Here at XOKiddo, although the orange of Halloween is obviously our favourite colour; we are always trying to be as ‘green’ as possible - from the clothes we manufacture and sell; through to recycling and avoiding chemicals. Therefore, with Halloween coming up next week, we wanted to share some tips for having an environmentally friendly Halloween. In America, Halloween is a massive annual celebration and it is starting to now grow worldwide, with more people throwing big parties for friends, discos or just decorating their houses and going trick or
treating. However, there are ways to do this without spending a fortune and buying yet more plastic!
1. Decorating your house – if you have decorations from last year; try and reuse as many as possible and not buy any new ones as these can take around 1,000 years to decompose in a rubbish dump. Get the kids involved in making some new decorations by turning old pairs of black tights into spider-webs, cardboard boxes into gravestones, stuff old clothes with newspaper for a sustainably scary zombie, or make ghosts out of old white sheets.
2. Costumes – rather than buying costumes make your own by keeping old clothes that can be used like worn black t-shirts, trousers, shorts or tights or pop to the local charity shop to see what you can buy for a couple of quid. Avoid Halloween masks as many aren’t made of rubber but are toxic PVC and store-bought costumes can give off toxic chemicals like phthalates, which have been linked to ADHD and feminized genitalia in baby boys.
3. Spooky Make-up – although some Halloween face paint is labelled up as non-toxic; it can still contain poisonous metals so paint your kids’ faces with eco-friendly makeup, or make your own with food-based ingredients.
4. Pumpkins – one of the best parts of Halloween is buying a pumpkin and carving strange designs and faces into them with the kids. Just try to buy pumpkins from local farms or farmers-markets or if you have room grow your own as kids love watching them grow.
5. Halloween Party – if you are planning to have family or friends over for a Halloween party, try to cut down on waste by not using disposable cups, plates and cutlery but instead using your normal dishes or buy biodegradable ones. You can use reusable labels to identify people’s cups so they only need to use one instead of lots of disposable ones.
6. Save electricity – turn your lights off and create a creepy, candle-lit atmosphere to welcome trick-or-treaters and/or party guests. Use candles made from beeswax or GM-free soy instead but make sure all candles are out of the way of young children who could harm themselves if their costume gets set alight.
7. Trick or Treating – rather than buying a special plastic bucket or bag for the kids; reuse something you already have like a bucket, pillowcase or an old bag which can be decorated at home and used each year. Try and buy locally produced foods and sweets going that have minimal packaging or are in recycled packaging and check the labels to see that they are from sustainable sources.
8. Walk don’t drive – most of us tend to just walk around our local neighbourhood with the kids but try to avoid driving anywhere as it’s a great opportunity to get to know your neighbours, reduce your carbon emissions and help keep the streets safe for others.
9. Pumpkin Soup – pumpkin soup or pumpkin pie is delicious so keep the insides and make some yummy warming soup or pie for the family to all enjoy.
10. Composting and Recycling – Once the celebrations are over; recycle as much as you can and compost the party food and of course your pumpkin. Many people don’t realise that when pumpkins are sent to a sealed landfill they emit methane, a greenhouse gas which is 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide so composting is the way to go.
Just by making a few simple changes, we can all do our bit for the environment; whilst still enjoying Halloween and having a ghoulish good time. We look forward to seeing your little ones dressed up in their creepy (but cute) outfits.