Thursday, October 7, 2010

Green Halloween?!

I have previously posted Environmental Working Group's advice on sunscreens and shared with you their sunscreen app.  I appreciate their research and honestly try to keep as many toxins out of my house as possible. Don't we all want non-toxic houses?!? Of course!

That said, the most recent report I received from EWG entitled Tips to Green Your Halloween nearly ruined my day, or rather, my Halloween!  To read the full report click here. But, spoiler alert: it make put a crimp in your ghoulish Halloween spirit!

Little Miss Thang and friend, 2009
Here is a quick list of toxic items to avoid:
  • Face paint / makeup (lead)
  • nail polish (toluene)
  • colored hairspray (toxic fumes)
  • candles (petroleum based)
  • synthetic face masks or teeth (phthalates)
  • paper  plates (wasteful)
  • store-bought costumes (wasteful)
  • candy (hideous chemicals lurking within)
  • decorations (other than pumpkins and hay).

So let's discuss the errors in this Halloween 2009 photo alone:
  • Face paint - check
  • colored hairspray - check
  • candles - you can't see them, but I remember the lovely aroma
  • paper plates - just out of camera shot, but even worse -- styrofoam cups 
  • Store-bought costumes - check
  • decorations - check (note the plastic figurines strewn about my witches' brew)
Needless to say, I have room to grow. As I said when discussing my choice of sunscreen, we must take everything in moderation. Certainly we can live a little greener and less toxic without giving up the fun of dressing in flammable materials and begging door-to-door for candy! Right?! 

I have stopped burning candles incessantly at home.  While I do enjoy the fragrance they provide, I do not want their petroleum filth in my house. I've also changed to DuWop's toluene free toe nail polish. It may not be as shiny as others, but that toluene stuff is bad news! And, yes, I will read the ingredients on the candy I purchase. Maybe some are better (Snickers) than others (Air Heads)?! And I'm not a big fan of paper plates. I'm not. But if you have ever seen Halloween night at my house, you too would insist on paper! That is where I draw the line. For now.

So, the bottom line is this:  It is good to be informed. It is wise to make choices which keep our homes clean and free off harmful toxins. One little green step at a time.

What steps are you taking to make your house green? How does or does that affect your holiday planning?


Unknown said...

I am not one to care about "greenness". I know that sounds messed up, but I just want to live my life. This is a funny post...I love it.

Janet said...

As Oprah says, when we know better, we do better. I've had my share of Halloween no no's! I did get both my costume and my boyfriend's from garage sales this time.

I burn candles a lot at home though. And now that is bad too? Grrrr.

Anonymous said...

Soy candles are one way to have candles but not worry about petroleum. Does cleaning rarely count as green??

Crystal said...

I don't burn candles-I've almost burned our house down a couple times so my hubby frowns upon them. I do, however, buy costumes. BUt I think this year we are re-using 3 of them. Thanx for the reminder!


Connie said...

I unpacked my fall decor yesterday and lit the candles. An hour later both my kids were complaining of headaches.

I threw them out today.

Thanks for the heads up!

Ali said...


Eat. Live. Laugh. and sometimes shop! said...

Yes, Ali! I think you might be related!

Tara said...

OK, this comment is not so much about Halloween as the link to your previous post about sunscreen. How am I just now finding out about this report?! We're getting ready for a trip to the beach! One of my existing sunscreens was rated a 3 and the rest were 7s! And it appears that, like you, I also had the answer two years ago. I regularly bought Blue Lizard Baby and Blue Lizard Sensitive (which rate a 2) when we lived in Virginia. I haven't been able to find them here in TX, so I switched. Aaack!

Eat. Live. Laugh. and sometimes shop! said...

Tara - I not order all sunscreen online. By the gallon.

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