Halloween is just weeks away. Lucky for all of us eco-conscious moms, that means there’s still time to choose green and fun ways to celebrate. You won’t have to overhaul every single Halloween tradition… but by taking a common sense approach, you’ll be able to reduce a great deal of the waste associated with this holiday. Here’s how:
Greener / Healthier Halloween Candy
Conventional candy can be loaded with sugar, GMOs, and dyes and chemicals… not to mention the piles of wrapper waste. Luckily there are some simple, sustainable alternatives to the sugar habit:
- Skip the candy altogether and choose healthier treats like organic dried fruit or mini granola bars.
- You could also go the non-food route and hand out seed packets, stickers, hair barrettes, or soy crayons.
- If candy is a must-have, choose organic, Fair Trade chocolate and candies made with natural ingredients like fruit juice sweeteners, natural colors, and organic nuts.
- A new item on the shelves are the all-natural candies by UNREAL, and they are even out in mini varieties in time for Halloween! Note: they may not be safe for those with severe nut allergies as they may contain peanuts or tree nuts.
- Don’t buy a new plastic bucket for trick-or-treating. Instead, choose a reusable treat bag instead of a plastic one. Old pillowcases or sewn up T-shirts can be a fun project to let the kids decorate with non-toxic paints.
Eco-friendly Halloween Costumes & Face Paints
Dressing up is a big part of the fun. But who wants to breathe PVC from a plastic mask all night? DIY costumes aren’t just frugal, they’re usually safer than store bought… and much greener.
- If your child’s costume won’t be complete without face paint, choose to stay away from conventional paints. They’re loaded with things like mercury, parabens, synthetic fragrances, phthalates, or coal tar dyes. Wee Can Too Art’s face paint is made from fruits and vegetables and completely safe to use.
- Another option is to DIY your own using safe food dyes & a safe cream like in this easy DIY tutorial. It’s so easy!
- Avoid conventional hair dyes. Instead look for those made with henna or other biodegradable, plant-based ingredients.
- Pull your child’s costume pieces together from secondhand clothing found at Goodwill or the thrift store. It might take a few extra steps, but you’ll save money and resources.
- Find a Costume Swap in your area and “Swap Don’t Shop”
- Skip plastics, especially PVC (polyvinylchloride), which is toxic to kids and the planet.
With these tips you can have a truly green Halloween! We’d love to hear the ways you’re greening up your Halloween traditions this year. Let us know in the comments or tell us on Facebook!
Amity Hook-Sopko is the Editor of Green Child Magazine, the premiere online magazine for “raising your child the way nature intended” and author of Green Gifts Guide, a book and blog dedicated to the art of meaningful celebrations and eco-friendly gift giving. Amity believes that people are more important than things and uses her online voice to promote fair treatment of workers, conscious green decision-making, and making a difference — even a small one — every day.