Tracey Martin is a Sustainable Lifestyle Leader and author and has been a certified Transformational Life Coach as well as health, life and wellness advisor for more than 25 years. Tracey’s mission is simple, to protect our natural resources, planet, and our most precious resource: humankind. She is sharing her knowledge with us in this monthly column and this month Tracey talks about Halloween and ways to make it a more sustainable holiday.
The days are getting shorter, our mornings are crisp and hearing that pumpkin spice is going to be in EVERYTHING over the next few months means that it is Fall!!!
Halloween is around the corner. Costumes, parties and treats immediately come to mind. I don’t want to be a buzz kill but I do want to be that conscious voice in your head that makes you question your costume of choice.
Of course, I am a fan of home made costumes. I feel they are more creative, unique and less wasteful. Add in the element of sustainability and Halloween isn’t so scary.
Sometimes we can’t always take the time to make a costume, so I know purchasing one might be easier for you. I want to give you a few things to be aware of.
A few toxins to keep an eye out for:
1) PVC – Polyvinyl chloride -This is so prevalent in todays consumer products. It shows up time and time again in Halloween costumes. This is where you get that “chemical” smell or offgas when you purchase something plastic. It is an environmental hazard from the moment it is produced until it is disposed of. Halloween masks are full of it.
2) Pthalates – Most of these have been banned in children products, you still need to be on the look out for them. Not every substance is listed as it should be. They make the stiff plastics a little softer. They are endocrine disruptors. However, with young children they pose a particular health hazard.
3) Heavy metals – Such as lead, formaldehyde or nickel. These chemicals can be found in most of the products used for Halloween face paint and makeups. Believe it or not, EVERY face paint tested contained lead!!! Yikes, now that is really scary.
How can you make your Halloween less scary and more sustainable?
Thrift a costume – Goodwill or Savers – Head to your local store and have fun. They pull all kinds of pieces of clothing and accessories and put them in a fun “in store” Halloween display. This can help you in your decision-making.
Borrow and Save a costume – Years ago when my kids were little, I started the “Halloween Trunk.” This is an old wooden second hand trunk I bought. I have been collecting Halloween costume pieces, and interesting vintage pieces. There are wigs, chains and capes galore. Even a homemade Red Riding Hood cape. This is great because friends of mine come by and borrow them or donate their old costumes to the trunk. I encourage you to think about doing the same. Every year it is fun to see what you can create.
Rent it – Easley’s fun Shop or Mardi Gras are both fantastic for rentals. You can find anything there! Or you can find the one piece that will complete your unique idea.
Wishing everyone a fun, safe and sustainable Halloween!
If you have comments or questions you would like to see addressed in this column, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a private one on one with Tracey text 602.568.4124.