into the suspense.

  • It is the most graphic of the pitch.

  • [It is the] most eye-catching and evocative of the pitch.

  • The entire decision process was shared by one reader (paraphrasing here) who reasoned that the style of two covers resembled a vanity press, one was of a pretty scene, but didn't tell anything about the story, one looked like an adult mystery or romance instead of being geared for youth, leaving the favorite, which was eye-catching, clever, understated and would make one want to know what was inside.

Oh, gadzooks, I almost forgot. You want to know the count for the other covers. Sixteen people preferred number four and twelve people preferred number five.

And me? I'm super lucky. I agreed with Leap Books, too.

PS To the caffein-starved reader out there: I know it's difficult to tell in a small image, but no, those are not coffee beans on the cover.

Coming soon, Mr GP returns to the fall garden.