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Posts Tagged ‘natural’

HOMEGROWN Life: Halloween that is a little more green

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015


HOMEGROWN-LIFE-LT-GREEN-150x150It is approaching quickly! I am talking about Halloween, one of the funnest holidays of the year. It is also one of the most wasteful. This year, may be a good time to switch up and start some new Halloween traditions or maybe revisit some from your childhood, like handmade treats and costumes. I can still remember all of the amazing costumes that my mom made for me and my sister each year. You can save a lot of money and make a lot of great memories.


  • Avoid buying new plastic and make your own decorations.
  • Mix handmade in with previous purchased decorations.
  • Re use or gather natural items to decorate like gourds, leaves and eco-friendly candles.

Check out these beautiful vintage decorations you can find at yard sales.


  • Try to buy locally made candy, organic or fair trade.
  • Organic cereal bars, honey sticks, or lollipops may be good substitutes.
  • Choose candy with the least amount of packaging.

Click here for a list of eco-friendly candy selections.

Skip the candy and give eco-crayons, eco-play dough or stickers.

Trick or Treat Bag

  • Use a basket, canvas or nylon bag that can be reused each year or for another purpose.
  • Save money and use a pillow case.

Click here to enter your child’s Halloween design to Chico Bags!

Trick or Treating

  • Don’t litter. Take an extra bag to pick up wrappers.
  • Walk or ride a bike. Avoid driving house to house or share rides with neighbors.
  • Use hand-powered flashlights.


  • Skip the cheap plastic costumes.
  • Make a unique one yourself! Try batwings out of a broken umbrella.
  • Look for places renting a costume if you don’t have time to make one.
  • See if you can get a costume on Freecycle. Have one? Post it for someone else.
  • Make your own face paint. (See recipe below.)
  • Plan a costume swap party with your friends or at your child’s school.

RECIPE: Face Paint Made with Natural Food Coloring

from the Campaign for Cosmetic Safety

Natural food coloring is available at health food stores and typically derived from foods and spices. We recommend reading up about natural food colorings and potential allergies first. Do not substitute conventional food coloring, which may contain synthetic chemical ingredients.


  • Base of safe, unscented lotion (search Skin Deep for safe options) OR pure cocoa butter (available at health food stores) OR safe, fluoride-free toothpaste (search Skin Deep; avoid mint flavors, as they can make skin tingly)
  • Natural food coloring (see note above)


  • Mix a few drops of natural food coloring into the base ingredient of your choice. Test on a small patch of skin before applying to face or body.

RECIPE: Face Paint Made with Food

Make sure young children understand they can’t eat these paints unless you make them without the base. Test a small patch of skin first to make sure your child isn’t allergic to the food you’re using.


  • Base of safe, unscented lotion (search Skin Deep for safe options) OR pure cocoa butter (available at health food stores) OR safe, fluoride-free toothpaste (search Skin Deep; avoid mint flavors, as they can make skin tingly)
  • Turmeric, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, beets, avocado, spirulina, cocoa, chocolate sauce, squid ink or other colorful foods, juices, herbs and spices


  • Yellow: Add 1/4 tsp. and a large pinch of stale turmeric to base.
  • Pink: Using a sieve, mash the juice from 3 fresh or thawed frozen raspberries, blackberries or beets directly into the base. Or, use a deeply colored berry juice or puree.
  • Mint green: With a fork, mash 1/4 of a small avocado until creamy. Mix this into your base.
  • Emerald green: Add small amount spirulina or bright green chlorophyll to base.
  • Purple: Using a sieve, mash the juice from several fresh or frozen blueberries into the base. Or, use blueberry juice.
  • Brown: Add cocoa powder or chocolate sauce to base.
  • Black: Use a small amount of squid ink in base for true black.
  • White: Mix powdered sugar and water.


Rachel-Dog-Island-Farm1Rachel’s friends in college used to call her a Renaissance woman. She was always doing something crafty, creative, or utilitarian. She still is. Instead of crafts, her focus these days has been farming as much of her urban quarter-acre as humanly possible. Along with her husband, she runs Dog Island Farm, in the San Francisco Bay Area. They raise chickens, goats, rabbits, dogs, cats, and a kid. They’re always keeping busy. If Rachel isn’t out in the yard, she’s in the kitchen making something from scratch. Homemade always tastes better!

PHOTO: we heart it