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