Have A Green Halloween

Ah, Halloween: The parade of costumes and candy will be over in a flash–but not before Americans have spent $6.9 billion dollars on costumes, decorations and candy! Here are a few tips to make your Halloween fabulous—even as you cut down on the ripple effects of your consumer choices.

Avoid PVC plastic: That flexible, shiny plastic with a “plastic” smell might be flashy and affordable—but it comes with a hidden cost. PVC introduces toxic chemicals into the environment, and also adds to the problem of plastic waste that does not break down for centuries. If you can choose natural fibers, great! Otherwise, look for EVA plastic or phthalate-free plastic as a better alternative.

Choose safer makeup: Alas, a new report this year once again finds heavy metals and other toxics in makeup made for children and for Halloween. If you can choose a safer makeup kit, great! Otherwise, take special caution when using makeup on young children: keep away from mouth and eyes, and wash up as soon as the celebrating is over.

Get durable LED lights: Lights are not only great fun in a dusk and evening celebration—they are also important for safety. Choose durable, re-useable LED lights instead of glow-sticks or one-time novelty lights, you’ll save both cash and resources in the long run.

Visit the thrift store: Thrift stores are a bonanza of costume supplies, pre-made costumes and decorations, too! When you “recycle” by buying used, you’re both reducing your eco-footprint and putting your dollars behind the good causes that run your local thrift store.

Choose earth-conscious candy: Palm oil, a very common ingredient in candy, is an industry that has devastating effects on tropical forests worldwide. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Learn more from the Santa Barbara Zoo on how to choose candy that’s easy on our elephants and orangutans.

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