Eco-Friendly Halloween Costume Ideas

Halloween is coming up, and if you haven’t started thinking about your costume, you probably should. Dressing up for Halloween is an age-old tradition that will be a part of your life for many years (as it should be).

What’s that? You don’t enjoy dressing up? Halloween costumes are too expensive, you say? Nonsense.

Yes, we agree that purchasing pre-fab Halloween costumes is lame. It’s over-priced and extremely wasteful. But what if instead you used your creativity to create a costume by upcycling household items and old clothes?

Now all that it takes is an idea, and a little bit of planning, and you can come up with an awesome costume for $10-$20, no problem.

Need some inspiration? Don’t worry, we’ve rounded up a few awesome homemade Halloween costumes from around the internet (via The Daily Green and Ecouterre).

The Cardboard Crocodile

MATERIALS:  cardboard, tape, and butcher paper

Sweet Treats

MATERIALS: recycled tights, leggings, laundry basket, bits of fabric.

The Recycled Samurai

MATERIALS: Rubbermaid 32-gallon garbage cans, rubber stoppers.

The Bat

MATERIALS: umbrella, hooded zippered sweatshirt, needle and thread, pins, pliers, scissors, bolt cutters or tin snips.

Lego Man

MATERIALS: Styrofoam, paint, cardboard.

Etch-A-Sketch – Here is a creative, functional, yet complicated costume idea!

MATERIALS: Plywood, metal rods, pulleys, cloth, cable wire, hot glue, plexiglass, nuts, bolts, small wheels.

Plastic Armor Suit

MATERIALS: every empty plastic container you can find.

What cool, eco-friendly Halloween costume will you create? Share your costume ideas with us in the comments!

Historic Fourth Ward Park

Hi guys! So, a while back I posted about Historic Fourth Ward Skate Park.  But did you know that the skate park is just a tiny piece of one of Atlanta’s largest and greatest public parks?

Located on the Atlanta BeltLine, Historic Fourth Ward Park is one of the first sections open of the BeltLine project. This project plans to build multiple parks and trails on over 22 miles of old train track. It will encourage more people to get out and get active without polluting the air!

Historic Fourth Ward Park is a beautiful example of the great things to come from the BeltLine project. The park is wonderfully scenic with a wildflower meadow, an urban forest, a lake, a stream and even waterfalls. It’s like going on a road trip without leaving the city!

Among the lawns and scenery there is also a “splash pad,” which is basically a set of fountains for you to cool off in on hot days. Plus, you are not far from a thriving part of town.

Old Fourth Ward is an historic area, which has recently undergone lots of changes, making it a much cooler, safer place to hang out. The park is definitely one of them.  Along with new, recently opened condos, the Masquerade (a concert venue), and some interesting new restaurants, it is succeeding in bringing a whole new caliber of fun, young people (such as yourself) to the area.

Another great thing about the park is its location. From the park it is just a short walk or bike ride to downtown, midtown, Virginia Highlands or the Little Five Points/ Inman park area.

There are no excuses not to stop by!

City Cycling 101

In light of our Bike to School challenge, we want to offer up a few tips (courtesy of Intown Bicycles) to help make your clean commute easy, less stressful, and most importantly safe.

Now we know that it can be scary riding on roads alongside speeding cars, but if you use your head, stay focused, and be smart, you can avoid nearly all major issues.

Tip #1: Be Visible. Now this may seem like an obvious one, but you may be surprised at how many cyclists and pedestrians don’t follow this advice. Make sure that you are wearing bright colors, and that your bike has an appropriate number of lights and reflectors. When you’re on your bike, you want car drivers to notice you from as far away as possible, so that they can plan to safely pass you. This is especially important at night. Wear yellow, it is the most eye catching. Do not wear grey, it’s the color of the road.

Tip #2: Be Predictable. It’s important to be as predictable as possible so that other drivers can know what to do. Follow the rules of the road. Stop at all red lights and stop signs; signal when turning; yield to oncoming traffic; ride on the right-hand side of the road, and turn left from the left lane. Essentially, ride your bike as if you’re driving a car.

Tip #3: Beware of Hazards. A lot of things that are bad for cars (pot holes, road plates, construction zones) are bad for bicycles, but there are additional things to watch out for when biking in the city. Watch for cars making left turns in front of you, and look for cars pulling out from side streets and driveways.Watch for cars that pass you and then make a right turn in front of you.

Also watch for sewer grates, railroad tracks, and gravel or other road debris. These items can cause you to lose traction and fall, particularly if you hit them at high speeds or going around turns.

Be aware that drivers cannot see the holes, debris, and other hazards that you have to negotiate. Signal drivers, if possible, before making any unexpected moves to avoid hazards.

Tip #4: Plan Your Routes Ahead of Time. Putting a bit of time in to plan your route can pay off big time. Not only can you avoid the busiest roads, but you can find out which roads have bike paths, which traffic signals don’t recognize cyclists, etc. Make sure to utilize bike paths as much as possible. It is technically illegal to ride on the sidewalk (unless you’re under 13), however there are some situations where it is way safer – so use your best judgement.

Tip #5: Be Prepared. First off, you should always have the proper safety equipment. Always wear your helmet (even for short trips), and wear reflective or bright clothing, as we mentioned earlier. It’s also important to carry some tools and supplies in the event of a problem. We recommend a spare tube for your tires, a patch kit, and a multi-tool, to help fix general mechanical issues.

Tip #6: Pay Attention. This is another no-brainer. Make sure that you are constantly aware of your surroundings. Unfortunately this means no listening to music. It’s important to use all of your senses to be aware. Don’t even think about trying to text while riding your bike. Not only are your eyes not on the road, but your hands aren’t on the handlebars, and you have no way to avoid a problem. It’s not worth the injury or the broken phone.

For a full guide to bycicling in Georgia, see the DOT’s Georgia Bike Sense. The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition also offers courses on city cycling, and bike maintenance.

5 Reasons to Be an OnAir Blogger

Here at OnAir, we try to stick to eco-issues that affect teens. That’s why we want our blog posts to come from teens, because only you know what topics you and your friends care about.

Right now we’re hunting for a team of smart, social, savvy teen bloggers. Wondering what’s in it for you? Wonder no more. For your consideration, here are Five Reasons to Be an OnAir Blogger.


1. You get community service hours

That’s right. You blog for us, you get to log time for community service. We know lots of you need those hours to graduate, and since we’re run by a little nonprofit called The Clean Air Campaign, your blogging time is volunteer-able. So the more you write, the more you can log!


2. You can do it even if writing’s not your thing.

Who said blogging was just about writing? If you’re a wordsmith, that’s awesome. If you’re not, guess what? STILL AWESOME. We want you to blog your photos. We want you to blog your videos. We want you to blog your artwork or audio tracks, if you’ve got ‘em. Seriously, if you’re creative and want to speak out about clean air, we have a spot for you.


3. Say it with me: Aircreds

Come on, you knew this would be in here. Blogging is one of the best, most awesome ways to earn AirCreds! Don’t tell me you STILL haven’t heard of AirCreds.

AirCreds are a point system for being earth-friendly. You do good things for the air, we give you points. You earn enough points, you can trade them in for cool AirCreds stuff. We’re working on an awesome schedule of AirCreds prizes, and you don’t want to miss out. It’s like grandpa always said: Start earning those AirCreds as soon as possible. True story.


4. Fame and fortune, natch.

OK, maybe not fortune, per se. But still.

Our bloggers are an elite crew. They weigh in on the issues, get their work pushed out to thousands of viewers on our site and social media channels—and look great doing it. Every budding game-changer has to start somewhere.


5. We’re starting a movement. You can start it with us.

Now, the clean air cause isn’t exactly new. But when you get down to it, teens haven’t had a lot of chances to organize to spread the word. And that’s what OnAir is all about.

Because we’ll let you in on a little secret: OnAir is more than a website. It’s a grassroots Save The Air movement just for people your age. Don’t you want to do something big—something that helps the planet? The first step is spreading the word. Do it here.


So. Heard enough? Ready to get started? Click here to apply now! If you’ve still got questions, you can plug them right into the blogger application form.

Come aboard.



This gallery contains 13 photos.

What’s up, clean air fans? So, there’s a new thing happening in the clean air, clean environment discussion. And it started right here at OnAir. It’s the #ChalkBomb movement. Whats #ChalkBomb, you ask? It’s this cool new thing that all…read more

Today is International Walk to School Day!

Need some inspiration to express your individuality as a walker? Boom:

Walk on friends. Get creative, and share your walking style with us via Facebook or on Twitter: @OnAirGa

New Driver? Interested in Carpooling?

Of course you’re interested! Why wouldn’t you be? After all, carpooling is great for the environment. It means fewer cars out on the road, which means less tailpipes emitting fumes, and cleaner air for us to breathe! Not to mention, it’s nice to have some company while driving, or someone to help kick in gas money! You could even call it a reason to spend a little extra time with that special someone…

Just got your license? You're free at last!

Regardless of your reasons, we’re excited that you’re excited about carpooling! We at On Air love to hear about students who carpool to school. But while you’re still in your teens, there are a few state laws you should know about before parking your friends into the back seat. We know a lot of you are new drivers, so here are a few Georgia laws to keep in mind as you start logging some time behind the wheel.


  • During your first 6 months of driving, you are only allowed to drive with ONE immediate family member in your car, and no one else. We know what a bummer it can be not to be able to drive your friends around, but if you’ve only recently gotten your license, someone who’s had their license for over 6 months will have to drive the carpool.

  • After 6 months you can drive as many immediate family members around as you want, however you can only have ONE other non-family member who is under 21.
  • After you have a year’s worth of legal driving under your belt, you are allowed to have as many as three other people who are under 21 in the car! That’s about as many as will fit comfortably in your eco-friendly ride anyway. It’s really not worth cramming in like sardines.

Keep in mind, until you’re 18 you aren’t allowed to be driving between the hours of 12:00am – 6:00am. So if you’re out late (parents permitting), be sure to have someone 18 or older drive!

Don’t have a license? No problem, there are plenty of other eco-friendly ways to commute to school. You can always catch the bus, ride your bike, or catch a ride with someone who can legally drive you.

Remember to always wear a seat belt, and NEVER text and drive.

Are teens ‘green’? A student blogger’s response.

Recently a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution mentioned that a study spanning over the last 40 years has shown a declining attitude for the environment in the younger generations. While the study itself gave considerable proof of the matter, I still disagree simply because there are lurking variables that haven’t been addressed.

As of now, our generation has been raised upon the fact that our Mother Earth faces the consequences of our actions, and that if we don’t step up to the Green Plate, our children suffer. But the study doesn’t take into account the fact that students in schools are now members of the Environmental Clubs and gather Honor Society members to clean their local parks and plant vegetation, actions that weren’t given any real thought the past 30 or even 10 years ago. However, due to the Green campaign, movies featuring vice presidents, and hip hop moguls informing the public about Synergy, we are informed ergo involved.

Most people will be brutally honest and state that they aren’t doing enough for the world, yet they use energy-saving devices, drive fuel-efficient cars while recycling their trash, and pay their free time to clean up their city.

So now I put you to the test: prove the study and statisticians wrong. Be the outlier! Stand up for yourself and your world because in the end we all have to share it.

* * * * *

OnAir says: Do you think teens really care about the environment? Are you one that does…or doesn’t? Leave us a comment with your thoughts!

Recycling Ideas that Work for Teens

So you recycle, right? (We hope so!)

But are you making the largest impact you can?

We’re huge fans of the Green Youth Movement, a group founded by a teen who agrees that youth like us can make a difference for the future of our environment. They have some awesome ideas for making sure we’re making the most positive impact through reducing, reusing and recycling. The following are some of the tips I’ll be following myself this year:

Buy products with less packaging. This one is tough, because I usually think more about the product than the packaging. But the more materials are used in packaging, the more energy has been used to produce it. Even if the packaging is recyclable, it’s better to use less (remember that “reduce” part?).

Use less AC and heat. I like to be comfy, but it’s critical that we reduce our energy consumption to help our planet. Throw on a hoodie instead of cranking up the heat, or drink a glass of ice water to cool down rather than using more air conditioning.

Choose “washable” over “disposable”. Forego paper plates for reusable ones, replace paper towels with cloth napkins, and use a travel mug for coffee and tea rather than disposable cups. These small everyday actions will reduce the amount of materials we add to landfills.

Recycle electronics, too. Paper and plastics aren’t the only items we can recycle. Find an electronics recycling day in your hometown, or see if you can donate your unused phones and other electronics to a local charity organization.

Plant a tree. This action is both fun and rewarding: trees help clean our air and they’re beautiful, too. You can do this action on your own, with friends or through an organization like Trees Atlanta.

For more tips, check out GYM’s recommendations here.

How do you reduce, reuse and recycle?