Tag Archives: Paper Straws

Easy Ways to Beat The Winter Blues

Chicago Winter Storm 2015 While Arctic blasts here in the Northeast continue to bring wintry mixes of rain, sleet, ice and snow, it’s hard not to long for sunny skies, warm weather, bare feet, and summery berry pies.

There’s scientific evidence that shows that most people’s moods dip when the weather turns cold. According to a study done at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, most people are more depressed, hostile, angry, irritable and anxious in the winter months than in summer.

Researchers at University of Michigan found that the optimal outdoor temperature for a good mood is 72 degrees, with mood decreasing if temperatures become significantly higher or lower. These researchers further found that people must spend at least 30 minutes outside in nice weather for their mood to actually increase (staying indoors on a warm sunny day has also been proven to increase depression and irritability).

A lot of people suggest eating more Vitamin D (studies say this helps), getting a light box to elevate their mood, getting enough sleep and exercise, taking up a winter sport like skiing or skating to ease the duldrums, or doing yoga. Escaping to a warm destination is another quick fix to beating the winter blues. But for those that can’t escape to a sunny place, indulging in summer activities might just be the answer to surviving (and enjoying) the rest of winter.

Here are some simple suggestions that you can do that go beyond what the “experts” suggest:

  • Keep the summer spirit alive by listening to summer music. Click here for a great summer playlist by DJ Qool Marv.
  • Eat ice cream. Don’t neglect ice cream just because it’s freezing outside. There are plenty of ways to enjoy ice cream in the winter — with pie, a top a freshly baked cookie, with hot chocolate. Click here for some winter ice cream recipes. And here to see Bio & Chic’s wooden ice cream spoon.
  • Treat yourself to a massage. It boosts your immune system, leaves you feeling relaxed and relieves stress, and the heated pad on the table and hot towels warm cold, rigid muscles.
  • Watch a classic summer movie. Click here for a list of 21 classics from Jaws to The Seven Year Itch. Enjoy popcorn in a bamboo leaf cone.
  • You don’t need to actually be on the beach to get swept away in one of last summer’s “best summer reads”. Click here for “The Best Summer Reads of 2014” from The Reading Room. Or, click here for a 2014 summer reading list from Time magazine.

Only 40 days left until Spring!

Be on the lookout for Bio & Chic’s new Kraft To-Go Containers, expanded Street Food Collection, and other new products.

 

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What Is Mardi Gras And How To Throw An Eco-Friendly Mardi Gras Party

March is approaching which means Mardi Gras is coming up!

What is Mardi Gras?

Literally “Fat Tuesday” in French, Mardi Gras falls the day before Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent for Christians). Originally to be ready to deal with the 40-day liturgical period of fasting during Lent, people got to enjoy the Carnival celebration beginning on the Epiphany (January 6th) and ending on Mardi Gras in the beginning of March.

Last day of the Carnival celebrations, Mardi Gras is a day filled with music, parades, excitement and food in abundance! With the traditional purple (representing justice), green (representing faith) and gold (representing power) colors, everyone is dressed up, feasting and having an amazing time. In 2014, Mardi Gras falls on Tuesday, March 4.

What to do for Mardi Gras?

Now the question is, what are you going to do for Mardi Gras? It is a great occasion to party and spend time with your family and friends but it is always better to plan in advance.

Every year, a lot of people go to New Orleans, famous for its big event, parades and costumes on Mardi Gras but most of us can’t afford to fly or drive there whether it is for money or free time reason. This is why you can choose to host festivities at your place and bring Mardi Gras into your home!

Mardi Gras is all about costumes, masks, confetti, decorations and food. The first thing you have to think about is to decorate your venue with the traditional Mardi Gras colors – purple, green and gold -, get some fun party supplies (go for the reusable and Eco-friendly ones and do your best to avoid waste) and prepare everything you will need when it comes to food, the most important part of the feast.
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Doing the dishes after the festivities, especially for such a food oriented one, can be a real bother so you definitely want to go for disposable tableware but keep in mind that it is very important to be Eco-friendly, especially when using disposables! Luckily, Eco-friendly supplies are very easy to find and also very affordable when you know where to look. Go for sugarcane plates for a very cost efficient solution and don’t forget to inform your guests that all plates are compostable. You can be sure they will love the “green” touch. Don’t forget to also decorate your drinks! With colorful compostable straws or with biodegradable bamboo skewers, set your imagination free and make those drinks pretty!

What is the King Cake tradition?
king cake-croppedAnother great thing about Mardi Gras is the awesome tradition of King Cake. No Mardi Gras celebration is complete without a King Cake! In France and Quebec King Cake is called “Galette des Rois” and consists of a flaky pastry generously filled with almond paste. The tradition wants the cake to be used to draw the King of the party. How so? The cake is baked with a tiny figurine (originally representing baby Jesus) hidden inside and the lucky one who gets the piece of cake with the figurine gets the crown, and get sometimes designated as the next Mardi Gras party host. In America, the cake is very different. Usually baked in a ring shape, it is a yeast bread frosted with purple, green and gold icing.

But no matter what kind of King Cake you are having, Mardi Gras is always a good time and definitely worth having a party!

Have fun and as they say for Mardi Gras, “Let the good times roll”!

Check out all of our Eco-Friendly products to host your party at www.bioandchic.com

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Tips For An Eco-Friendly Kid’s Birthday Party

We are often talking about hosting Eco-friendly catering events, wedding receptions or other parties, but we sometimes forget that kids too can have Eco-friendly birthday parties, and it is up to the parents to make it happen!

The organization and advice will be different but the objective is the same: have lots of fun while being Eco-responsible and respecting the earth.

In order to have enough time to organize a great Eco-friendly party for your children, the first thing to keep in mind is to start planning at least 2 to 3 months in advance. The more flexibility you have, the easier it will be to go green. The time of the year will also be important: during summer time, try to host the festivities outside to avoid the use of air conditioning, when in the winter it is more appropriate to stay inside.

Let’s get started with some Eco-friendly tips. When sending invitations, the best is of course to use social media, phones or emails but especially if you are planning 2 months in advance, you might want your kid’s guests to have a written trace of the invitation. In that case, go for handwritten invitations using recycled or recyclable paper!

Now you have to think about decorations. Kids love a colorful party but keep in mind that the worse thing to do for the earth is to have balloons! Yes they are pretty but they pollute the environment and are dangerous for the wildlife. You can find better options that are a lot greener. A fabric tenant banner for instance! Instead of buying disposable plastic ones, why not make your own by using fabric?

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Remember that if you are planning the party ahead of time, it’s precisely so you can have time to do things like that in order to go green. Flowers are also great to decorate and what’s more Eco-friendly than flowers! And if you are still trying to add color to your kids party, you can simply get some very Eco-friendly paper straw. Not only kids love them but they are also very colorful and add a sparkling touch to the party.

gift-boxThe next thing you have to think about is gifts. If you want your birthday presents and favors to be green, you have to first make sure that they are made of sustainable or recyclable material. Then keep in mind that wrapping paper is useless and often non-recyclable so choose reusable wooden boxes that kids will be able to keep for instance. It looks better and is more Eco-friendly!

What about the food and drinks you are going to serve? Not only you should buy locally grown and organic products – it’s better for the kids and for the environment – but you should also be careful and avoid individual packs such as water bottles or individually wrapped candies. Water dispensers and big bags of organic candies are a much better option if you are trying to stay green.

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When it comes to tableware, we all know that kids are clumsy and reusable tableware are often not an option. Go for biodegradable or compostable tableware in order to save yourself some trouble while still being sustainable. And if you really want to be careful about your trash, think about using a few platters instead of plenty of plates and serve food that don’t need the use of plates! Bamboo platters, wooden trays, sugarcane tray or even palm leaf trays, you can choose from multiple possibilities.

Last but not least, don’t forget to recycle by the end of the day!

You are now ready to plan an Eco-friendly birthday party for your kid, go ahead and have fun!

Check out all of our Eco-friendly products at www.bioandchic.com

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