EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAM. WE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.
I don’t need to tell anyone how unhealthy and expensive Halloween can be. According to the National Retail Federation, “Halloween will be celebrated in record numbers in 2014, with more than two-thirds of Americans buying Halloween costumes this year. Total spending for the holiday on costumes, decorations, candy and more is estimated at $7.4 billion.”
Some really scary facts:
- This generation of kids has a life expectancy that is shorter than their parents.
- The EPA considers that 60% of all herbicides, 90% of all fungicides and 30% of all insecticides found in non-organically grown foods are carcinogenic.
- Over 6,000 synthetic chemicals are used in the processed-food industry.
- A 2004 study found that children’s behavior measurably improved after a one week diet without preservatives and artificial colors and dramatically worsened on the weeks they were given preservatives and artificial colors.
- Coco beans used for chocolate that are grown in full sun (as opposed to shade) are susceptible to disease and therefore require heavy doses of toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.
- The chocolate industry has engaged in the use of child slaves and other unethical treatments of growers.
- Store-bought costumes, makeup and accessories may contain phthalates, cadmium, lead and other toxins.
Source: Green Halloween
Here are some ways to make your Halloween a little more “EEK-o-friendly” this year. Focus on one area you could make a difference or freak out your family and do it all:
Don’t spend money on poorly made plastic, unnatural fiber costumes that are thrown away before the last candy corn is devoured. Avoid costumes and masks made of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). Many children’s Halloween costumes and masks are made from PVC – the most toxic plastic on the planet. These products usually contain phthalates to make them flexible. Phthalates disrupt the hormone system and have been linked to adverse effects on reproduction and development, as well as asthma in children. Look for PVC-free costumes – or get crafty and create your own costume with items you already own. Or, take a trip to your local resale shop and let your imagination run wild.
To lessen the possibility of a sugar overload, before you head out for tricks and treats, give your kids a full, healthy meal. And, when you’re handing out the treats, instead of unhealthy candy, hand out organic candies, pencils, stickers, crayons, fake tattoos or small toys.
Local places to find organic treats and fun alternatives:
The Trick or Treating Bags:
Your Trick or Treat bag could be anything. Use your imagination. You could use a bucket, purse, basket or cloth bag that you decorate to enhance your costume. For example, one year my littlest went as an adorable piggy (note: costume was a gift from Grandma for our oldest daughter many years ago). The treat “bag” she used was a little decorative silver bucket that we use for storage, it looks like a farmer’s feed bucket. Perfect.
Use natural decorations like pumpkins, squash, gourds and hay bales. And when, for example, your pumpkin has done it’s duty as a jack-o-lantern, toss it in the compost bin. Or buy decorations that can be used year after year. You’ll save money and the environment.
Join the Prairie Roots Food Co-op and ensure that every year you, your family and our community will be able to buy local and organic pumpkins and squash.
My Green Side’s web pick of the week:
Plastic Pollution Coalition at http://plasticpollutioncoalition.org/
Plastic Pollution Coalition is a global alliance of individuals, organizations and businesses working together to stop plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on humans, animals, the ocean and the environment.