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The Green Life: Tricks and Treats for Halloween

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October 13, 2007

Tricks and Treats for Halloween

Halloween should give you some good scares, not actually anything to worry about. For a safe and ecofriendly holiday, try these tips:

  • Set a spooky mood with soy or beeswax candles, not those made from petroleum-based paraffin. If you like scented candles, look for ones with fragrances derived from essential oils rather than synthetic chemicals.
  • Invest creativity instead of cash in your costume. Dig into the back of the closet (yours or a friend's) or hit the thrift store to find wacky clothes and accessories instead of buying plastic costumes. Need inspiration? The Green Guide and Care2 have clever DIY ideas that can be great projects for adults and kids. (You can make your own decorations too.)
  • Istock_000003387084xsmall_2Avoid masks made out of vinyl. Latex ones are safer, unless you're allergic to the material.
  • Whether you're going glamorous or ghoulish, use natural makeup to avoid chemical exposure.
  • Hand out fair trade or organic chocolates, organic hard candy, fruit snacks, or other ecofriendly edibles to all those cute trick-or-treaters. Global Exchange evens sells a Fair Trade Trick or Treat Action Kit that includes individually wrapped chocolates along with Halloween-themed informational postcards.
  • Worried about rotting those little monsters' teeth? Fun nonfood alternative treats include nontoxic crayons, coloring books, stickers, or even small change.
  • Whether for dressing up or handing out, avoid costume jewelry, especially glossy, fake painted pearls and toys from vending machines, both of which may contain lead. There were almost 30 recalls of lead-containing children’s products this year, so use a LeadCheck kit if you're unsure about a toy your child already owns.
  • Look up some recipes for pumpkin pie, soup, or curry so your decoration doesn't go to waste after Halloween. (Not much of a chef? Compost that jack-o-lantern, at least.)
  • Don't forget a reusable shopping bag to carry your trick-or-treating haul!

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