My friends and I take Halloween very seriously. Each year we have a “group theme,” and work on our costumes for weeks leading up to the big day.
Although we consider ourselves Halloween experts, we were in the dark about how horrifically toxic this holiday can be. Lead in children’s face paints, phthalates in masks, and costumes made from PVC are just a few of the ghastly truths I unveiled in my research. Luckily, thanks to several informative blogs and websites, there are ways to have a Green Halloween.
- Avoid face paint. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetic’s Report Pretty Scary revealed children’s face paints contain lead, nickel, cobalt and/or chromium, among other unidentified ingredients like “fragrance.” If you need to paint your face, check out some of these home-made face paint recipes.
- Ditch the Colored Hair Sprays. They contain toxic chemicals and shouldn’t be sprayed around eyes, mouth, nose, and definitely shouldn’t be inhaled! As that is pretty much impossible to avoid, opt for a wig instead.
- Buy PVC-Free Masks & Costumes. Community Mama reports many Halloween masks and costumes are made from PVC (the poison plastic) which can leach harmful gender-bending phthalates. If you can’t avoid them, look for ones that are marked “PVC-Free,” or make your own from what you have at home.
- Avoid Phthalates in Masks & Teeth. The reason those false teeth and masks are so flexible is because they’re made with endocrine-disrupting phthalates. Try making your own mask instead, or painting your face with homemade face paint.
- Steer Clear of Traditional Nail Polish. Most contain formaldehyde, tolulene, and acetone. Get Green Be Well recommends Hopscotch Kids or Piggy Paint as a safer alternative.
- Decorate Naturally. Opt for pumpkins, gourds, and cornstalks, instead of plastic decorations. You won’t be harming your guests, and it will look a lot less cheesy.
- Light Soy Candles. Planet Green reports traditional candles are made from petroleum-based paraffin, carcinogens, neurotoxins, and reproductive toxins. Soy candles are safer, renewable, and biodegradable.
- Hand out organic, or natural treats. Organic chocolate is pesticide-free and lead-free. It’s also full of powerful antioxidants.