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IMG_0832 Found this costume at a thrift store!

Halloween is almost upon us! At this time of year I am more frightened of all the junk food, plastic, toxic face paint and artificial colorings  than ghosts and ghouls!  Truly, Halloween can be a time of waste, massive sugar consumption, and plastic, or we can make it reflect healthy, more sustainable choices. Or, we can simply take steps each year to make it as green and healthy as we can.

Here is a collection of posts to help you, busy MomsRising readers, to make this Halloween your most fun, most green and healthiest yet for you and your kids.

Safer, Healthier, More Sustainable Candy Choices:

Many moms are concerned about artificial colors, dyes and flavors in conventional candy because they are linked to behavioral problem in children. Also a concern is packaging, high fructose corn syrup (read: empty calories), GMOs, and additives. Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff  explains how conventional candy brands (ahem, Hershey)  have questionable child labor practices too. What can you buy instead?

Green mom and author Paige Wolfe has some fabulous ideas. So do our friends at Green Halloween-- they have this exhaustive list of great options. You are bound to find something here that works!

Did you know that many types of conventional candies contain palm oil, and that the harvesting of this oil is causing harm to orangutan populations, tropical pete forests in Asia and is increasing climate change? Watch this touching video and join the Rainforest Action Network in taking action to protect this important habitat and species.  Thanks for this, Climate Mama!

And here is a list of the top 10 healthiest candies! A simple go-to list. More info? See this sweet chart of what to look for (and avoid) in treats. 


Reused, Homemade, Non-Commerical Costumes:

There are many ideas out there-- and many items in your home from which to create a cool costume for (and with!) your kids. Here are some ideas to get you cooking.

You can find some great ideas from Diane at The Big Green Purse. She mentions thrift stores, trades, swaps, and other ideas. I've got some ideas here too for easy costumes for the craft-challenged. Want to see the wondrous costumes you can make out of mere cardboard? Get ready to be inspired! I fondly remember using a refrigerator box to create a robot costume when I was a kid!

How about face paint? Many contain harmful toxic chemicals. Read about which ones and how to avoid them at Non-Toxic Kids. 

Anna at Green Talk is nostalgic for the olden days of Halloween. No mass marketed, store bought costumes! We can do this now, too. Here are her many ideas for thinking about the earth and about being unique and independent on this holiday. 


Eco-friendly Halloween Crafts and Decorations:

The stores are loaded with plastic decorations and craft materials for Halloween. We can do better! Most of these end up in the landfill and can harm our health. Here are some ideas for spooky, eco-friendly crafts.

Mommygreenest made this super cute mummy lanterns with one of my favorite items-- mason jars!

Look at these simple and awesome craft ideas from Inhabitots. Fun and made with items probably already in your house. Babble's got 12 more recycled Halloween craft ideas. I love the spooky crayons. These could also be given out as treats on the big night.

And don't forget to give your kids reusable bags for trick or treating!

What are your tips for having a green, healthy and toxin free Halloween? Or do you just indulge for one night?  Do tell! We'd love to hear your thoughts.


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