Culturally and Environmentally Appropriate Halloween Costumes

A Quick Guide to Culturally and Environmentally Appropriate Halloween Costumes

Environmental Implications

Halloween activities are estimated to reach pre-pandemic levels this year. More and more people are buying candy in anticipation of handing it out, decorating the house, and buying costumes to wear to a gathering. Nationwide costume spending is anticipated to reach 3.3 billion compared to 2.6 billion in 2020, and candy and decorations are following the same pattern. All of this is leading to a festive 31st! However, this increased consumption causes a harmful aftermath. The gross majority of Halloween costumes are “cheaply” made. They are predominantly polyester, a fiber that is excruciatingly difficult to recycle and repurpose, and takes over 500 years to decompose. An investigation, by environmentalist charity Hubbub, found that an estimated 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste was generated on Halloween from throwaway costumes in 2019. 2021 is estimated at $200 million more than 2019! This is a LOT of polyester in our landfills

Tips:

  1. Buy second hand. Boheme has a huge selection of costumes. Local thrift stores, SPCA, Goodwill and All Things Right & Relevant may also have a Halloween section set up. 
  2. Use clothes you already have. Our staff made wonderful Mystery Gang costumes last year with clothes that they will wear year round.
  3. Make your own costume. Make it from second hand clothes, or purchase sustainable fabrics (like cotton, linen, and flannel) to make your costumes.  
  4. Keep your costume for future years, or wash and donate. 

What is cultural appropriation?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, cultural appropriation is when someone adopts a culture that isn’t their own and does not acknowledge or respect the culture being used for their own benefit. Examples can be hair, clothing and impersonating, like using popular African American Vernacular English terms, to fit a persona. An unfortunately common example is mimicking Indigeonous cultures. 

How to avoid offensive costumes. What if my child wants a specific costume?

There are three main rules to follow:

#1: Avoid a costume that is mimicking another person’s culture or physical appearance.

#2: If you wish to dress as a specific person/fictional person of a different culture be sure that #1 is followed, however it still may be offensive. Imagine every person who sees you in the costume, will everyone be okay with it? If not, it’s best to pick a different costume. 

#3: Be sure it is done with good intent and not for personal gain, and educate your friends and children. “We should pick a different costume, this one might hurt someone’s feelings”, it is never too early or late to teach empathy. 

This topic gets a little trickier when referring to specific fictional characters. Creators of the film “Black Panther” have said children of any race can dress up like the superhero, and when “Moana” was released, the voice of the titular character, Auli’i Cravalho, encouraged people to dress up as the Polynesian-based princess. The appropriation occurs when adults and children mimic physical characteristics, like hair and skin color, traditional practices, like tattoos, piercings, vernacular/language and clothing, and when done with less than wholesome intentions, like gaining popularity and mocking. 

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$1 is Worth More in the Hands of the Food Bank

$1 is Worth More in the Hands of the Food Bank

With the proper resources, connections, and operations, Food Banks turn $1 into $6 or more.

With 42 million  people in the U.S. at risk of facing hunger due to the pandemic, donating your extra or purchased dry and canned goods through a food drive might seem like the best way to help your neighbors need. But, the best way to support your local food bank is actually through donating money.” – Feeding America 

Note From the Author

This blog is in no way trying to stop you from donating food. If donating food is what you want to do, do it! At the end of the day, the food bank needs food and your donations of food and/or money are greatly appreciated by the food bank and the people in our community. I only ask that you consider donating money and if you choose to donate food, donate good food! 

The Food Bank is Better at Buying Food

The Food Bank has connections with large and/or local supplies and grocers. Larger quantities and better prices are an obvious win for the food banks. Some food banks claim to turn $1 into $6 when purchasing food! Instead if buying and donating a can of Tuna, consider donating the $2. The Food Bank may be able to buy 3 to 5 cans of Tuna with the same amount of money.  

Money does not Need to be Sorted and Stored

Food Drives have an obvious appeal of handing over a tangible item. However, a large box of random non-perishable items takes time and money to sort. A large part piece of operating a food bank successfully, is ensuring that the distributed food can be made into a meal. This means that meals plans and nutritional needs are essential when prepping distribution boxes. This is much easier to do with large quantities of the same or similar items, which is not always the case in food drives and small scale food donations. 

You Don’t Know What the Food Bank Needs

Along with better pricing, the food bank can use the money to buy the items that they need at the moment. If everyone donated peanut butter, then they can use the monetary donations to ensure everyone gets all the items they need. The Yolo Food Bank keeps nutrition in mind when accepting and prepping donations for distribution. With monetary donations, the food bank can buy the food necessary to ensure a complete nutrition plan.

Things You Can Do to Help the Food Bank

  • Plan a monthly donation: this provides a steady flow of income that makes operating easier. Food Banks get a flood of donations during the holidays, which is great but can make it difficult to predict their future funding.
  • Host a virtual food drive: this allows people to donate from the comfort and convenience of home while doing good!
  • Consider Volunteering: if donating cash is not your thing, consider donating your time. Sorting all the inconsistent and miscellaneous donations is time-consuming!

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Backpacking Dehydrator Recipes

Backpacking Dehydrator Recipes

Just in case you missed our Dehydrator Backpacking Patio Class. Here is what we covered!

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Fiery Ginger Farm

Fiery Ginger Farm

West Sacramento Urban Farm

The Farmers

Fiery Ginger Farm is a West Sacramento Urban Farm. Shayne, from Stockton, and Hope, from Michigan, both worked in farms or gardens and teaching in grade schools. They are both graduates of the California Farm Academy with the Center for Land-Based Learning.

The Food

Currently, at the Co-op, we carry their Loose Spring Salad Mix, Sunflower Sprouts, Gypsy Pepper, and Heirloom Tomatoes. Keep an eye on our signs in store to see what new things we bring in from Fiery Ginger. 

Their Mission

“to grow the highest quality food using sustainable practices, deliver hands-on, ag-based educational experiences, and develop community where we farm. We believe that urban farms are powerful agents of change for the environment, the food system and the cities we service.”

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Flying V Farm, New to the DFC

Welcome to the Co-op, Flying V!

Flying V Farm is a new Davis Food Co-op vendor, thanks to the help of Kitchen Table Advisors. Flying V is a certified organic worker-owned farm in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, just 60 miles from the Co-op. They work together to produce food in a way that nourishes our community, stewards the land, and empowers workers. They strive for a more socially and ecologically just rural economy by practicing worker-ownership and collective care. 

 

 

 

 

 

Flying V delivers their produce to us in clean, reusable tubs. This helps cut costs and waste for both of us. We snapped this pic on Friday, when Flying V delivered their first batch of produce to us! We received gorgeous beets, little gem lettuce heads, and more.

Meet the Team

Lucy O’Dea – harvest, sales & events manager

 

Cody Curtis — field, perennials, & site manager

Katie Lewis — assistant field manager

On the farm

Flying V hosts workshops at the farm. Coming in October are a few DIY dried flower wreath classes!

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Land Acknowledgement

Land Acknowledgement

The Davis Food Co-op occupies land that belongs to three federally recognized Patwin tribes: Cachil DeHe Band of Wintun Indians of the Colusa Indian Community, Kletsel Dehe Wintun Nation, and Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation

As we constantly work towards our Cooperative Principles Concern for the Community, and Education, Training, and Information, we have donated to local organizations that support this land acknowledgment such as the Center for Land Based Learning, Cache Creek Conservatory and Yolo Basin Foundation and will continue to do so. We know there is much work to be done to provide the space for Indigenous cultural conservation and education in our region.  

We invite you to learn more about whose land you are on here: https://native-land.ca/. You can also learn more about the #landback movement and how you can participate in and support land activism and Indigenous communities here: https://landback.org/.  

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New Nametags – Creating an Inclusive Culture

New Name Tags

You will notice something new in the coming weeks: Pronouns on nametags.

We enocurage staff to add pronouns to their name tags

When gender-nonconforming, questioning, queer, non-binary, and transgender folks see pronouns on nametags, it lets everyone know that you’re more likely to respect everyone’s pronouns. By putting your pronouns on your name tag, email signature, and social media, you’re signaling how you want to be addressed. In our efforts towards Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the proper and respectful use of pronouns, makes the Co-op more inclusive and welcoming for everyone regardless of their gender identity.

The result? Making the Co-op a more welcoming and safe space for everyone. 

Where to start as an Ally

People interpret and express their gender identity differently, start by educating yourself and practicing the correct pronouns for people who you know. Read our Inclusivity at the Co-op Blog and our Racism and Bigotry in Davis Blog, although the focus is race this blog touches on bigotry towards the LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual) community. It is important to not assume someone’s gender identity or pronouns based on of their appearance, look to nametags or email signatures for correct pronoun use. When meeting new people, you can take it upon yourself to state your pronouns (regardless of your gender identity), this makes the space more comfortable and shows obvious respect and support. Read this blog on how to be more inclusive in your daily life. 

Some Helpful Definitions

These definitions are created with the help of the Oxford English dictionary and the cis-gendered Author of this blog. It is important to make clear that this is not a complete set of gender identity definitions, I have only covered some of the broader identities.

Cis-gendered people follow pronouns and gender expression in how it relates to birth sex.

Gender-nonconforming is “denoting or relating to a person whose behavior or appearance does not conform to prevailing cultural and social expectations about what is appropriate to their gender.”

Questioning is referring to people who are still discovering what their gender identity is, and may choose a variety of different pronouns to describe themselves until they understand themselves better.

Non-binary or genderqueer people are neither male nor female‍, these are umbrella terms for gender identities that are outside the gender binary.

Transgender people are those whose personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex.

Store Policy

All staff are encouraged to add pronouns to their name tags, but are given the option to opt out by speaking with the HR or General Managers.

Staff and shoppers are required to be respectful of people’s (shoppers, employees, vendors, community members, etc.) pronouns and gender-expression whether or not they have pronouns displayed on name tags.

Pronouns are becoming the norm

Instagram and LinkedIn have added a new feature to their account settings: a designated place to add pronouns. Many folks have been adding their pronouns to their profiles in recent years, and social media platforms are beginning to show their obvious support for the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies. 

We have followed in their footsteps. We offer the space and acceptance for people of all gender identities while giving the option for folks to opt out. To be truly inclusive, we must respect all people’s opinions and feelings, as long as they are not being used to discriminate. That is why, while we offer staff the option to opt out, we require staff and community members to be respectful.

No one expects perfection

We are all human and we all make mistakes. No one expects perfection, but everyone is worthy and deserves respect. It is important when it comes to pronouns to not put any pressure on the person whose pronouns you got wrong. The best thing to do if you make a mistake is to immediately correct yourself and move on. Instead of ” he, I’m sorry, they” try “he, excuse me, they” or “he…they [continue sentence]”. This redirects the mistake on you and takes pressure off of the person you are talking too, to say “It’s okay”.

Have questions about gender-nonconformity and trans-folks, head to jeffreymarsh.com/ or find them on instagram @thejeffreymarsh. They have a IGTV series on trans 101 for cisgender people.

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Rainbow Recipes

Rainbow Recipes

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