Tips For A Greener Halloween
Learn how to celebrate Halloween in eco-friendly, green style by making mindful choices
Getting spooky is all fun and games when it comes to Halloween, although the waste and toxins that come with conventional celebrations can be downright terrifying for our planet. But don't get freaked out. We've got an easy-peasy list of eco-friendly, no-compromises Halloween party tips and hacks (no weapons needed!) to help you enjoy both tricks and treats this season. Say yes to Halloween celebrations that are healthy for people and the planet.
Choose Friendly (Not Frightening) Candy
Halloween is a time to be spooky, dress up, and eat candy! But because we love a good scare doesn't mean our trick-or-treat candy should have frightful ingredients. Whether you need something to nibble on or pass out for trick-or-treaters, OCHO has got you covered with its organic, fair-trade chocolate candies. Their Halloween Variety Pack is an assortment of its top-selling mini flavors: Peanut Butter Minis, Caramel Minis, and Coconut Minis for the tastiest green Halloween!
When you choose Fair Trade Certified OCHO chocolate, you're voting with your dollar— supporting income sustainability, worker empowerment, community development, and environmental stewardship. Through the unique Fair Trade Community Development Fund, the company's workers in Trinidad & Tobago can address local needs so that their families and children can thrive for generations to come. Unlike other brands, OCHO candies are made without toxic and synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, GMO ingredients, antibiotics or synthetic growth hormones, and artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Yum, yum!
Pick Non-Toxic Natural Face Paints
There's no question it's super cool to look super scary at Halloween. But 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 they tested contained lead (a powerful neurotoxin). Others contained nickel, cobalt, and chromium, and many also contain petroleum-based dyes, formaldehyde-based preservatives, parabens, nanoparticles, phthalates, and a variety of nasty, toxic additives.
There's a great alternative by Natural Earth Paint made with natural ingredients and pigments derived from minerals and plants, and it's safe, even for sensitive skin. They also carry four beautiful "Eco-friendly Cosmetic Glitter" colors made from eucalyptus and plant-based ingredients rather than plastic and toxic dyes. 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 mica face paint, which is excellent for fairies, elves, princesses, monsters, and more! Here's a fun video of face paint tutorials for inspiration.
Choose Clean Candles - Your Jack o’ Lanterns Will Thank You
Candlelight and Halloween are made for each other. Lighting candles creates a gorgeous glowing ambiance to enchant and delight as darkness falls. Did you know that most candles, especially tea lights, are made out of cheap paraffin wax that's a by-product of petroleum? When burned, paraffin candles emit spooky toxic chemicals that aren't healthy for us to breathe.
Skip the air pollution and choose clean-burning candles with plant-based wax like beeswax or palm wax. Goodlight, recommended by nine out of ten jack o' lanterns, offers a wide variety of affordable unscented and scented candles that burn clean and bright.
Made with palm wax and pure essential botanical oils, you can breathe easy this Halloween with GoodLight. A handful of tea lights, especially votives (burned in a votive glass), are best for getting that gorgeous glow in your carved pumpkins. Plus, you'll be delighted to know your purchase supports sustainable smallholder palm farmers and orangutan rescue and rehabilitation in Indonesia.
Party Like A Zero-Waste Zombie This Halloween
We encourage throwing parties - but throwing lots of waste into the garbage is just plain scary. Maybe you've heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch where a horrifying mass of plastic trash has accumulated? So make a plan this Halloween to party like a zero-waste zombie. Go ahead and throw a fabulous party with reusables. Either use what you have at home, go to a thrift store, ask your guests to BYO or buy plastic-free reusables like ECOlunchbox's nonbreakable small and large stainless steel divided trays. Skip throw-away, plastic utensils by opting for reusable forks and sporks made from bamboo or steel.
Consider using upcycled and recycled items for decorating, and avoid that nasty "spider web" plastic people spread all over their bushes! Check out our recent blog post loaded with ideas and tips on throwing a zero waste party, like don't do the dishes yourself and be sure to label your recycling and compost bins, so folks don't mix up the mess.
Get Outside and Make Memories With Fun Fall Nature Activities
Make some memories by celebrating the fall season with outdoor children's learning activities. Did you know that pumpkins can be made into lanterns, filled with brew, and are great for counting games? These are some Halloween-themed curriculum ideas developed by Tinkergarten, an outdoor education company that develops learning activities for families. Its October calendar is filled with fun fall activities designed to get kids ages 2 to 8 years old outside moving, exploring, learning, and building skills. Grown-ups also get lots of support throughout the season, including learning activities outside of class, gear recommendations, helpful parenting tips, and much more.
If you've spent time with your children in nature, you can see the positive effects of time spent outdoors. Play in nature brings joy. Learning to find and experience the joy that nature and play provide is another way to provide children with enriching, positive emotional experiences in the short term. If we can engrain that joy practice for them, they can carry forward this powerfully positive way of being in the world. Studies have shown that outdoor spending reduces stress, blood pressure, and heart rate, encourages physical activity, and enhances mood and mental health.
Stick a Fork in Old Costume Habits
No matter what your style, it's time to revamp your costume. Yes, seriously, you don't even have to be a vampire fan to master this first easy trick in our Halloween hacks line-up. Skip your big box retailer and break up with pre-made costumes made for mass distribution. Many manufacturers use non-recyclable, petrochemical-based plastic and synthetic fibers.
Instead, make your costume from items you have kicking around the garage or your local thrift store. Other DIY costume strategies include using felt and other fabrics that can be cut to shape and don't need so much sewing. Still have a big box costume from the year gone by? Give it a facelift by modifying it with glitter, glue, notions, and whatever else you've got rattling around in your closets.
Say Bye, Bye To Throw-Away Plastic Trick or Treat Totes
Skip the single-use Halloween-themed 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!
Instead, grab a reusable 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! Feeling crafty? Make your own reusable bag from a Halloween-themed cotton print!
Featured Photo credit: Natural Earth Paint