Guide to a Healthy Halloween

Guide to a Healthy Halloween | thenotepasser.com

Just because the chocolate-covered debauchery of Halloween is upon us doesn't mean you have to give up being healthy and sustainable. Chocolate is, after all, full of antioxidants. But here are a few things I keep in mind when preparing for Halloween: health, fair-trade, and waste.

Stay healthy by treating yourself to homemade goodies instead of mass-produced junk. I play this trick on myself all the time when I'm craving junk food; health food junk food is at least a little better for you! Think dark chocolate and raw desserts. Try out some of the recipes below or buy treats from sites that check everything out for you, like Abe's Market or the Natural Candy Store. Buy quality and you won't mind passing up the waxy traditional chocolate and candy. 

Every year, costume shops pop up all over NYC. They are full of plastic junk and poor quality costumes that are clearly meant to be tossed out after one use. It's better for your wallet and the environment to go another route. Make a costume out of recyclable materials like foil or cardboard; use clothing you already have; or buy items secondhand from thrift shops or sites like Ebay (refine your search to "used" or "preowned"). My favorite costume of all time was created from items I already had plus some thrifted shoes. 

Another unhealthy feature of the holiday is face paint. To get the color to stay on and be shelf stable, most of the face paint in costume stores is full of chemicals. Avoid possible skin reactions by making your own with this recipe from POPSUGAR.

To Make

Top Row: Free Vegan Halloween Recipes E-Book via Abe's Market | 5-Ingredient Vegan Snickers via Minimalist Baker |  Raw Caramel Apples via Fork and Beans | Middle Row: Cosmic Chocolate Peppermint Patties via Chocolate-Covered Katie | Green Goblin Milkshake via Chocolate-Covered Katie | Vegan Salted Caramels via Fork and Beans | Bottom Row: Shadow Puppet templates via Mini-eco | Downloadable paper bag costumes from Wee Society | Seriously Easy Homemade Face Paint via POPSUGAR 

Chocolate is a big part of Halloween, but it's decidedly better to go for quality over quantity. West Africa produces 70% of the world's cacao, and 40% of that comes from the Ivory Coast. Many of those farmers don't have direct access to the market and are forced to sell to intermediaries that don't pay fairly. Conventions like fair trade certification attempt to remedy this situation that often leads to cheap slave or child labor. There is a dismal irony in giving out Halloween candy made from cacao harvested by children. After learning about the ills of cacao industry, fair trade chocolate is something I'm now strict about buying. Fair trade is not a perfect system, but it is working to address these complicated issues in the agriculture industry. Learn more about the virtuous circle of fair trade.

To Buy

Top Row: Rescue Chocolate via Abe's Market | Fresh Ginger Caramels via Mouth | Chocolate Bar Trio via Rodale's Bottom Row: Natural Face Paint Kit via Abe's Market | Aromatic Hair Chalk Set via Abe's Market | Felt cat mask via Etsy 

Halloween is traditionally a pretty wasteful holiday: candy wrappers, costumes, plastic buckets, and trinkets abound. The candy dilemma at home is easy enough to solve by making your own or buying options with less packaging (look for recyclable paper and aluminum packages). The stranger danger element of trick-or-treating makes it a little more difficult when giving out candy. One solution might be to have a party instead of taking your kids trick-or-treating — zero-waste Halloween party anybody? I don't really get any trick-or-treaters at my apartment, but if I did, I might give out jack-o-lantern clementines, fair-trade chocolates from Equal Exchange, or recycled crayons. Yes, I'm that person. If you do have a party, consider sending out invites electronically instead of on paper. Paperless Post has some really cute ones.

Find more ideas like these on my Healthy Halloween Pinterest board!

To Give

Top Row: Clementine jack-o-lanterns via We Heart Parties | Cocomels via Abe's Market | Recycled Mustache Crayons via Etsy | Bottom Row: Fair Trade Your Halloween Kit via Equal Exchange | Mr. Boddington's Studio invitation via Paperless Post | Treesmart Recycled Newspaper Pencils via Abe's Market 
 
This post contains affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you buy anything through the link (it doesn't change the amount you pay). I only include brands that I believe in, that I would use myself, or think might be of interest to you. 
 

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Daniel Silverstein Talks Zero Waste Fashion

Daniel Silverstein Talks Zero Waste Fashion | thenotepasser.com

Last Thursday marked the third event of the Ethical Writers Coalition: a talk with zero waste fashion designer, Daniel Silverstein. Zero waste is a revival of what used to be traditional practices: eat all the parts, use all the scraps, don't waste anything. It's being a good steward of your materials and appreciating the time and energy that went into their production. While working in the conventional fashion industry, Daniel saw materials being unnecessarily thrown out and knew he wanted to disrupt that pattern of waste. He reinvented the way he designed, cut, and produced clothing and in the process reinvented himself. Daniel is now a leader in the art of zero waste design and the packed room of students and designers we hosted confirms that there is growing interest in the zero waste movement.

As Juliette Donatelli of Spades + SiLK spoke with Daniel about his history, we learned that his is a true conversion story. The waste he witnessed in the fashion industry bothered him so much, he felt he had no choice but to leave. With the goal of producing the least amount of waste, Daniel re-works his designs until they produce only scraps of fabric which he later uses in other projects. All of his gorgeous pieces are created in his NYC studio by him and a small group of employees. 

After the talk, we went into Daniel's studio to learn more about his zero waste design process. He explained how he created a box-cut tee (modeled by Alden of EcoCult), showed us one year's worth of scraps of fabric, and talked about some of his future projects.

After the Q & A, attendees were treated to cupcakes from Little Cupcake Bakeshop. Jacquelyn of The Stylish Kind brought the fair trade wine we served in Susty Party compostable cups. Attendees were also able to shop Daniel's collection and get his advice on sizing and style. Emma Grady of Past Fashion Future dished out sustainable style advice as she shopped while friend and model for Daniel's The Piece Project, Lauren Singer of Trash is for Tossers, was there to lend her support. 

Learn more about Daniel Silverstein: WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM

 

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