Our tips for a safe and eco-friendly Halloween

Sunday, 4 October 2015  |  Admin

Autumn is here; copper-coloured trees are shedding their leaves and hedgerows are laden heavy with blackberries and sloes. Your children's minds are no doubt thinking about that favourite autumn celebration of Halloween! However, with endless waste, chemical-laden fake blood and potentially flammable Halloween costumes, how can you ensure that this fun family festival is not terrifying in an all too real manner? Read on for our top tips.... 

Safety comes first:

* Ensure that your child's costume is made from a safe and environmentally friendly material. It is surprising how many contain potentially unsafe plastics like PVC, which can cause hormonal imbalances and even lead, which has long been known to be a nasty neurotoxin.

* Consider using an eco-friendly face-paint. Many of the cheaper versions available around Halloween contain lots of chemical nasties, such as chromium and lead. Not something you want to smear over your child's face!

* Halloween sweets, with their neon colouring and artificial flavourings are everywhere at this time of year. If you'd rather your children had something a bit more healthy, consider offering organic or Fairtrade chocolate, sweets with natural food-dyes or even get baking some sweet treats yourself!

* Instead of offering sweets to your trick-or-treaters, why not fill a pot with some recycled pencils and pads? Children love them and it offers a much longer-lasting gift than a sugary sweet. Our "Tree-friendly recycled pencils" are a great choice.

* Steer clear of paraffin candles, which release toxins when burning and choose beeswax instead. Widely available and super eco-friendly, you can put them in a pretty glass lantern or hurricane lamp to keep those little fingers safe from burning! Our lighting page has some fantastic ideas: http://www.protecttheplanet.co.uk/outdoor-glass-lanterns.html

Cut down on waste:

* Use your own crockery and cutlery for your party, rather than buying and throwing away Halloween-themed plastic. Decorate using icing made with natural food colourings to leave some spooky shapes behind.

* Reuse or recycle last year's costumes by customising with eco-friendly cottons. Adding a spider's web or a few goulish blood drips can breathe new life into a tired old outfit.

* Remember to compost your pumpkins and swedes to provide some fantastic nutrients for next year's harvest!