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Halloween Outfits

bc1a69400b979de96bde47e5f738618cWant a halloween costume that doesn’t involve a lot of plastic?

The skull T was found over on Pinterest along with lots more very clever cut out ideas – some with instructions. The rest you might have to work out for yourself. Eek!

Martha Stewart can show you how to make cut out  skeleton teeshirts. Which strikes me as rather strange. I didn’t think that was her thing.

If you are not so crafty, you might like to go as a head on a box!? Or 50 shades of grey…

More plastic-free Halloween ideas here.

 

 

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Candles

Nothing sets the mood quite as well as candles but it is hard to find plastic free candles. Most come in a protective plastic wrap or  bag. However we tracked down a few.

Which Candle?

Parrafin, soy or beeswax.

In the olden days candles were made from a by-product of beef-fat rendering(tallow) which stank and smoked or beeswax which didn’t smell or smoke but was very expensive.Then in the 1820s, French chemist Michel Eugene Chevreul discovered how to extract stearic acid from animal fatty acids. This could be used to make a wax that was harder and burnt far more cleanly.

However the most luxurious and brightest of all candles were made from crystallized spermaceti an oil obtained from the sperm whale. Like beeswax, spermaceti wax had a pleasing odour but also produced a far brighter light. Again it was a harder was so didn’t soften when the atmosphere got hot. Lucky for the sperm whale  who was being hunted into extinction for his light shedding wax, rock oil and its many by-products burst onto the scene. One such by-product was paraffin which could be used to make super-hard, super-bright and, best of all, cheap candles.

Recently, a huge surge in the popularity of candles has led to  new waxes being developed including soy bean wax.

Soy candles are made from a processed form of soybean oil called soy wax. It is very soft so most candles are made in tins or containers. However additives including beeswax, paraffin, or palm wax can be used to make it harder. Additives include: stearic acid, Vybar (a trademarked polymer), mineral oil, petrolatum, paraffin wax, ultraviolet absorbers, and bht crystals.

Most candles today are made from one of the following

  • paraffin (a product of petroleum refining);
  • stearin (now produced almost exclusively from palm waxes though initially manufactured from animal fats);
    beeswax
  • Gel Candles produced from gelled mineral oils or synthetic hydrocarbons. They are made in containers.though some are rigid enough to keep their own shape.
  • some plant waxes (generally palm, carnauba, bayberry, or soybean wax);

The size of the flame rate at which the candle burns is determined mostly by the size of the candle wick.

You can find out more about candles here and here.

Candle Types

Taper, Dinner or household candles. The traditional round candles that have to be set in candlesticks or empty wine bottles. Used for dinner parties and power cuts.

Pillar Candles are the modern version. Big and chunky, they are solid and self standing in a variety of sizes.

Floating Candles are designed to float on water.

Tealights are low round candles in a metal container. Much loved by the Ikea crowd. They are used in food warmers or  tealight holders

Container or Filled Candles are non-flammable, heat resistant containers which are filled with wax and  wick. They come in heat-resistant glass jars, tins and less often, pottery.

Votive Candles are come heat-resistant containers often with religious imagery.

Specialty or Novelty Candles come in a wide array of shapes either molded or sculpted by hand.

Scented candles – can be used to create a pleasant ambience or  mask other odours such as cooking or cigarette smoke. They can also be used to keep insects at bay though personally I don’t think they are very effective.

BUY

Basic white unscented candles

Parafin Candles

Bolsius Pack of 6 Household CandlesPrices do a practical range of plain white unscented candles both household & tealight. Last time I looked, so did Bolsius. I have bought both of the above packaged in cardboard from a number of local shops. If you can’t buy them locally you can of course get them on line.

BULK PACK of 14 - Ivory Church Candles (60mm x 152mm)

 

I found some pillar candles on Amazon which look to be plastic free – please check

 

BULK PACK of 14 – Ivory Church Candles (60m…

Vegetable Wax

If you don’t fancy paraffin candles,these organic, vegetable wax candles look plastic free. they are available from Nigels Ecostore  www.nigelsecostore.com and Amazon. Heaven Scent 24 Organic Unscented Tea Lights

Grehom Organic Dinner Candles (Set of 4) – … from Amazon also look to be plastic free!

NB be aware they contain palm oil but sustainably sourced Scented Candles

Paraffin Based

Price Candle PXT011028 Winter Jasmine Scented Tealights, WhitePrices do a wide range scented tealights and candles in a tins and glass jars with fragrances to suit all moods and occasions.  They also do some odour eaters great for eliminating or rather masking odours which work pretty well. These come as tealights, in tins or glass jars and include

  • HOUSEKEEPER~ Contains extracts of Beeswax, Mandarin & Lemon
  • CHEF’S CANDLE~ Contains extracts of Basil, Patchouli & Geranium
  • OPEN WINDOW~ Contains Lily, Violet & Orange Flower
  • Scented Candle In Tin - (Housekeeper) Prices Patent Candles Open Window Jar

I have bought all the above packaged in cardboard. Please be aware that tins ike this are almost always epoxy resin lined which is (yes you guessed), a plastic.

They can be bought pretty much everywhere.

Soy Candles

You could try Foundry Candles   from Oldham Manchester

“The scents of these delightful hand poured soy candles have been captured perfectly in a tin. Aprox 40 hours burning time. All natural ingredients. Check out all the amazing scents!”

Please be aware that tins  are almost always epoxy resin lined which is  a plastic.

There are plenty more up on Etsy but they are eye wateringly pricey. You might be better off making your own. How hard can it be?

soy wax

You can get soy flakes in a reusable cotton bag

  • Only supplied in the re-usable cotton storage sack if purchased from Amazon or Aura
  • Container blend – NO soot or smoke.
  • Achieves a longer burn than paraffin Wax.
  • Easy to clean up any spills with soap and water.
  • Finest quality American SOY WAX flakes.

Aura’s Eco Soy Wax Flakes. A greener way to make quality candles…. These flakes are the finest quality Eco Soy flakes imported from the United States. Superior to paraffin Wax, candles made with Eco Soy will burn longer and be free of soot & smoke……. BASIC DIRECTIONS: Melt like chocolate. Gradually add your chosen fragrance. Add your colour a little at a time. Secure your wick into the desired container. Pour the melted Eco Soy into your container & leave to harden…..Once set – Enjoy your candle!!

Beeswax

Try these from Etsy, they are made in London and  you should be able to discuss packaging with them.

Buy

One of the real joys of buying #plasticfree is sourcing the stuff in local shops. The excitement when you see milk in glass bottle in the newsagents is beyond words.

However sometime you have to buy on line. If so please see if there are links to sellers direct in the post above.

 If you can’t do that then I have put together and Amazon catalogue. Yes I know.

Amazon is a very dirty word at the moment and I thought long and hard before suggesting them.  Heres why I went ahead….. No we are not entirely happy with Amazons recent history. However, we have always found their service to be good and their packaging usually compostable.

If you buy a product via this link we do get an affiliation fee for this. This is not why we do it.

 

Bolsius Pack of 6 Household Candles PRICE'S HOUSEHOLD CANDLES 5PK - 5 CANDLES Sentinel Nightlights X6
Bolsius Pack of 6 Household Candles
£3.98
PRICE’S HOUSEHOLD CANDLES 5PK – 5 CANDLES
£2.44
4
Sentinel Nightlights X6
£3.40
BULK PACK of 14 - Ivory Church Candles (60mm x 152mm) Grehom Organic Dinner Candles (Set of 4) - Ivory Heaven Scent 24 Organic Unscented Tea Lights
BULK PACK of 14 – Ivory Church Candles (60m…
£29.99
These look like they might be unwrapped. Please double check before you buy – then tell me!
Grehom Organic Dinner Candles (Set of 4) – …look to be plastic free! Heaven Scent 24 Organic Unscented Tea Lights
£5.81
Candles Naturally Plant Wax Unfragranced Tealights, Pack of 24, Natural Heaven Scent Natural Organic Jumbo Tea Light Candles - 24 (Long Life 7 hours) Prices Pack of 10 Tealights
Candles Naturally Plant Wax Unfragranced Te… Heaven Scent Natural Organic Jumbo Tea Ligh… Prices Pack of 10 Tealights
£5.24
Price Candle PXT011028 Winter Jasmine Scented Tealights, White Prices Patent Candles Open Window Jar Scented Candle In Tin - (Housekeeper)
Price Candle PXT011028 Winter Jasmine Scent…
£3.13
Prices Patent Candles Open Window Jar
£5.49
Scented Candle In Tin – (Housekeeper)
£6.95
Housekeeper Tealights - (FR441016) Prices Housekeeper Scented Candle in Tin Eliminates Household Odours - TRIPLE PACK Prices open window candle - FR510316x1
Housekeeper Tealights – (FR441016)
£4.95
Prices Housekeeper Scented Candle in Tin El…
£10.99
Prices open window candle – FR510316x1
£13.44
Prices Household Scented Candle in Tin - FR210616 Prices Candles FR541016 Open Window Tealights, Pack of 6, Green Prices Candles FR341016 6-Piece Chef's Tealights
Prices Household Scented Candle in Tin – FR…
£15.33
Prices Candles FR541016 Open Window Tealigh…
£2.48
Prices Candles FR341016 6-Piece Chef’s Teal…
£2.83

 

WASIWAX Handcrafted Wedding Carved Candles (Eternity) Magical Floating Candles - 50 Reusable Floats & 50 Long Burning Wicks fuelled by vegetable oil Clever & Unique Magical Floating Water Candles, 50 Reusable Silver Floats & 50 Long Burning Wicks fuelled by vegetable oil. Wedding Table Centrepiece
WASIWAX Handcrafted Wedding Carved Candles …
£34.90
As these are made in Britain you might be able to ask about plastic-free packaging
Magical Floating Candles – 50 Reusable Floa…
£20.50
Clever & Unique Magical Floating Water …
£20.50
2.5 KILO Eco Soya / Eco Soy Container Candle WAX Flakes - Lovely Alternative to Parrafin Wax 5metre Wedo LX8 (50mm) Candle Making Wick + 50 Sustainers 5 Metres Wedo ECO Candle Making Wick. High Quality - ECO 1
2.5 KILO Eco Soya / Eco Soy Container Candl…
£19.99
5metre Wedo LX8 (50mm) Candle Making Wick +…
£3.09
5 Metres Wedo ECO Candle Making Wick. High …
£2.50
ECO 8 Pre-tabbed Candle Wick - pack of 20 20 Pre Waxed Wicks For Candle Making Teacup / Medium Candles (LX18). 100mm Long.Quantity Jute Ribbon Brown 7/8 Inch by 10 Yard Roll Sold By The Yard
ECO 8 Pre-tabbed Candle Wick – pack of 20
£3.99
20 Pre Waxed Wicks For Candle Making Teacup…
£2.60
Jute Ribbon Brown 7/8 Inch by 10 Yard Roll …
£3.59
Prices Candles Tealights Winter Walk 6 Pack Prices Fragrance Tealights x 6 Garden Lavender Prices Fragrance Tealights x 6 Tea Rose
Prices Candles Tealights Winter Walk 6 Pack Prices Fragrance Tealights x 6 Garden Laven…
£3.12
Prices Fragrance Tealights x 6 Tea Rose
£3.01
Price Candle PXT011005 Pomegranate and Walnut Scented Tealights, Pink Price Candle PXT011012 Fresh Fig Scented Tealights, Purple Price Candle PXT011010 Cinnamon Sticks Scented Tealights, Beige
Price Candle PXT011005 Pomegranate and Waln…
£3.12
Price Candle PXT011012 Fresh Fig Scented Te…
£3.13
Price Candle PXT011010 Cinnamon Sticks Scen…
£3.13
Price Candle PXT011020 Apple Spice Scented Tealights, Red Prices Fragrance Tealights x 6 Peach Blossom Soft Geranium Scented Tealights 6 Pack
Price Candle PXT011020 Apple Spice Scented …
£2.69
Prices Fragrance Tealights x 6 Peach Blossom
£2.99
Soft Geranium Scented Tealights 6 Pack
£3.13

 

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How to party…plastic free….

Organising a big bash? Nipping off out to buy some paper plates? WAIT!!!
Given the choice between washing up and disposable partyware, the answer may seem obvious. Or maybe you are a minimalist and don’t own much crockery. However at the end of the night when the black bin bags come out that decision may seem a little bit, well, environmentally unfriendly. Of course the wine bottles are going to the bottle bank and the beer cans will be recycled, but what about the coleslaw covered plastic forks, potato salad smeared polystyrene plates and dreg filled plastic cups. And bear in mind that most paper plates and cups are in fact lined with plastic!

How to avoid this kind of litter?
Go to the pub.
Hire reusable glasses plates and cutlery but you have to wash it up and return it.
Or, if you must, use….

Use Compostable Disposables

You can get
Cutlery made from PLA cornstarch and are 100 percent biodegradable and compostable. We have used and composted these -you can read our review here.
PLA cornstarch clear “glasses” can be got from shot size upwards. PLA cannot be used to make stemmed glasses, so wine glasses are not available yet!
Biodegradable plates and bowls made out of a variety of materials.
Paper cups lined with compostable PLA plastic can be used for hot and cold drinks.
Drinking straws need not hang around after the parties over. There are a load reusable or compostable options here. Plastic free straws

Buy

You can buy compostable disposables in bulk from
www.wf-denny.co.uk or call them on 0161 927 49 49 – orders in by 1pm will be dispatched the next day.
Vegware are also very good.
You can find some Amazon suppliers here

Plastic free booze

Plastic free booze is hard to find….glup!!!!. But we have managed to source some for you here… 
Other considerations If you are serving large amounts of wine, think wine boxes and not bottles. Though not in themselves particularly green (all tetra packs and foil), they are carbon cheaper to transport from far flung places than heavy glass bottles. To be greener still buy from close to home – French wine rather than Chilean.

Themed Parties

If your party is themed you will find some more ideas here
Halloween
Valentines
Christmas

Presents & Cards
Greetings cards

Wrapping Paper and Biodegradable Sticky Tape

Events

Make Your Glasses Reusable & A Souvinir

Featured Branded CupsThis is rather a good idea for festivals and other events where glasses are not an option but disposables result in a sea of waste. Reusable, plastic cups that can be branded to suit. Pay a deposit at the bar that can be refunded or the customer can choose to keep the cup as a souvenir. Read more here…

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Halloween labels and flour paste!

Print and stick  these creepy labels onto a wine bottles to make a suitably  themed halloween gift  – but don’t use avery labels as some suggest!  Print onto plain paper, cut out and attach to bottle of choice using homemade, boiled  flour & water paste.

I have included a boiled flour and water paste from this paper mache  making web page because it is easy and clear to follow but also because  I think the rest of the site looks fascinating. And inspiring. You could use some of the techniques to make ghoulish sculptures, masks or even reusable pumpkin lanterns. That would save you some work!

Obviously adapt the choice of beverage if it’s for a child’s party!

Flour and water paste attached labels wash off easily if you are using a reusable bottle… of course you are using a reusable bottle!

More ideas for Halloween can be found here….

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Party Bags Trick or Treat

I know you family types need to plan ahead so, lets get ready for,…ooooooooo…….halloween….

Well my nasty little ghouls and ghosties you will be getting no plastic wrapped sweeties if you call at my house….. but maybe, just maybe, if you come carrying one of these plastic free trick or treat bags I might not turn the power hose on you.

WHAT??

Thats not unreasonable.

These lovely reusable cotton bags are designed by a UK artist and sold on Etsy.

You can buy loose unwrapped sweets in Huddersfield Queensgate Market.

You can get other more plastic free party bags and eco toys to go in them over here at www.littlecherry.co.uk

Find more fantastic Halloween party ideas here. 

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Chocolates and Sweets

I don’t care if the lady loves milk tray, she’s not getting a box of chocks from me. Not with that plastic wrapping, plastic cover sheet and plastic sweet tray.

Before you call me hard hearted there is a plastic free alternative.

Chocolates

There are shops out there selling British and Belgium chocolates loose.  You can buy a separate, cardboard box to put them in or you could make your own packaging.

Chocolate Bars pfree sweets Tesco chocolate

And there is always chocolate wrapped in foil and cardboard. Tescos do some wrapped in cardboard and foil.

Original Beans who sell  their chocolate in certified compostable packaging.

If handing some one a big slab of chocolate seems a bit blunt, you could tart it up by turning it into something else. Check out the marbled minty things made by Jen.

Sweets

If the loose chocolates are too expensive you can buy other kinds of sweets from jars – for mothers day my  mum got two ounces of liquorice torpedo’s in a paper bag from Queensgate Market. Huddersfield.
Tescos and Ikea have a pick and mix stand where you can get chocolate beans ( smarties), and other sweets unwrapped and loose.

Every time I have been to any of the above, they have had paper bags but you may want to take your own plastic-free bag to be sure.