Thursday in the City- Halloween that is a little more green



It is approaching quickly!  I am talking about Halloween, one of the funnest holidays of the year.  It is also one of the most wasteful.  This year may be a good time to switch up and start some new Halloween traditions or maybe revisit some from your childhood, like handmade treats and costumes.  I can still remember all of the amazing costumes that my mom made for me and my sister each year.  You can save a lot of money and make a lot of great memories. 





Decorations:
Avoid buying new plastic and make your own decorations.   
Mix handmade in with previous purchased decorations.
Re use or gather natural items to decorate like gourds, leaves and eco-friendly candles. 
Check out these beautiful vintage decorations you can find at yard sales.   


Treats:
Try to buy locally made candy, organic or fair trade.  
Organic cereal bars, honey sticks, or lollipops may be good substitutes.
Choose candy with the least amount of packaging. 
Click here for a list of eco-friendly candy selections
Skip the candy and give eco crayons, eco-play dough or stickers. 

Trick or Treat Bag:
Use a basket, canvas or nylon bag that can be reused each year or for another purpose.
Save money and use a pillow case.
Click here to enter your child’s Halloween design to Chico Bags!

Trick or Treating:
Don’t litter.  Take an extra bag to pick up wrappers.
Walk or ride a bike.  Avoid driving house to house or share rides with neighbors.
Use hand powered flash lights.

Costumes:
Skip the cheap plastic costumes.  
Make a unique one yourself! Try batwings out of a broken umbrella.
Look for places renting a costume if you don’t have time to make one. 
See if you can get a costume on Freecycle.  Have one?  Post it for someone else. 
Make your own face paint (See recipe below)  or buy lead/toxic free.
Oct 9th is National Costume Swap Day! Check out GreenHalloween.org for locations and tips.
Plan a costume swap party with your friends or at your child’s school.  




How to Make Face Paint: 
via the Campaign for Cosmetic Safety

Face Paint Made with Natural Food Coloring

Natural food coloring is available at health food stores and typically derived from foods and spices. We recommend reading up about natural food colorings and potential allergies first. Do not substitute conventional food coloring, which may contain synthetic chemical ingredients.

Ingredients:
-Base of safe, unscented lotion (search  Skin Deep for safe options) OR pure cocoa butter (available at health food stores) OR safe, fluoride-free toothpaste (search Skin Deep; avoid mint flavors, as they can make skin tingly)
-Natural food coloring (see note above)

Instructions:
Mix a few drops of natural food coloring into the base ingredient of your choice. Test on a small patch of skin before applying to face or body.

Face Paint Made with Food
Make sure young children understand they can’t eat these paints unless you make them without the base. Test a small patch of skin first to make sure your child isn’t allergic to the food you’re using.

Ingredients:
-Base of safe, unscented lotion (search  Skin Deep for safe options) OR pure cocoa butter (available at health food stores) OR safe, fluoride-free toothpaste (search Skin Deep; avoid mint flavors, as they can make skin tingly)
-Turmeric, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, beets, avocado, spirulina, cocoa, chocolate sauce, squid ink or other colorful foods, juices, herbs and spices

Instructions:
Yellow: Add 1/4 tsp. and a large pinch of stale turmeric to base.

Pink: Using a sieve, mash the juice from 3 fresh or thawed frozen raspberries, blackberries or beets directly into the base. Or, use a deeply colored berry juice or puree.

Mint green: With a fork, mash 1/4 of a small avocado until creamy. Mix this into your base.

Emerald green: Add small amount spirulina or bright green chlorophyll to base.

Purple: Using a sieve, mash the juice from several fresh or frozen blueberries into the base. Or, use blueberry juice.

Brown: Add cocoa powder or chocolate sauce to base.

Black: Use a small amount of squid ink in base for true black.

White: Mix powdered sugar and water.