Featured Image Photo Credit: Natural Earth Paint
If the waste and sugar overload of typical Halloween celebrations makes you quake in your boots, it’s time to give this fabulous fall holiday a healthy, eco-friendly makeover.
It’s a fun time of year, but it's also rife with hidden pitfalls if you’re trying to live less wastefully and also reduce your exposure to toxins and chemicals. We’re here to help you find awesome, eco-friendly and healthy alternatives with tips for revamping Halloween!Choose Friendly (Not Frightening) Candy
Every kid deserves to have a happy Halloween, but for those with food allergies, sensitivities, or who want a healthier, sustainable treats, the candy offered by the neighbors can be scary! Most candy kids receive during Halloween is loaded with high fructose corn syrup, dyes and chemical preservatives. It’s also worth mentioning that traditionally grown cacao, the main ingredient in chocolate, is frequently grown with lots of pesticides. When selecting treats for this Halloween, look for products without dyes or chemical preservatives, and opt for organic options when possible.
YumEarth has some fabulously fun Halloween options including Gummy Jack o’lanterns and Bats and Organic Candy Corn. They’ve also put a fun Halloween spin on their Fruit Lollipops. And for those who want it all, they have a Halloween Variety Pack full of spooky organic lollipops and gummy candies! Just like all of their products, their Halloween treats are organic, gluten-free, vegan, and contain no nuts or artificial ingredients. They are all flavored and colored naturally.
We also love the peanut butter cups from Justin’s for a clean Halloween treat! A true classic -- chocolate with Justin's peanut butter inside -- they’re available in milk chocolate and dark chocolate (adults like Halloween too, right?!). The White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups put a whole new spin on an old favorite, and if you’re in the mood for something a little more snack size, they also offer Mini Dark Chocolate and Mini Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, perfect as a little treat in the Halloween lunchbox! All these rich and creamy treats are certified organic and feature Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa. Ingredients simplified, indulgence justified.
Non-Toxic Face Paints Are A Treat - Not a Trick!
Resist the urge to buy mass produced face paint, makeup and fake blood. Though most face paints say they’re nontoxic, they’re often far from it! The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics reported that 10 out of 10 face paint kits that they tested contained lead (a powerful neurotoxin), while others contained nickel, cobalt, and chromium; and many also contain petroleum-based dyes, formaldehyde-based preservatives, parabens, nano particles, phthalates and a variety of nasty, toxic additives.
A great alternative is Natural Earth Paint. It’s made with natural ingredients and pigments derived from minerals and plants, and it’s totally safe, even for sensitive skin. Regardless of what brand you choose, look for paints that list their ingredients and keep it all natural-- nothing you’ve never heard of or can’t pronounce!
Don’t forget the natural gold, great for fairies, elves, princesses, monsters, and more! Here’s a fun video of face paint tutorials for inspiration.
Don’t Pollute Your Air With Toxic Candles
Candles are everywhere at Halloween. They light up pumpkins and give an eery, flickering glow to rooms and haunted houses. But when burned, common paraffin candles emit toxic chemicals like toluene and benzene that are truly frightening!
This Halloween choose safe, clean-burning candles and keep the air in your home clean! Candles made from beeswax or soy are safe (make sure to read the label), and Goodlight offers a wide array of unscented and safely scented candles made using sustainably harvested palm oil.
Up The Fun With Upcycled Costumes
Say goodbye to pre-made costumes made for mass distribution. Many manufacturers use non-recyclable, petrochemical-based plastic and synthetic fibers.
Instead, make your own costume from items you have kicking around the garage, like this jellyfish hat costume that was made with a broken straw sun hat topped off with light-weight packing supplies, leftover fabrics, a glue gun and some string lights.
Other DIY costume strategies include using felt and other fabrics that can be cut to shape and don’t need so much sewing. Visit your local thrift shop and buy supplies for upcycling into your costume or find a second-hand costume you can modify to your liking. Cut, glitter, glue, modify and enhance old costumes that need refreshing.
Need inspiration? We love doing a keyword search and browsing Instagram and Pinterest image libraries to get our creative juices flowing. Sometimes bloggers even have patterns and instructions for how to make costumes yourself.
Party like a Zero Waste Rockstar!
Throwing a Halloween gathering? Consider using upcycled and recycled items for decorating, and definitely avoid that nasty “spiderweb” plastic people spread all over their bushes! We also suggest non-breakable, kid-and-planet friendly items (like our camping trays shown in the spooky candlelit photo above) instead of paper or plastic plates, cups, and utensils. For a full guide loaded with ideas and tips on throwing a zero waste party, check out our recent post, “How To Throw a Zero-Waste BBQ”.
Hit the Streets with a Reusable Bag!
Skip the Halloween themed, single-use plastic bags, plastic pumpkins with handles, and other plastic containers designed to lure you into spending extra money for something you might only use once! This is a no brainer! Grab a re-usable bag (if you’ve got one that’s orange or black, even better) when you head out at twilight for your trick-or-treating adventures!