5 Ways to Have a Happy, Healthy, Plastic-Free Halloween

Halloween is a holiday best known for being fun, spooky, and, frighteningly, filled with lots and lots of plastic. There’s nothing fun about plastic, though it is commonly used to make Halloween costumes, masks, candy wrappers, decorations, toys, and makeup. Plastic harms both the environment and human health. It contains hazardous chemicals, and causes injustice and pollution all over the world. Now that’s truly scary!

But Halloween doesn’t have to be a wasteful, unjust, and unhealthy nightmare. Solutions to plastic pollution exist. Thankfully, there are lots of Halloween traditions we can continue to partake in and enjoy…just without the plastic! 

Here are Plastic Pollution Coalition’s top five tips for eliminating plastic from your spooky festivities this Halloween season:

1. Make treats from scratch:

Caramel apple by Joshua Ganderson (Flickr)

It wouldn’t be Halloween without the treats. Unfortunately, most Halloween delicacies are wrapped in toxic, single-use plastic packaging that pollutes the environment and our bodies. Make your own Halloween candies, baked goods, and other sweets from scratch to cut out the plastic:

  • The key to plastic-free Halloween treats is to keep it simple. Recipes with few ingredients and steps can help spare you of plastic packaging. Not to mention, simplicity can make it quick, easy, and affordable to create your own Halloween sweets. Think: vegan caramel apples made with wooden sticks or twigs from your garden. Or beet-colored red velvet cupcakes baked without liners in nontoxic glass or ceramic baking pans (these can be made vegan as well). And spooky sugar cookies made with plastic-free icing sugar.
  • Shop for unprocessed, whole ingredients whenever possible: Find reuse and refill shops near you where you can bring your own bags and containers to stock up with loose, unpackaged foods. When that is not possible, seek out local shops where it’s possible to purchase foods in bulk and/or in packaging other than plastic. Good packaging alternatives include nontoxic paper, metal, glass, bamboo, algae, banana leaves, and other materials.
  • Be mindful of chemicals in the kitchen: Did you know that many cupcake liners, baking trays, pots, pans, spatulas, and other common tools commonly contain plastics and toxic chemicals known to harm human health and the environment, like PFAS? Opt for non-toxic, naturally anti-microbial materials like bamboo and some stainless steel, wood, glass, and ceramic.

2. Create a costume from reused materials

With a little creativity, you can turn used clothing, newspapers, cardboard, and other cheap or free plastic-free materials into awesome Halloween costumes. Most commercially sold costumes—and in fact much clothing made and sold today—is manufactured with plastic fibers like nylon, polyester, polyamide, and acrylic. These plastics rapidly shed toxic microfibers into the environment and our bodies. Play with non-toxic and plastic-free cosmetics when putting on your best Halloween face.

Not only is making your own plastic-free costume cheaper, more sustainable, and healthier than buying one, it’s also more fun:

3. Choose degradable decorations

Typically, Halloween decorations such as fake spiderwebs, glowing pumpkins, and inflatables, are made of polluting plastic. And most plastic Halloween decorations are either used just once, or once a year. 

Keep plastic and toxins away from your home this Halloween without sacrificing any of your fall vibe by adorning with biodegradable items! If farms exist in your area, pay a visit to find pumpkins and other gourds, as well as dried corn, hay bales, and other beautiful and natural seasonal decorations. Dried leaf wreaths, scarecrows, and other plastic-free decorations can turn a fall afternoon of yard cleanup into fun touches for your yard or home.

Carve a pumpkin, and save and toast the seeds in your oven with salt and oil for healthy snacking this Halloween, or save and plant them in your garden next spring. If carving is not your thing, you can also paint your pumpkins with non-toxic, plastic-free paints, such as tempera. Once those pumpkins are looking mushy, throw them in your compost pile or donate them to a wildlife rescue or refuge that accepts uncarved Halloween pumpkins to feed animals in need.

4. Trick-or-treat without waste

Instead of filling up your trick-or-treat bowl with the usual plastic-wrapped, bite-sized candies, consider supplying your neighborhood kids with plastic-free treats. Bulk candy or homemade candy distributed in decorated paper bags can be a good option if you’re familiar with the people coming to your door this Halloween. Other ideas include giving out small change instead of candy, offering fruit in peels or rinds (like oranges or apples). 

If you’re out on a trick-or-treating route, use cloth or canvas bags (such as ours!), or even a cotton pillowcase or sewn-up t-shirt works as a plastic-free treat receptacle. Remember to hydrate as you scour your neighborhood for the best tricks and treats: bring a reusable stainless steel water bottle with you on your rounds. 

5. Party plastic-free

Everyone loves a good Halloween costume party! As we’ve covered, asking your friends to wear their best homemade get-ups, decorating with degradable materials, and preparing plastic-free treats and other tasty foods to celebrate the season are great ways to cut the plastic out of Halloween without losing any of the fun. 

When setting up your plastic-free Halloween party, choose reusable plastic-free utensils, dishes, cups, straws, and other foodware over single-use options. In lieu of gifts or goodie bags, offer homemade treats or D.I.Y. crafts or plastic-free reusables (like straws made of stainless steel or other non-plastic, non-toxic materials) in paper bags, or on a tray or plate.

Have a healthy, happy, plastic-free Halloween!

Find more tips for a plastic-free Halloween in this conversation between Plastic Pollution Coalition Youth Ambassador Eva Geierstanger and Co-Founder and CEO Dianna Cohen.

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Like so many things in 2020, this year’s holiday season might look a little different from years past. It might be harder to gather with your loved ones, and it might not be possible to travel to visit friends and family. Even so, there are many ways to celebrate the holiday season and remind the people who matter most that you are thinking of them.

Our 2020 Thoughtful Giving Guide features a number of Plastic Pollution Coalition business members that offer Earth-friendly gifts suited for just about anyone on your shopping list. At a time when many of us are physically distant from our loved ones, a thoughtful gift can still help spread some holiday cheer.

We at Plastic Pollution Coalition wish you a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season.

P.S. Scroll to the bottom for plastic-free holiday tips and other fun ideas for celebrating the season.

Gifts For The Adventurer

Heritage Goods & Supply
Heritage Goods & Supply is a store based in Carpinteria, California where you can find unique goods from herbal supply, to specialty foods, animal supply, functional clothing & shoes, and more.

The Opinel Mushroom Knife is great for mushroom hunting, picking mushrooms, cleaning, and dusting them. The blade is made out of stainless steel and the handle is made out of durable beechwood.

Khordz
Khordz Mugs makes unique mugs that allow people to live sustainably whether they are stopping by their favorite coffee shop in town or hitting the road for a wild adventure. Handmade by ocean lovers in the Central California beach town of Santa Cruz, these awesome mugs help keep single-use coffee cups and lids (aka single-use plastic) out of the environment.

The Khordz Survival Drinkware mugs are made out of an endlessly reusable jar and 25 feet of paracord. An adventurer can do a lot with these two things: tie a hammock, make a snare trap, set a clothes ling, or hang a bear canister from a tree.

Klean Kanteen
Klean Kanteen is a family-owned business that makes non-toxic, BPA-free stainless steel water bottles. They are also a certified B Corp and a member of 1% for the Planet, so you can feel great when you buy their high quality reusable water bottles.

The 64oz insulated Klean Kanteen Water Bottle is perfect for the outdoors(wo)man in your life. Stainless steel and vacuum sealed, it keeps liquids hot for 38 hours and cold for 136 hours!

Rewilder
Rewilder makes high-performance, reusable bags from 100% salvaged materials. Everything is washed, cut, and sewn in California.

The Zero Waste Backpack from Rewilder is durable, water-resistant and made out of auto airbags and seatbelts, so your favorite adventurer can rest easy knowing that no new materials were used in the fashioning of this stylish bag.

Bountiful Bag
Bountiful Bag is a California-based family-owned business that upcycles grain bags used by craft beer brewers as well as banners from music & beer festivals into lifestyle goods and bags. A portion of their proceeds is donated to I Love A Clean San Diego.

The Black is Bountiful Bag is a special collection of Bountiful Bags made in support of Black Lives Matter. The collection features colors inspired by the Black is Beautiful beer design label and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the nonprofit Embrace Race.

Personal Care Gifts

Allbalms
Allbalms makes powerful balms designed for health and beauty. Their products are made out of 100% natural organic and/or sustainable ingredients and are packaged in plastic-free containers.

Deep Tissue Massage Balm This all natural massage balm is designed to be used for massage therapy and can also be used for general relaxation purposes. Packaged in a plastic-free renewable paper container

@Bambuu
@Bambuu offers a range of bamboo products that serve as sustainable replacements for common single-use plastic items.

The @bambuubrush is @Bambuu’s flagship product offering. Its 100% bamboo handle and 100% compostable packaging make it an excellent alternative to single-use plastic toothbrushes that never biodegrade

C & the Moon
C & the Moon is a skincare line founded on the belief that the way we care for ourselves has a direct impact on how we care for the world around us.

Malibu Made Body Scrub is an absolute staple for anyone looking for an environmentally considerate product developed specifically for nourishing sensitive skin. Made with certified organic ingredients and packaged in a reusable glass container, this stocking stuffer is perfect for people who prioritize the health of their skin and the planet.

The Circular Living Co.
The Circular Living Co. is a small, coastal California-based business started by two fun-loving women who set out to help protect people and the planet from toxic chemicals and plastic.

The Plastic Pollution Coalition staff is crazy about the non-toxic, plastic-free deodorant line from The Circular Living Co. Not only are their deodorants effective, they free from a wide range of icky toxic chemicals and GMOs found in most deodorant products.

Do Good Soaps & Suds
Do Good Soaps & Suds makes delectable soaps, lotions, and balms that are completely free of plastic and toxic chemicals.

The Naked Truth Soap Bar is all about keeping it simple with just a few wholesome, all-natural ingredients—olive oil, coconut oil, and shea butter. This fragrance-free soap bar is perfect for those who value keeping things simple and honest.

Green Gifts
Green Gifts strives to make choosing the environmentally friendly option more accessible by eliminating the two most common barriers: convenience and cost.

Vegan Floss from No Tox Life is an excellent alternative to the plastic-coated, plastic packaged floss that usually finds its way into stockings. This bamboo charcoal floss comes in a reusable, refillable glass container to help you eliminate plastic from your dental hygiene routine.

LUSH
LUSH offers a wide variety of handmade, ethically sourced, naked (aka unpackaged) luxury bath and body products that you can feel good about while indulging in self care.

Plastic-Free Bar Soaps from LUSH offers a range of handmade bar soaps packed with fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and oils that leave skin smelling and feeling great. These are a sustainable alternative to body washes that come in plastic bottles

Made For Life Organics
Made For Life Organics grew from a need for skincare that nourishes your body from the inside out. Made For Life Organics is an ethos of healthy and wholesome living, from the labels on their recycled glass bottles and jars to the ingredients inside them.

Mindful Moments Body & Massage Oil is designed to help you regroup and restore your senses—a wonderful gift to give a loved one seeking calm and inner peace.

Native
Native makes aluminum-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, vegan & cruelty-free, deodorant that actually works.

We were so excited when we found out that Native was launching a Native Plastic-Free line. What better way to package their ultra-clean deodorant than in ultra-clean, plastic-free paperboard? We are so happy to see brands that are committed to only using ingredients that are safe for their customers and for the planet put the same consideration into their packaging. More of this, please!

Poppits Toothpaste
Poppits is a plastic-free toothpaste that will make both you and Mother Earth smile. Their soluble toothpaste pods come in recyclable (or reusable!) aluminum containers so you can say buh-bye to plastic toothpaste tubes.

Shop the entire Poppits line here.

Om Naturale
Om Naturale is a family-run farm crafted, sustainable, bath and body company based out of Armstrong, BC. They stand behind all things organic and care deeply about ethically sourced, natural ingredients. Oh, and we love that they know there is nothing green about plastic.

Om Natural’s Face Shave Bar is made with natural, organic ingredients and produces a rich, thick, and creamy lather for a clean, moisturizing shave.

Samudra Skin & Sea
Samudra Skin & Sea was born from a desire to bring the regenerative properties of seaweed to a healthy line of nourishing skincare. Guided by an ‘oceans-first’ ethos, their wild seaweed is hand-harvested from the pristine waters of the Mendocino coast in California. They collaborate with Blue Business Council, 5 Gyres, Plastic Pollution Coalition, Berkeley’s Ecology Center, and UPSTREAM Solutions on plastic pollution reduction efforts.

The Clay Mask from Samudra Skin & Sea exfoliates and polishes, leaving your face detoxified and renewed. We love that this amazing product comes in a glass jar AND that it is now available for refill at FillGoods.co!

Gifts For The Beauty Enthusiast

Bare Naturals
Bare Naturals was born out of a New Zealand mother’s desire to create beautiful, indulgent health and beauty products, without compromising consumers’ health with toxic chemicals.

Buttercream Organic Lip Balm is part of the Sweet Tooth collection from Bare Naturals. Made with just a handful of organic ingredients, this beautiful creamy balm smells so delicious it will have you smacking your lips and craving cupcake frosting.

Green and Gorgeous
Green and Gorgeous makes beauty products that people can truly feel good about. Their non-GMO, organic, vegan, cruelty-free products come in eco-friendly, biodegradable packaging because they are passionate about protecting the planet.

The glass and stainless steel Aerosol-Free Dry Shampoo Dispenser is a great solution to harmful aerosol cans. Not only is it an adorable addition to a zero-waste beauty routine, it is also safe for you and the environment.

Homemade Betty
Homemade Betty offers a selection of organic, vegan, zero waste skincare products. Check out one of our favorite Homemade Betty offerings.

Rich, creamy and handmade with love, the Organic Lavender Lemon Body Butter from Homemade Betty is an award-winning body butter that comes in a zero waste jar that can be refilled and used again and again.

River Organics
River Organics is an independent beauty company that offers makeup and skin care products that are formulated to be safe and hydrating for all skin types. Each product comes with a full list of ingredients that is simple and clear to understand, and their packaging is as zero-waste as possible.

The Vegan Blush Stick from River Organics is a gorgeous hue and it goes on smooth with a light and powdery finish. It is made with certified organic ingredients including pomegranate seed and red raspberry oil, plus it is 100% vegan, cruelty-free, and plastic-free.

True Botanicals
True Botanicals makes pure, potent and proven products that are good for people and the planet. Every one of their products is MADE SAFE certified, meaning they are made without 5,000+ known toxic ingredients.

The Moisture Lock Overnight Mask is a rich yet lightweight night mask formulated to dramatically boost hydration for all skin types. This mask is free of pore-clogging waxes found in traditional night creams and will have you awaken to softer, more supple skin.

Gifts For Kids

Klean Kanteen
Klean Kanteen is a family owned business that makes non-toxic, BPA-free stainless steel water bottles. They are also a certified B Corp and a member of 1% for the Planet, so you can feel great when you buy their high quality reusable water bottles.

The Kid Classic Sport 12oz Water Bottle is a stainless steel water bottle was designed with active kids in mind. It features a spill proof sports cap with a dust cover, a soft silicone spout and loop so it can be easily attached to a bag or backpack. It comes in a variety of bright colors and fun graphics, and the chip-resistant finish is extra durable, making it safe for people and the planet.

LunchBots
Founded by a mother of two sons, LunchBots offers zero waste food containers that are easy to pack and that last a lifetime.

LunchBots offers a wide range of eco-friendly food containers that eliminate the need for single-use plastic including lunch boxes, bento boxes, thermoses, and dip/salad bowls. PPC staff members are big fans of their Lunch Boxes & Bento Boxes.

U-Konserve
U-Konserve was started by two mothers who wanted to find environmentally conscious solutions to packed school lunches. They knew that common single-use baggies and drink cartons were destined for landfill, so they created a waste-free lunch kit. To this day U-Konserve offers durable, long-lasting products that offer innovative solutions to eco-minded parents and kids.

U-Konserve’s trusted stainless steel containers now come with plastic-free, clear-as-glass silicone lids with their New Stainless Steel & Silicone To-Go Containers. These are the perfect waste-free solution for eco-friendly lunches. Leak-proof and dishwasher safe, these containers are popular with kids and parents alike.

Wisdom Supply Co.
Wisdom Supply Co. is a Certified B Corporation that believes that waste is a design flaw. It is this conviction that drives them to curate and create school supplies that prevent waste, for good.

The Stabilo Wax Markers and Dry Erase Markers are a fun and versatile substitute for lots of typically plastic items. They can be used as a color pencil or you can use a wet paintbrush to turn drawings made with them into watercolors! They even work on dry-erase boards (or windows), and they wipe off easily with a damp cloth or sponge.

Wild Minimalist
Wild Minimalist is an online story for people who are striving to live a plastic-free, zero waste lifestyle.

The Kids Wood Cooking Kit is the perfect gift for an aspiring young chef. Each tool is sized for little hands so that parent and child can experience the joys of cooking side-by-side.

Gifts For Pet Lovers

Boba&Vespa
Boba&Vespa is a brand on a mission to eliminate plastic pet products. They believe the desire to reward our pets shouldn’t come at the expense of the planet. They believe that companies, not consumers, should be responsible for ensuring that products are responsibly sourced, manufactured, and packaged. Their priority is to create happy pets, happy pet parents, and a happy planet.

The Water Gem Cardboard Cat House is a beautifully designed cat house that is the perfect place for cats to sleep, hide, and play. Best of all, it is made with no toxic dyes or glues, and, of course, no plastic!

Of course Boba&Vespa offers a Dog Shampoo Bar! Your dog’s skin can get dry and itchy just like any humans, so why not treat them to a soft, fresh coat using this natural, organic dog shampoo bar? These bars are way easier to use and less wasteful than any bottle shampoo. Plus they are 100% plastic-free and made in the USA.

Dulse & Rugosa
Dusle & Rugosa is a mother-daughter team dedicated to spreading the wonder of Maine’s oceans, and specifically seaweed. They harvest or grow their botanicals and seaweeds on Gotts Island, a tiny island off the coast of Acadia National Park.

Dulse & Rugosa’s Seaweed-Rich and Plastic-Free Dog Shampoo is the ultimate eco-shampoo for your furry friend. Their natural yet effective ingredients replace harsh chemicals that can leave skin itchy and raw. Let’s face it–your best friend deserves it!

Ethique
Ethique is all about protecting Mama Earth. Their products are plastic-free, vegan, cruelty-free, and palm oil-free! To date they have prevented over 8 million plastic bottles from entering the environment.

Shampooch Mini is the perfect plastic-free, bottle-free, hassle-free shampoo bar for (wo)man’s best friend. Ethique even offers a shampooch bar specifically designed for doggos with extra delicate skin.

Stocking Stuffers

Bagnet
Bagnet makes handmade, high-quality leather bag magnets (aka ‘Bagnets’) that keep purses and reusable shopping bags off the ground.

The Katie Bagnet is a Plastic Pollution Coalition staff fave. The mid-tone tobacco brown leather and antique style brass O-ring hardware give this piece an adorably rustic feel. This unique product can hold up to 8 pounds of weight.

Clam & Clasp
Clam & Clasp makes beautiful handcrafted seashell jewelry that donates a portion of proceeds to non-profit organizations dedicated to protecting our oceans.

The Advocate Necklace is handcrafted in California with sustainably collected, 14K gold or sterling silver plated seashells. 20% of proceeds from this necklace are donated to organizations that help protect the oceans, like Plastic Pollution Coalition!

EVERLESS
EVERLESS is a line of design-centric products that enhance the lifestyle of the conscious consumer of the future. They empower the minimal lifestyle through high-end design and breakthrough technical innovation. EVERLESS believes in creating products that make your life easier and the planet better.

The Smart Bag by EVERLESS is the world’s first self-collapsible reusable bag. This ultralight (less than 2 oz.), ultrasmall (4” x 2.5” x 0.5”), ultra-durable (it can hold up to 9lbs.!) gadget makes bringing your reusable bag easier (and sleeker) than ever.

Final
Final, the creator of the innovative FinalStraw, creates a range of Foreverables that reduce the need for plastics, empower individuals to change their buying habits, and raise awareness of the impacts of our everyday decisions.

FinalSpork is the perfect gift for anyone who is ready to quit ‘forking’ around with plastic cutlery. Full-sized cutlery meets pocket-sized portability with this ingenious multipurpose piece. Useful enough to be the only gift you give your adventure-loving sibling yet small enough to fit nicely in mom’s overflowing stocking, the FinalSpork is a must-have for Holiday Season 2020.

Kempii
Kempii is a company that adheres to the principles of REFUSE, REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE, ROT. The name comes from Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys Kempii), the rarest species of sea turtle and one of the thousands of ocean species threatened by plastic pollution. Their hope is to inspire people to create a better future for Lepidochelys Kempii and other wildlife.

Did you know most tea bags contain plastic? This clever organic Reusable Tea Bag from Kempii allows you to ditch the single-use plastic and the toxic chemicals it leaches into your tea. This stocking stuffer is an absolute must for any tea fanatic.


Khala & Company
Khala & Company is a Colorado-based company that made a name for itself in the sustainability space as a producer of vegan and beeswax wraps for food on the go. They have now expanded their line to include even more zero waste homegoods. They are a Green America certified business and a member of 1% for the Planet.

The Organic Hemp-Cotton Reusable Coffee Filters from Khala & Co. are an excellent replacement for single-use alternatives. Did you know that an average of 2.25 million cups of coffee are enjoyed every single day? That equals around 140 million coffee filters a day! Help the coffee lovers in your life cut back on some of that waste with these sustainable alternatives.

Meliora
Meliora makes cleaning products that get the job done with MADE SAFE certified ingredients, meaning that they are as friendly for your home and the planet as possible. They are also a certified B Corp and a member of 1% for the Planet.

As a staff full of parents (people and pets alike), the Laundry Stain Removal Soap Stick is a Plastic Pollution Coalition household staple. It is plastic-free, dye-free, preservative-free, palm-oil-free, cruelty-free, and fragrance-free. Oh, and the best part–it WORKS. Tuck this little guy into just about anyone’s stocking and they will most certainly not be disappointed.

Stasher
Stasher offers a range of reusable silicone bags that are better for you and better for the planet than single-use plastic baggies. Stasher is also a member of 1% for the Planet, which means that they donate 1% of their sales to environmental non-profits.

The new Pocket Bag from Stasher is palm-sized for ultimate convenience. It is also the perfect size for squeezing into the toe of a holiday stocking.

Gifts For Foodies, Coffee Fans, & Tea Lovers

Khala & Company
Khala & Company is a Colorado-based company that made a name for itself in the sustainability space as a producer of vegan and beeswax wraps for food on the go. They have now expanded their line to include even more zero waste homegoods. They are a Green America certified business and a member of 1% for the Planet.

Khala’s Vegan Combo Pack includes four 100% plant-based reusable food wraps in a variety of sizes. These organic hemp cotton wraps are infused with six plant-based waxes and oils, and contain absolutely NO synthetics or beeswax.


Pondicherry Dry Goods
Pondicherry Dry Goods is dedicated to creating an evolved community that values great taste, purity, and eco-consciousness.

Pondicherry’s handcrafted artisanal teas are treasured for their flavor, goodness, and beauty. Handcrafted from seasonally harvested ingredients, you can take pride in the fact that when you sip their delicious teas you are supporting and empowering small farmers. While they promote loose leaf tea, they do offer handmade 100% cotton tea bags for convenience.

Spicers Mill
Spicers Mill has a mission that is near and dear to our hearts: to make a change in a plastic-dominant market by offering their products in 100% plastic-free packaging, all the way down to their shipping cartons.

The Little Bit of Italy gift box set from Spicers Mill is a great holiday gift idea for anyone who enjoys an environmentally-friendly kitchen. Treat the eco-minded foodie in your life to five plastic-free jars of delicious authentic Italian flavor.

Tea Vue
Tea Vue is a family-owned business that strives to exceed their customers’ expectations by scrutinizing and selecting the most authentic loose leaf teas and Pu-Erh tea cakes and packaging them in a way that is worthy of their character and complexity.

Shop the entire selection of Tea Vue offerings here.

Numi Tea
Numi Organic Tea makes a wide range of teas that are USDA Organic and Fair Trade Certified, plastic-free, and absolutely delicious. Their commitment to the planet, global communities, and their consumers means you can feel great about giving the gift of Numi to the tea lovers in your life.

Numi’s organic caffeine-free Chai blends rich Rooibos and a sultry blend of spices. Piquant cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon mingle with sweet allspice, vivacious ginger and a kiss of cardamom combine for an excellent holiday flavor.

Home & Garden

Be Bold Box
Be Bold Box is an eco lifestyle company that offers gift boxes that are filled with practical eco-friendly goodies that are perfect for people embarking on their zero-waste journey.

Be Bold Box offers both seasonal subscription boxes as well as one-time gift boxes.

ECOlunchbox
ECOlunchbox is a mission-based, plastic-free lunchbox company with a vision to change the world one lunch at a time by making tools to reduce the use of plastics for people and the planet. This holiday season ECOlunchbox is feeling extra generous and has offered to donate 20% of sales over $35 to Plastic Pollution Coalition when you use code PLASTICPOLLUTES20.

This holiday season ECOlunchbox is offering several holiday gift sets featuring their new book, ‘Say Goodbye To Plastic: A Survival Guide For Plastic-Free Living.’ Written by the ECOlunchbox founder, Sandra Ann Harris, this book is part memoir, part inspirational ode to the ocean and packed with how-to tips to say goodbye to plastic.

Paired with one some of their ultra convenient reusable food storage containers, these gift boxes are excellent for anyone looking to start their zero waste journey.

Faherty
Faherty is a family business dedicated to crafting great products that last a lifetime. They produce quality products that honor both their customers and the planet.

The Adirondak Blanket from Faherty is a versatile blanket with the perfect blend of ruggedness and comfort to get you through chilly nights around the campfire or cozy nights on the couch. Because the pattern on these beautiful pieces are inspired by Indigenous art and weavings, 10% of sales go to the Lakota Way Healing Center. Faherty is also actively partnering with Native designers so that soon 100% of “Indigenous-inspired prints” will be by inspired Indigenous designers.

Goods Holding Company
Goods Holding Company offers a simple and elegant glass reusable jar system for bulk bin shopping. The glass jars and metal lids are made in the USA and the tare weight is printed right on the jar so you can skip a step at the grocery store and take your filled jar right up to the cashier without pre-weighing. No plastic bag needed, take your jar straight from the store to your pantry shelf.

Goods Holding Company is now offering $5 shipping on their kits. Shop their kits here.

Honey Bee Candles
Honey Bee Candles make beautiful handmade candles out of sustainable, ethically sourced natural beeswax. They are naturally colored with the pollen the bees leave behind and they give off a subtle honey aroma when burned. All of their products and packaging are completely plastic-free, zero-waste, biodegradable, and palm-oil free.

Shop the entire line of beautifully crafted 100% pure beeswax candles from Honey Bee Candles here.

Life Without Plastic
Life Without Plastic is an online store that offers a huge selection of plastic-free goodies that make great gifts for everyone, no matter where they are on their zero-waste journey.

We were so excited when Life Without Plastic launched their seasonal gift boxes, and their Winter 2020 Box is perfectly suited for the cozy season. The box comes with an insulated stainless steel thermos, an organic cotton mesh bag, a natural body sponge, and a mason jar filled with homemade hot cocoa mix.

Made By Bees
Made By Bees is a producer of all-natural, Canadian-made honey and handmade beeswax products. They strive to save bees, the planet, and our food.

Beeswax Food Wraps from Made By Bees are plastic-free, washable, and reusable. They come in a variety of sizes and patterns and are a brilliant substitute for single-use plastic bags and cling wrap.

Plaine Products
Plaine Products is a company founded by two sisters with a shared dream: to live in a world without plastic pollution. Not only are their products never packaged in single-use plastic, they also run all of their ingredients through the Environmental Working Group database to ensure that they are safe and non-toxic.

Let’s face it, hand sanitizer is one of those things that has almost become synonymous with 2020. And unfortunately, most hand sanitizer comes in plastic bottles that are discarded once they are empty. Thankfully, Plaine Products offers a refillable aluminum hand sanitizer that can help keep both you and the planet safe and healthy.

Sackcloth & Ashes
Sackcloth & Ashes founder Bob Dalton was inspired to help the homeless population when his mother found herself living on the streets in 2013. For every blanket purchased, Sackcloth & Ashes donates one blanket to a homeless shelter in your community. Read their full story here.

The Heritage Blanket is an extra special piece in the already special Sackcloth & Ashes lineup. It is designed by Lehi ThunderVoice Eagle and 100% of the profits from this collection will be donated to Sovereign Bodies Insitute, an organization that generates new knowledge and understandings of how Indigenous nations and communities are impacted by gender and sexual violence, and how they may continue to work towards healing and freedom from such violence.

These blankets are woven from a recycled, dye-free, chemical-free, water-free, wool blend that is certifiably eco-friendly, and cruelty-free.

Teros
Teros strives to help their customers lead a healthier and greener lifestyle. At the core of their work are service, trust, inspiration, and great products. They diligently research and carefully select products that meet green, ethical, and healthy criteria. Teros is also a 1% for the Planet partner, which means they donate 1% of sales to environmental nonprofits.

Among the many product options available from Teros is the Haws Mist Sprayer, which is an excellent gift for any garden and/or houseplant aficionado. This item comes in copper, brass, or nickel.

Whoa Nelli
Whoa Nelli was started by an Iowa-based couple driven to create household cleaning products that were safe for families and for the planet. Their goal is to make healthy, safe, and sustainable products the norm.

We are fans of Whoa Nelli’s Natural Scouring Powder for several important reasons: 1) The ingredient list is short, easy to understand, and free from scary toxic chemicals, 2) it comes in a plastic-free stainless steel canister that can easily be refilled, 3) it works!

Happy Holidays from Plastic Pollution Coalition!

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10 Clever Ways to Shamelessly Regift This Holiday Season

The Joy of No-Gift Christmas

It’s the holiday season–time to gather with family and friends and celebrate. If you are looking for thoughtful gifts for loved ones during this time of year, check out our guide below, featuring products from Plastic Pollution Coalition members.

More: 5 Ways to Reduce Plastic for the Holidays

Pet lovers:

Many pet lovers are also planet lovers, so why not get them gifts that benefit their fury friends and the environment?

Boba & Vespa

Boba & Vespa was born from a love for the planet and our furry companions, because they don’t believe that our love for our animals should come at the expense of the environment.

Water Gem – Cardboard Cat HouseThis beautifully designed cat house is the perfect place for cats to sleep, hide, and play. Best of all, it is made with no toxic dyes or glues, and, of course, no plastic!

BuyMeOnce

BuyMeOnce is an online store dedicated to selling quality products that really last. In a world where so many products are meant to break or wear out, BuyMeOnce is all about offering items that (you guessed it!) you only need to buy once.

Fire Hose Cat/Dog Bowls – These unique cat/dog bowls are handmade in the USA out of upcycled fire hose and non-toxic, food-grade silicone. It is durable, easy to clean, and environmentally- and pet-safe.

Recycled Glass Dog/Cat Bowls – These elegant feeding bowls are handmade in the USA from 100%  post-consumer recycled glass. Every bowl reclaims a minimum of four 8oz glass containers or industrial glass from landfill.

Adventurer:

Lots of people who love to explore the world also have a passion to protect it. So what better gift to give the globe trotter in your life than a plastic-free addition to their adventure kit?

Khordz

Khordz Mugs makes unique mugs that allow people to live sustainably whether they are stopping by their favorite coffee shop in town or hitting the road for a wild adventure.

Survival DrinkwareThese mugs are made out of an endlessly reusable jar and 25 feet of paracord. An adventurer can do a lot with these two things: tie a hammock, make a snare trap, set a clothes ling, or hang a bear canister from a tree.

Rewilder

Rewilder makes high-performance, reusable bags from 100% salvaged materials. Everything is washed, cut, and sewn in California.

Zero Waste Backpack – This durable, water-resistant backpack is made out of auto airbags and seatbelts, so your favorite adventurer can rest easy knowing that no new materials were used in the fashioning of this stylish bag.

BuyMeOnce

BuyMeOnce is an online store dedicated to selling quality products that really last. In a world where so many products are meant to break or wear out, BuyMeOnce is all about offering items that (you guessed it!) you only need to buy once.

Stainless steel camping stove – These lightweight, compact, and eco-friendly portable stoves are guaranteed to last a lifetime. Even better, the unique airflow technology means there is no need for gas canisters or chemical tablets–all you need is some natural timber.

Icon Lifesaver

Icon Lifesaver offers a range of water bottles and portable filters that can purify anything from tap water to dirty water from ponds, lakes, and rivers. They are ideal for everything from traveling to backpacking, hiking,  camping, and emergency prep.

Life Without Plastic

Life Without Plastic is an online store with a large selection of items that help people eliminate plastic from their lives.

Stainless Steel Folding Spork – This stainless steel folding spork is both practical and handy. It comes with an organic cotton carrying case so it can easily fit in a pocket or be tucked into a backpack without giving up valuable space.

Klean Kanteen

Klean Kanteen is a family-owned business that makes non-toxic, BPA-free stainless steel water bottles. They are also a certified B Corp and a member of 1% for the Planet, so you can feel great when you buy their high quality reusable water bottles.

Klean Kanteen Water Bottle – This 64oz insulated bottle is perfect for the outdoors(wo)man in your life. Stainless steel and vacuum sealed, it keeps liquids hot for 38 hours and cold for 136 hours!

Klean Kanteen insulated food canister – This 8oz food canister is an excellent replacement for all kinds of single-use plastic food containers. Its double-wall vacuum insulation keeps food hot or cold for 5 hours.

Zoetica Zero Waste Systems

Zoetica Zero Waste Systems redefine and elevate the style, convenience, and space-saving nature of the zero waste life with kits for everyday use.

Beauty:

Traditional beauty products are notorious for having harmful effects on human health and the planet. But these products from our eco-minded Coalition members don’t sacrifice the health of the environment for the sake of personal care.

Green and Gorgeous

Green and Gorgeous makes beauty products that people can truly feel good about. Their non-GMO, organic, vegan, cruelty-free products come in eco-friendly, biodegradable packaging because they are passionate about protecting the planet.

Aerosol-Free Dry Shampoo – This glass and stainless steel dry shampoo dispenser is a great solution to toxic and harmful Aerosol cans. Not only is it an adorable addition to a zero-waste beauty routine, it is also safe for you and the environment.

Pure Kindness

Pure Kindness stands by its ethos of ‘Kind to You. Kind to Your Community. Kind to the Planet.’ by offering 100% organic handcrafted products made from sustainable, ethically sourced materials.

Lavender + Chamomile 3-in-1 Oil – Infused with locally sourced organic lavender and chamomile flowers, this 3-in-1 oil is an aromatherapeutic experience. It can be used to oil cleanse skin, as a face serum, and to smooth & boost your hair’s shine. And, of course, it is bottled in glass!

Sustainability Sanctuary

Sustainability Sanctuary is committed to ensuring that your lifestyle choices are sustainable with 100% natural or upcycled, no toxic chemicals,  and ethically made products.

Deodorant Paste # 3 – This paste deodorant is powerful yet free of harmful chemicals found in conventional deodorants, such as aluminum, alcohol, and parabens. Packaged in recyclable glass and metal to reduce plastic waste in landfill, this deodorant will have the eco-minded beauty enthusiast in your life feeling great about their pits and the planet.

Wonderbalm – This yummy-smelling balm assists with bites, scratches, dryness, and all kinds of other bothersome superficial skin issues. And (naturally) it is packaged in biodegradable tubs!

LUSH

LUSH offers a wide variety of handmade, ethically sourced, naked (aka unpackaged) luxury bath and body products that you can feel good about while indulging in self care.

Plastic-Free Bar Soap – LUSH offers a range of handmade bar soaps packed with fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and oils that leave skin smelling and feeling great. These are a sustainable alternative to body washes that come in plastic bottles

Circular Living Co.

The Circular Living Co. is a cosmetic company that makes products that are free from toxic chemicals and plastic packaging. The founders are dedicated to making circular living more accessible and plastic pollution a thing of the past.

Love Your Lymph Body Oil – This nourishing oil is a special treatment for your whole body, focused on loving your lymphatic system and sealing in moisture to hydrate the skin. It is free of solvents, synthetic fragrances, synthetic preservatives, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, GMOs, phenoxyethanol, styrene, PEGs, and, of course, plastic!

Homemade Betty

Homemade Betty offers a selection of organic, vegan, zero waste skincare products. Check out one of our favorite Homemade Betty offerings.

Organic Lavender Lemon Body Butter – Rich, creamy and handmade with love, this award-winning body butter comes in a zero waste jar that can be refilled and used again and again!

True Botanicals

True Botanicals makes pure, potent and proven products that are good for people and the planet. Every one of their products is MADE SAFE certified, meaning they are made without 5,000+ known toxic ingredients.

Moisture Lock Overnight Mask – This rich yet lightweight night mask is formulated to dramatically boost hydration for all skin types. This mask is free of pore-clogging waxes found in traditional night creams and will have you awaken to softer, more supple skin.

Beauty (men’s)

BuyMeOnce

BuyMeOnce is an online store dedicated to selling quality products that really last. In a world where so many products are meant to break or wear out, BuyMeOnce is all about offering items that (you guessed it!) you only need to buy once.

Mark One Purist Shaving Set – This elegant shaving set means that your loved one can say goodbye to a shaving routine that pollutes the planet. It includes one safety razor, 10 double-edge razor blades, organic frankincense shave oil, an organic cotton flannel, and a presentation gift box.

Handmade Betty

Homemade Betty offers a selection of organic, vegan, zero waste skincare products. Check out one of our favorite Homemade Betty offerings.

Spicy Avocado Beard Oil – This beard oil is made with organic cold pressed avocado oil, organic tea tree oil, organic cedar wood oil, and organic Japanese peppermint oil. It is designed to not only keep beards looking and feeling fresh, but also to reduce irritation on partners’ faces during intimate moments. And the glass packaging is designed to keep plastic out of our oceans and landfills.

Kids:

Too many modern kids toys are made of and packaged in hazardous, polluting plastic. Luckily, a number of our Coalition businesses offer engaging, sustainable, plastic-free gifts for kids.

Wisdom Supply Co.

Wisdom Supply Co. offers a wide range of zero-waste, plastic-free school supplies for kids of all ages. From crayons to binders to planners to lunchtime essentials, Wisdom has everything the eco-minded kids in your life need for a sustainable school year.

BuyMeOnce

BuyMeOnce is an online store dedicated to selling quality products that really last. In a world where so many products are meant to break or wear out, BuyMeOnce is all about offering items that (you guessed it!) you only need to buy once.

Wooden Toy Binoculars – These elegant and durable toy binoculars encourage kids to imagine, play, and explore. Handcrafted in New York from maple wood and cherry with a natural finish, these eco-friendly binoculars help develop hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and fine motor skills.

Wooden Toy Fishing Pole – This is another great plastic-free toy that can be found on the BuyMeOnce website. This wooden fishing game includes three tiny fish made from cotton and a small magnet. Kids can reel in the daily catch using the wooden fishing rod with a magnetic hook. This durable, plastic-free gift also helps develop hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and fine motor skills.

Lined Chalkboard Tablet – Revolutionize screentime by embracing imaginative play with these old-school chalkboards shaped as modern tablets! Featuring painted-on analog and digital clocks, this educational toy aims to teach little ones the concept of time by drawing on and where the big hand and little hand go.

Woodland Puzzle Box – This wooden puzzle is great for children 12 months and older. Made out of sustainable rubber wood and water-based paint, it features 16 pieces illustrated with forest creatures and helps children develop hand-eye coordination as they try to fit the pieces together.

Wooden Tea Set – When it comes to excitable toddlers, we know things don’t always last as long as they should. But this wooden tea set is durable, safe, and repairable. Made from sustainably sourced rubber wood and accented with non-toxic water-based dyes, this plastic-free tea set is sure to be a hit with eco-minded kids and parents alike.

Klean Kanteen

Klean Kanteen is a family owned business that makes non-toxic, BPA-free stainless steel water bottles. They are also a certified B Corp and a member of 1% for the Planet, so you can feel great when you buy their high quality reusable water bottles.

Kid Kanteens – Klean Kanteen offers BPA-free stainless steel water bottles perfect for babies, toddlers, little kids, and big kids. And with a variety of colors and patterns, you can find a bottle that speaks to the youngsters in your life.

LunchBots

Founded by a mother of two sons, LunchBots offers zero waste food containers that are easy to pack and that last a lifetime.

LunchBots Lunch Boxes & Bento Boxes – LunchBots offers a wide range of eco-friendly food containers that eliminate the need for single-use plastic including lunch boxes, bento boxes, thermoses, and dip/salad bowls.

Foodies:

Let’s face it: food is one of the biggest culprits of single-use plastic packaging around. Fortunately, a number of our Coalition members offer a number of plastic-free food products and plastic-free food storage products.

Pondicherry Dry Goods

Pondicherry Dry Goods is dedicated to creating an evolved community that values great taste, purity, and eco-consciousness.

Artisan Tea – Pondicherry’s handcrafted artisanal teas are treasured for their flavor, goodness, and beauty. Handcrafted from seasonally harvested ingredients, you can take pride in the fact that when you sip their delicious teas you are supporting and empowering small farmers. While they promote loose leaf tea, they do offer handmade 100% cotton tea bags for convenience.

Kitchen Witch Bone Broth

Kitchen Witch Bone Broth is a woman owned and operated company dedicated to producing the highest quality organic, grass-fed bone broth on the market. Unwilling to sacrifice the health of the planet or its customers for the sake of profit, Kitchen Witch has packaged their top shelf bone broth in endlessly reusable glass jars since day one.

Clover Sonoma

Clover Sonoma is a California-based dairy company that is committed to its customers, its community and the planet. With a genuine concern for the environment, they are currently on a journey to eliminate single-use plastic from their product packages.

Lactose Free Milk – Clover approached Plastic Pollution Coalition earlier this year with questions about reducing their single-use plastic packaging. Clover Sonoma has taken  meaningful steps to reduce their plastic footprint by removing the plastic caps from their lactose-free milk line.

Numi Organic Tea

Numi Organic Tea makes a wide range of teas that are USDA Organic and Fair Trade Certified, plastic-free, and absolutely delicious. Their commitment to the planet, global communities, and their consumers means you can feel great about giving the gift of Numi to the tea lovers in your life.

Khala & Company

Khala & Company is a Colorado-based company that makes vegan and beeswax wraps for food on the go. They are also a Green America certified business and a member of 1% for the Planet.

Beeswax Wraps – Khala & Company  beeswax wraps are a great way to store and carry food without resorting to polluting plastic cling wrap. In addition to eliminating the need for single-use plastic wrap, you can feel great about using Khala Cloths because their beeswax is sourced from sustainable, bee-friendly apiaries in their local Colorado area!

Abeego

Abeego picks up where the peel leaves off. Their beeswax food wraps protect and breathe like nature’s peel and preserve food for longer than you’d think.

Beeswax Wrap – Abeego offers plastic-free wraps in a variety of sizes, so they are any eco-minded foodies who need to keep lunches or leftovers fresh without resorting to single-use plastic.

Stasher 

Stasher offers a range of reusable silicone bags that are better for you and better for the planet than single-use plastic baggies. Stasher is also a member of 1% for the Planet, which means that they donate 1% of their sales to environmental non-profits.

Lovers of the Sea

Lovers of the Sea is an eco-friendly lifestyle brand that offers a range of products for people who love and care for the sea.

Reusable Organic Cotton Shopping Bag – These 100% GOTS certified organic cotton net shopping bags are durable, reusable, washable, natural, and eco-friendly. They are sturdy enough to carry a watermelon yet light enough to conveniently bring to the grocery store.

Home & Garden:

Do you have someone on your shopping list who is all about making their home and garden beautiful, comfortable, and sustainable? Well, we’ve got some great gifts for them!

Honey Bee Candles

Honey Bee Candles make beautiful handmade candles out of sustainable, ethically sourced natural beeswax. They are naturally colored with the pollen the bees leave behind and they give off a subtle honey aroma when burned. All of their products and packaging are completely plastic-free, zero-waste, biodegradable, and palm-oil free.

Miyabi

Miyabi is a plastic-free solution for better tasting tap water. They use a sustainable material (bamboo) and never activate with chemicals, so you can toss it in your compost when you’re done.

Berkey Water Filters

Berkey Water Filters are elegant countertop water purifiers that remove over 200 unsafe contaminants from water. Say goodbye to single-use plastic water bottles with one of Berkey’s toxic chemical-free, all natural water filters.

BuyMeOnce

BuyMeOnce is an online store dedicated to selling quality products that really last. In a world where so many products are meant to break or wear out, BuyMeOnce is all about offering items that (you guessed it!) you only need to buy once.

Stainless Steel Garden Hoe – This durable garden hoe is a two-in-one tool for chopping off small weeds and cultivating soil. Made with stainless steel and FSC-certified ash wood, this bad boy is meant to last–it comes with a 25 year guarantee.

Indoor Copper Watering Can – Beautiful and functional, this indoor water can is handcrafted and soldered from solid copper. It has a removable rose, giving gardeners the option of a steady stream or a delicate shower. The curved, tapered spout makes it ideal for indoor plants, pots, and seedlings.

Kempii

Kempii is a company that adheres to the principles of REFUSE, REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE, ROT. The name comes from Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys Kempii), the rarest species of sea turtle and one of the thousands of ocean species threatened by plastic pollution. Their hope is to inspire people to create a better future for Lepidochelys Kempii and other wildlife.

Compost Pail Caddy  –  Designed to look great on your kitchen counter, this compost caddy stores food scraps before you add them to your compost collection bin or your own composter.

Wooden Paper Potting Set – This paper potter set allows garden lovers to make limitless supply of compostable pots for seeds, seedlings, and young plants, simply by using old newspaper. Say goodbye to plastic starter pots that take up valuable garden space and end up polluting the planet. With this wooden pot maker you’ll never need to buy seedling pots again!

Join our global Coalition.

Halloween and The Day of Dead are holidays celebrated by families and children around the world, but the plastic trash created for the festivities can be totally terrifying. Have no fear, Break Free From Plastic member groups UPSTREAM, Plastic Pollution Coalition, and Ecology Center have collected the best solutions, tricks, and treats below.

Halloween Tips & Tricks

  1. Forgo the plastic treat bucket. A reusable cloth bag or basket works for Trick-or-Treating and can be reused again and again.

  2. Choose a plastic-free costume. Avoid costumes made with PVC/vinyl, which are more likely to be contaminated with chemicals called phthalates. Phthalates can disrupt your endocrine system… Scary, indeed! Make your own costume from natural fabrics, repurpose items you already own, or visit a thrift store for the perfect outfit.

  3. Use Real Stuff. Decorate your home with pumpkins, gourds, and autumn leaves. Use leaves like paper to make festive cut outs. Carve pumpkins into Jack-o’-lanterns for spooky decorations—you can even roast and eat the seeds. After Halloween, compost your pumpkin.

  4. Throw a Green (and Orange) Party. Hosting a party? Skip “disposable” plates and cups. Use your own cups and dishes and wash them afterward. Use real forks and spoons or for an easier option, serve finger foods.

  5. Serve party treats without a side of trash. Caramel apples, served on compostable parchment paper, can be skewered on sticks from your yard. Arrange sliced black olives in the shape of a spider on top of your deviled eggs. Halloween-themed cupcakes can be made in compostable paper cups or reusable silicone cupcake liners.

  6. Plunge into Pinterest! A wealth of creative Zero Waste Halloween ideas can be found on this Pinterest board assembled by Kathryn Kellogg of GoingZeroWaste.com, including Frankenstein kiwi, ghost bananas, and Franken-guac!

  7. Handle the Halloween Hangover. Your trick-or-treating kids will inevitably return with a hefty haul of trashy candy. For those hard-to-recycle candy wrappers, you can purchase one of Terracycle’s candy-and-snack-wrapper Zero Waste boxes, stuff it with candy wrappers, and ship it back for recycling.

  8. Keep your face paint pure. Researchers found heavy metals in almost half of 48 different Halloween face paints they tested. Other ingredients like parabens, formaldehyde, and dioxins belong nowhere near your face. Safer brands exist!

11 Tips for Trick-or-Treaters

Here are some fun ideas for those witches and dinosaurs who show up at your door.

  1. For the Fancy Festers… Have you ever heard of Alter-Eco Truffles? These non-GMO chocolate truffles come wrapped in compostable packaging made from eucalyptus and birch bark with non-toxic ink. If you’ve got about 75 cents to spend per truffle, you’ll be sure to have the most lavish chocolate on the block–without the pollution!

  2. For the Old School Tricksters… When was the last time you went to your local candy shop? Why not buy candy the old school way in bulk and hand it out in your own fun, festive way? Mystery bags are always spooky fun, and you (and your kids!) could have a blast decorating recycled paper bags with ghosts and question marks.

  3. For the Classic Candy-Givers Who Want to Keep it Classy… There are still many main-shelf candies packaged in mini cardboard boxes, like Milk Duds, Junior Mints, Dots, Nerds, or even raisins! The boxes can be recycled if clean and composted if dirty.

  4. For the Metal Heads… A few foil-wrapped candies – Hershey’s kisses, gold coins – have recyclable foil wrappers that you can recycle if you ball them up. The bigger the ball, the more likely they’ll be recycled. If a wrapper can’t be crumpled up into a ball and bounces back instead, then it’s mixed with plastic and can’t be recycled.

  5. For the Green Thumbs… Seeds are a stellar alternative to handing out high-fructose corn syrup. Instead of offering candy that will be gone in an instant in packaging that will last forever, why not offer children something that can grow with them?

  6. For the Tooth Fairies.. Small change is a big excitement! Have fun dishing out good luck pennies, and bonus points for dressing up as the Tooth Fairy!

  7. For the Practical Partakers… You really can’t go wrong with a pencil and/or erasers – it is something kids use at school and at home, so you’re not creating waste with this one!

  8. For the Treasure Hunters… Sure Charlie Brown complained about getting rocks at every house, but imagine being the ONLY house with rocks! You can find all kinds of treats from nature, from stones to seashells to feathers for trick-or-treaters. This can offer the adventurous spirit of just coming back from a hike, only dressed in unicorn horns and panda suits.

  9. For the La Croix Buffs… We all know how thirsty an ordeal trick-or-treating house to house can be. Your house can be the saving grace of the neighborhood that shares a refreshing beverage with the kids. Aluminum is one of the few materials that can be recycled again and again, so why not share some Peach Pear La Croix cans with the kids, or even lemonade or iced tea?

  10. For the Punny Ones… Who wants to say, “Orange you glad you stopped here?!” Citrus fruits like mandarins and tangerines have their own natural packaging and something Halloween overwhelmingly lacks – nutritional value. And if you go with the natural packaging theme and start handing out avocados, please let us know so we add your house to our route!

  11. For the Crafty Wizards… What better time of year to show off your origami skills than the one day a year children come to your house and expect a treat? Have fun with cats, crabs, dragonflies, and cranes, and bonus points if you hand out step-by-step “How To” guides for the kiddos who can continue the fun long after the holiday is over.

Join our global Coalition.

Each year, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, household waste in the U.S. increases by more than 25 percent. From added food waste to shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows, and ribbons, holiday trash pushes an additional 1 million tons of garbage per week to our landfills

Here are five things we all can do to create less waste this holiday season. 

1. Don’t purchase gifts in plastic clamshells/oyster packaging. Not only is this plastic packaging likely headed to the landfill, the hard plastic shells are so difficult to open that they injure thousands of people per year. Avoid this “diabolical” packaging and seek out gifts that are unpackaged. Or give “experience” gifts instead.

2. Use natural materials to wrap gifts. Forgo traditional wrapping paper and plastic tape whenever possible and use newspaper, recycled paper, or even fabric to wrap gifts. Use twine or cloth ribbons to secure.

3. Ditch plastic decorations. Refuse “fake snow,” which is often made from finely ground polystyrene. Polystyrene is a possible human carcinogen and environmental pollutant that appears to last forever. Choose reusable decor over disposable, and real garland over plastic. 

4. Eat, drink, and be merry without single-use plastic. Those red and green plastic plates may look festive, but they will last long after the holiday season has ended. Use real cups, dishes, and cutlery at your holiday parties. If buying coffee, tea, or hot chocolate on-the-go, bring your own cup. 

5. Do less. Buy fewer presents and holiday “stuff” and you will reduce your plastic footprint on the earth. With less stuff overall you might find even more enjoyment in the season.

Enjoy the holidays with your friends and family as a time to be together, to cook and share stories, and to create memories. Happy Holidays!

Take the pledge to refuse single-use plastic. 

By Beth Terry

Halloween has become a big plastic party. And it wasn’t so different when I was a kid in the ’70s. There was already plastic-wrapped candy in plastic bags and fake plastic costumes, which my own family scorned because we always made ours from scratch (“Do you think that kid’s costume is homemade or store-bought? Looks like store-bought. Lazy”).

And it wasn’t just that our mom had so much more time to make costumes than other mothers who worked outside the home, because when we got a bit older, we all made our own, cobbled together from whatever was around the house.

The rest of the holidays are no better. Fake plastic jack-ó-lanterns give way to plastic-lined cans of pumpkin pie filling (re: BPA) because—god forbid—anyone should clean out and bake an actual pumpkin. And of course, even before Thanksgiving is over, the Christmas plastic will be up: Fake plastic snowmen and tinsel and electric candles. Plastic crap toys and plastic appliances and all manner of plastic gadgets: iPads and iPhones and the latest video games or talking toys.

We spend a lot of time trying to find healthy alternatives to all the environmentally destructive merchandise that’s pushed on us during the holiday season. We look for toys made from wood instead of plastic, more wholesome sweets, handmade gifts instead of store-bought; fair trade, organic. Gifts of experiences instead of physical goods. We spend a lot of time on these things. And that’s important.

But is it enough? How about questioning the whole compulsive holiday gift-giving assumption? What’s driving us? What’s our motivation? Is it to have a quality experience with people we love? Or is it because everyone else is doing it and we don’t want to feel left out? Or we don’t want our kids to feel left out?

Are there ways to subvert the holidays and remake them in our own image, rather than simply “greening” what may be toxic for our souls to begin with?

If the holidays stress us out, make us feel inadequate, drive us to exhaustion while we’re trying to meet everyone’s expectations, then it doesn’t matter how environmentally friendly the gifts are. The whole system has become fundamentally corrupt. How can we create rituals for ourselves and our families that are life-sustaining rather than draining? How can we approach the holidays from a place of actual holiness?

What I mean is: finding center and balance and respect for ourselves and those we love so that we’re not buffeted by the massive tide of—not just commercialism, but basic inauthenticity. Of motivations as insincere as plastic itself. How can we be true to ourselves and honor the holidays without being drowned by them?

Finding a pumpkin and spending a whole day making pumpkin soup—that is a joyful experience. I hope to fill this season with moments like that.

Beth Terry runs the blog My Plastic Free Life. This post is resurrected from an earlier version there.

Dare: Take the 30-Day Repurpose Challenge!

Travel Well Magazine thinks you can do it. And fall is the perfect season to try.

We don’t have to accept singe-use plastics. That’s why we’re teaming up with Life Without Plastic and Plastic Pollution Coalition for the #Repurposely 30-Day DIY Challenge! Designed for you to find second and third lives through intentional repurposing in creative, do-it-yourself projects. Turn a cardboard box into a train costume, plastic bottles into skull lights or witch’s broom, milk jugs into ghosts, or countless other fun, family-friendly Halloween projects. For more grownup crafts, turn bottles into apothecary wares, get ahead on holiday gifts with homemade candles or recipes packaged in old jars, turn old paint chips into a dry erase calendar, or redecorate with handmade statement pieces just in time for Thanksgiving. The opportunities are endless when you refuse to accept refuse.

THE PRIZE

As an added bonus, getting repurposely crafty won’t just make your house, wallet and planet happy, it will give you a chance at winning an awesome plastic-free, limited-edition travel set from Life Without Plastic!

HOW TO ENTER

Find things to repurpose that would otherwise be destined for a landfill, snap pics of it, and share on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #Repurposely and tagging Travel Well Magazine @travelwellmag.

See Travel Well for details!