EEK-O-Friendly Halloween Tips

This post comes to you, courtesy of ECOlunchBox 

Halloween is right around the corner and with costumes, candy, parties and haunted houses involved, what’s not to love?! No matter what spooky antics you’re planning for Halloween, keep in mind you can be greener and cleaner too!

 

img_5767Make Your Own Decorations 

Consider using upcycled and recycled items for decorating, and definitely avoid that nasty “spiderweb” plastic people spread all over their bushes! Create paper cut-outs to decorate windows (which can be stored flat and saved for next year). Cover formed chicken wire with cheesecloth to create floating ghosts in the yard. Drape cheesecloth over pedestals and other yard items to make the appearance of dusty cobwebs. Use tin cans for walkway luminaries. You can drill holes in the sides to create a design and add to the flickering light effect. Re-use all of those cardboard boxes before recycling them. They can be turned into gravestones and placed throughout the yard to create a haunted cemetery. 

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Party Like a Zero Waste Rockstar 

Throwing a Halloween gathering? Use non-breakable, kid-and-planet friendly items (like stainless-steel camping trays) instead of paper or plastic plates, cups and utensils. For a full guide loaded with ideas and tips on throwing a zero waste party click here.  

Sustainable Candy & Alternatives to Candy Treats

Every kid deserves to have a happy Halloween, but for those with food allergies, sensitivities, or who want a healthier, happy treat, the candy offered by neighbors might not be an option. Look for organic and/or sugar-free candy options at your local store. There’s always the option of giving out non-candy treats, too! About half of kids say that they would like to get alternatives to candy treats as well. Arts and crafts or school supplies are a great idea and give the kids something to do when all of the festivities are over (other than getting a sugar high from all of the candy!) 

Lighting Options

We all that spooky and scary atmosphere that candles create on Halloween, but paraffin is the main ingredient in most conventional candles. Paraffin is a waste product from the petroleum industry and releases carcinogenic toxins when burned. Benzene and toluene are found in the sooty residue from burning candles. The EPA has classified benzene as carcinogenic and toluene is toxic to the nervous system. Choose 100% beeswax candles to still achieve that spooky atmosphere while being environmentally conscious. Or, if you’re feeling especially crafty, make your own soy candles. Soy is a renewable resource and soy candles burn cleaner than toxic paraffin candles. 

Halloween Costumes 

Don’t buy new costumes – the likely hood of re-using a brand-new costume is very slim so the purchase is a waste of money and a strain on the environment. Instead, create a brilliant costume from up-cycled thrift store purchases. Mix and match pieces to make a one-of-a-kind costume. Another way to recycle costumes is by hosting a costume swap. Donate your old costume in exchange for a new-to-you costume.

Make Your Own Make-Up

Many commercially available Halloween face paints contain all kinds of scary toxins including heavy metals and a variety of parabens. Parabens are estrogenic (they mimic the estrogen hormone) and disrupt the hormone system. By making your own face paint, you control all of the ingredients and get to do a creative activity with the kiddos while instilling some health-conscious ideas. Or use mom’s non-toxic make-up that you already have on hand!

Bring Your Own Bag

One plain and simple way to green your Halloween is to bring a reusable bag. Give your costume some extra flair by making your own reusable treat bag to enhance your costume.

Bonus Tip: Take a Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

By going to the pumpkin patch, not only are you having a great day out, kids learn where pumpkins (and food) come from. They get to interact in a farming environment and choose their own pumpkins. You’re also supporting the farm directly. Don’t let those pumpkins go to waste! Save the seeds to roast and add to salads or just eat on their own as a tasty and nutritious snack. Also, you can keep the carved out bits of your pumpkin to use in a variety of recipes. 

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Whatever you do, have fun with it! and remember to try not to use single use plastics and non-compostable treats this halloween!


 

About ECOlunchbox

ECOlunchbox is mission-based, family-owned business based in Northern California striving to save our oceans from needless plastic trash by creating products that are good for our health, protecting both people and planet. Since its inception in 2009, ECOlunchbox has worked to consistently develop best-in-class, 100% plastic-free food containers. To learn more visit: ECOlunchboxes.com. 

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Viva Organic, Cardiff’s #ZeroWaste Heaven!

You guys! I have been so busy and so Instagram dependant that I haven’t blogged in here as much as I really should. I mean, as a blogger sometimes you even question if anyone is reading. Is this thing on? hello? lol but I have had a few people reach out to me via email and social media lately who reminded me why I blog. Because I love everything green, eco-friendly and sustainable! which I assume is the same reason why you are here too.

So let me start reconnecting by letting you know about this uber cool place in Cardiff. Viva Organic! (what a fantastic name that is)

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Viva Organic is located in the Pontcanna area – which is filled with little British houses, trees, small cozy roads with people pedaling along on their bikes and an array of amazing little shops. Pontcanna reminds me a lot of the Montrose area in Houston – sans the heat – but with British accents and Welsh cakes.

Viva Organic is the first of its kind in the area. As a zero waste shop, it offers everything your little environmental hearts can wish for. Organic fruit and veg (without plastic containers or wrapping) juice bar, with cold-pressed juices and delicious smoothies – My 12-year-old son devoured a Tropical smoothie in a matter of minutes and said it was one of the tastiest he ever had.

 

 

They also offer a range of organic wines and beers and coffees. The only thing I didn’t see was Kombucha, however, there was a little sign saying ‘coming soon’.

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The best part of the shop is hidden towards the back. A whole selection of self-serve and pack areas with large glass containers holding grains, pasta, cereals and oils which people can buy and carry home using their own containers ❤ it is just perfection. You can also purchase shampoo and natural soaps along with a range of cleaning household items.

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fullsizeoutput_8387The only downside to the place is that I have to travel more than a few miles to get there from the Valleys. But it is definitely worth a visit!

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B I G Thank you to Rod (Thomas) owner of the place, for bringing this amazing little place to live! I am absolutely in love with the place, the concept and the ethics behind it. I was also very pleased to see so many young families, and kids in the shop – mine included.

Viva Organic is located at 79 Pontcanna Street, Pontcanna, Cardiff. General opening hours are Tuesday to Friday – 8 am until 6 pm, Saturday – 9 am until 5 pm, Sunday – 11 am until 4 pm. Closed on Mondays.

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Warm Holiday Charm With an Eco-friendly Candle Holder.

Hello December!

Winter is upon us, and cozy nights are on their way! oh yes and what can warm up your holiday spirit more than the aroma of spices and oranges? This is a very cool simple project you can make with the kids in less than an hour. Bonding fun time! and super cool holiday aroma.

Here we go:

you need… oranges, a spoon, cookie cutter, cinnamon sticks, fresh cloves, and scissors.

1. Cut along the side of the orange, and then use the spoon to make your way through without breaking the orange peel.

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2. Once you have the orange peel completely separated from the orange, use the cookie cutter on the top part of the orange to make a little window.

3. Decorate with some cloves

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4. Place candle, and ta-da!

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