The real holiday lifesavers are the smaller shops with tons of heart and authentic finds. Local is good. And eco-friendly, online stores with big hearts are even better. Meet Thrive.
Take the spookiness out of Halloween with healthier choices that are easier than you might think. Start with these simple 5 ways to green your halloween – steps to avoid toxins, sugars and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a safer, ‘eek-o’ friendly Halloween with your kids.
1. Non-Toxic Face Paint In its ‘Pretty Scary‘ report on heavy metals in face paints, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found an alarming 10 out of 10 face paints tested contained lead, a neurotoxin. Instead of gravitating towards a pack of face paint or make up from the likes of the dollar store that may or may not contain lead or other nasties, invest in a set of quality non-toxic lead-free face paints that will last well beyond Halloween. Another great option is to wear a reusable mask.
2. Healthier Treats Now more than ever Halloween treats with less sugar and additives than the average rocket or caramel abound. From organic chocolate to fruit bars and apple crisps, the possibilities are endless, you just have to keep an eye out. One to try are Bug Bites from Endangered Species Chocolate. Another alternative is non-food treats that last a little longer like recycled newspaper pencils, recycled crayon sticks, colourful soy rock crayons and if you want to really lead by example, compostable toothbrushes.
3. PVC-Free Treat Bags Avoiding PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and the poisonous chemicals it can off-gass is always a good idea, especially when it comes to items used by kids. Choosing PVC-free bags, backpacks, and toys means nasty dioxins won’t be leaching or off-gassing into the air and causing potential hormone disruption, respiratory issues and more. For Halloween, give the nasties a miss and go for a PVC-free treat bag like this Envirosax pirates bag or this pretty pink sweet treats bag. Both can hold up to 44lbs of goodies!
4. Swap a Costume Save money and reduce your carbon footprint by trading costumes with family and friends. Alternatively, go to National Costume Swap Day Canada and find a costume swap event near you. It’s a great way to change things up without spending a lot and let’s face it, does anyone really want to wear the same costume twice, even if you haven’t outgrown it?
5. Make Reusing Part of Halloween Consider ways to decorate without buying new and you’ll not only save money but help teach your kids about the value of reusing. Here’s a great idea for making spooky eyes in the bushes with toilet paper rolls and for these clever ghost lights use old bleach bottles. Using what you already have around the house also works great for costumes. Make a jet pack out of pop bottles for your little rocket man or transform an old t-shirt into a scary skull for an easy adult costume. After the 31st, be sure to reuse your pumpkin for pie, muffins, scones or any of these 23 Ways to Use Pumpkin Puree. For the more adventurous, try a pumpkin hair mask or pinata from these 10 Fun Things to Do with Pumpkin.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. With just a little thought and planning, it’s easy enjoy a ghoulishly green Halloween!
– Louise Campbell, co-founder eco boutique Lavish & Lime
Au revoir, plastic wrap. Sayonara tinfoil. These Abeego Flat Wrap Covers for Food are used in the same way, but they’re far safer, effective – and reusable. Made with beeswax, tree resin and jojoba oil infused in a hemp/cotton fabric, these all natural rectangle shaped flat food wraps do not leach nasty chemicals into your food.
The warmth of your hands as you press the wraps around your cucumbers, bowls, cheese or half-eaten baguette (as if it’s not always totally gone) allows you to shape it easily. The stiffen when cooled. Oh, and they are compostable, which will make my veggie gardens happy as well. Lavish and Lime
As a parent there are so many things to consider – but what good is all of the hard work on attachment parenting if we have no planet by the time the kids reach 21? We need to stop hurting our planet – and fast. With all of the things to remember as a parent or through pregnancy, you don’t need more to think about (and feel guilty for), so we’ve come up with a few easy tips that could easily become habits. Remember that kids learn what they are shown.
Stretching 22 blocks from New York City’s Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District up to Chelsea, this old railway line 30 feet above the streets has been converted into a eco and family-friendly park aptly named ‘The Highline‘. Using reclaimed materials already located in the area, New York now has a new green space. Rolling lounges, gardens, and benches are well used by mothers, nannies, business people and joggers.
Squishy squishy squashie, give your clothes a washy… Maybe Barny’s not your thing, but Soap Nuts should be. Completely natural, these ‘nuts’ are actually fruit from the Sapindus Mukorossi tree, found primarily in the Himilayas. They are harvested, de-seeded and dried in the sun. When you wash your laundry with them, the saponin contained within the outer shell acts as a fantastic natural detergent. These have been used for centuries in other parts of the earth, but are only just now gaining popularity in the western world. Marketed by The Laundry Tree with a beautiful linen bag, they leave no scent and get laundry fresh and clean.
Summertime! The park! The beach! The campground! Uh oh! The bee sting! The sunburn! The knee scrape! Summer brings lots of outdoor fun but also the possibility of outdoor injuries. No need to keep the kids inside, just follow these environmentally-friendly tips. Recommended products are available at Whole Foods Market.
We’re all about hip and funky. And if you can save the environment and your own health in the mix, that’s a big bonus. (Kind of like getting a daily calf massage after a night in 4 inch heels). Did you know that 87% of Canadians believe that household cleaning products are safe even though only 10% of the chemicals used in the typical products have been tested? Or here’s a scary one.. apparently housewives face a 55% higher cancer risk due to their exposure to household cleaning products… Nice. Seventh Generation has come out with a super-cool app for the iphone or free download for your home computer. While you are shopping or surfing, you can search a directory of common cleaning products to see what ingredients are inside. Merci!
>Bye bye perfume, no more chlorine. Flush them down and your life will be green.. Ok, so maybe not a great ditty, but we haven’t stopped singing since we tried these fabulous diapers. A mix between cloth and disposables, the inner liner pops out and you can flush it – or get this… stick it in your compost bin to decompose within 3 months and give soil directly back to the earth. (Add this to our fun list of things to do with kids in the garden). For those of you who are mortally offended, not only by the landfill factor of using disposable diapers, but by constantly seeing Elmos and princesses on your dear one’s tush, these are the solution.
Green is definitely a great colour for the bedroom — and we don’t just mean for the walls. Since your child spends approximately 1/2 of their day in bed (hopefully!) and research shows that our bodies are much more sensitive to environmental influences while sleeping, your child’s bedroom is the natural place to start implementing more eco-friendly products. Some eco-friendly flooring options include: bamboo, reclaimed wood from old buildings and they are even making flooring from trees damaged by the pine beetle and from trees fallen in Stanley Park during the infamous 2006 windstorm.