OG’s Top Ten Ideas for a Green Halloween

Posted on 26. Oct, 2011 by in Business & Policy, Design & Culture, Products

Did you know that this Halloween, we will be throwing out over a billion pounds of pumpkins? That the candles you’re using in the background could expose you to carcinogens like benzene? That you can fashion up some creative costumes and crafts without even leaving your home? Here’s our tip sheet on how to turn your next Halloween green (and save some green while you’re at it).

1. Freak-O-Bags- Supermarkets have reusable bags, so why not have one for every Halloween? These fair trade bags are handcrafted from Thailand and can be easily converted into a shopping bag for the other 364 days of the year. Freak-o-Bags were created to “counteract the trend of factory-made, poor-quality recyclable bags,” says Christopher Daniels, co-founder.  “Ours are made from umbrella fabric and are guaranteed to last for at least ten years.” When all else fails, an old pillowcase or reusable canvas shopping bag also works handily. ($15-20)

 2. Chicobag-  ”It is great to see children having fun and getting involved in sustainability. Our hope is that they will be inspired to make eco-conscious decisions on Halloween and other celebrations throughout the year.” says CEO and founder, Andy Keller. The Halloween Chicobag promises to put the “eek” in eco-friendly Halloween. Trick-or-treaters can stock up their sugary stash with five different designs, including one inspired by the winner of a nationwide contest. Each bag holds up to 25 pounds and some designs even glow in the dark. Part of the proceeds will go to benefit Green Halloween. ($6.99)

3. YummyEarth Organic Candy- Candy may not be the first product that comes to mind when you think of organic food. But YummyEarth has been churning out just that. Their signature organic lollypops are sure to be a delight for young trick-or-treaters and a welcome retreat from the usual artificially-flavored, corn syrup-saturated fare. ($7.99-$35)

4. Endangered Species Chocolate Halloween Treats- It’s sustainable, fair trade, and it’s chocolate! The ingredients are all-natural, from the milk chocolate to the unbleached beat sugar. Each wrapper also features an endangered species and 10% of net profits go to an environmental charity. Best of all, “our chocolate is ethically traded,” said Monica Erskine, communications coordinator, thus “honoring cacao farmers with a fair wage while enriching their communities.” ($2.99 for a 3oz. bar)

 5. Oeuf Costumes- This French/American husband-wife team markets products that are both “practical and stylish, without compromising quality and safety.” From the materials they use to the recycled packaging, Oeuf promises to be much more than just “simple, clean and intuitive design.” For Halloween, kids can dress up as Andre Dogassi (a tennis-playing pup) or Bat Shak O’Neal, a hybrid between a basketball player and Batman. ($146-$204 for a full set)

 6. Make-It-Yourself Costumes- No need to fret about which costumes to buy- Inhabitat profiles some of their readers’ best costume submissions- and you don’t even have to leave the house! Get ideas for everything from a concerned polar bear to a pollution-adverse mermaid using up everyday products from sleeping bags to leftover cardboard.

7. Sustainable Crafts- What more unique, money-saving, and creative way of decorating your home than with sustainable crafts? Using simple items lying around your house, from newspapers to milk cartons, you can fashion up a small Halloween town, a cat pillow with leftover canvas, a paper mache mask, a ghastly cassette tape skull, or a scarecrow by stuffing up old clothes with newspaper. And of course, recycle or reuse all your decorations!

8. Petroleum-Free Candles- Avoid neurotoxic fumes, like benzene and toluene, and carcinogens with petroleum-free candles to create that perfect Halloween ambience. Pure beeswax candles from your local farmer’s market are your best bet for emitting the least amount of pollution. Soy wax candles are biodegradable and produce less soot. And did we mention they both burn longer than your conventional candle? Bluewick sells organic cotton-paper wicks starting at $6 for a pocket candle, and Greenspace offers wicks made from naturally grown hemp fibers starting at $7.50 for a 5-ounce tumbler.

9. Compost Your Jack-O-Lantern- About 1.1 billion pounds in pumpkins end up in the landfills after each Halloween. Once there, the pumpkin emits methane, a greenhouse gas 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. By composting your pumpkin after Halloween, you can cut down on waste and fertilize your backyard greens. Even pumpkin seeds leftover from carving can be used. Clean, salt and roast them for a quick snack.

10. Take a Late Night Stroll- Take the young (and young at heart) away on foot, avoid the traffic, and get a little exercise by trick-or-treating the way it’s meant to be done. If you’re attending a Halloween party and need a ride, take public transportation or carpool.





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One Response to “OG’s Top Ten Ideas for a Green Halloween”

  1. KristallLutz

    26. Oct, 2011

    The costumes that have been posted on Inhabitat.com the past few weeks are ingenious!! Love the ChicoBag too!

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