Tag Archives: candy

3 Tips On How to Have a Zero Waste Halloween

With cheap, plastic decorations, bulk boxes of individually wrapped candies and chocolates in plastic, and even the costumes, Halloween (or, any holiday, really) definitely doesn’t spring to mind when you think of ‘zero waste’, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have one!

Yes, it’s totally possible (and not all that much more work) to have a zero waste Halloween!

With just a little tweaking, you can have the zero waste Halloween that your wallet (and planet!) will thank you for having.

 

Tip #1: Make Your Own Treats!

I figured I would start with the hardest tip, and then work our way down. The most environmentally friendly and most zero waste way to still have a kick-ass Halloween is definitely to make your own treats.

Obviously, you can’t pass these out at the door (well, you could, but I don’t think parents would let them eat homemade stranger candy), but if you’re having a grown-up party, or even just your own house party with your kids, this is an awesome tip!

Not only will you get to binge on healthier treats (since you’re buying all the ingredients you need, you’ll know exactly what’s going into them), but I’m sure your kids would love to help bake/create the treats with you. It’s a fun way to spend the day, and you get a reward for all your hard work at the end!

Another bonus of making homemade treats? You can literally make whatever you want! Not that into chocolate? Don’t make it! Really craving a rice crispy square? Get yourself some marshmallows (if searching for vegan ones, I recommend Dandies), and rice cereal and go at it. Want to try homemade chocolate? Go get yourself some cocoa butter and Silk (milk) and go nuts! Rather not eat typical ‘candy’? No problem! Get your bakers hat on, and whip up some cookies, brownies, or whatever other treat your heart desires. And, to make them festive, you could decorate them with the Halloween theme in mind!

AterImber.com - No. Mad. - 3 Tips on How to Have a Zero Waste Halloween - Halloween Themed Cupcakes - Halloween, candy, chocolate, vegan, zero waste, vegan food, food blogger, zero waste tips, homemade treats, candy, sustainable food

AterImber.com - No. Mad. - 3 Tips on How to Have a Zero Waste Halloween - Halloween Themed Cookies - Halloween, candy, chocolate, vegan, zero waste, vegan food, food blogger, zero waste tips, homemade treats, candy, sustainable food

AterImber.com - No. Mad. - 3 Tips on How to Have a Zero Waste Halloween - Halloween Themed Chocolate - Halloween, candy, chocolate, vegan, zero waste, vegan food, food blogger, zero waste tips, homemade treats, candy, sustainable food

The only limitation to the treats you create is your imagination!

If you want to make actual ‘candy’ at home (i.e. lollipops, hard candies like Jolly Ranchers, etc.) you’ll maybe not want to let the kids help with those. Those items require boiling sugar and that stuff gets super hot/a tad dangerous to work with, if you don’t know what you’re doing.

If you want to give some of your homemade treats away (I only recommend doing this to people you know/who trust you enough to actually eat what you hand-make, that way your good intentions don’t end up in the garbage), you can get some jars/containers and decorate them simply before giving them away. Similar to the dry mixes some people give at Christmas. Do them up a little pretty, and people are sure to love them!

 

Tip #2: Don’t Buy a Single-Use Costume

My mom was always really big into Halloween, so maybe this was just my family, but some of my best Halloween memories consist of mix and matching clothes I already had to make my costume. Sure, we had to go buy Halloween make-up (weren’t gonna waste ‘the good stuff’) and maybe a wig, but the majority of our costumes growing up were homemade.

If you don’t want to wear your everyday clothes, check out past year costumes you already have, to see how you can give them a new life as something else, or, go hit up a thrift store (like Value Village), that may have some more specific Halloween-themed pieces. The trick here is to go through what you already have, see what your missing, and then either go get a few choice pieces to complete the look that can be re-used in the future, or change what your costume is, so you can use pieces you already have.

You could also keep a few things from your Capsule Wardrobe purge to keep specifically to wear for Halloween. This way, you won’t care if you have to say, roll it around in the dirt to get the specific look, (we actually did this one year) or cut some holes into it.

Or, you could just forgo the costumes if you’re not going out/not that into it. You could have a house party in your pj’s watching scary movies with family and friends, instead.

 

Tip #3: Buy In Actual Bulk!

If you don’t want to make your own treats, or you don’t have the skills to make one treat in particular that you just absolutely need to make Halloween special to you, try to get it at an actual bulk store!

Here in Canada, we have this place called Bulk Barn, and every year around Halloween, they have a few dedicated bins to Halloween treats. Foil-wrapped chocolates, hard candies, gummy worms with a bat decoration stuck to the bin, etc. Basically they slap a ghost or spider-web on some of their regular offerings and call it a day.

But this is still better than buying those boxes of big-name treats, because you can fill your own container* with the exact amount of treats you’ll need. So yes, this option still gives you waste (depending on what treats you’re buying), but it’s still better than getting a bunch of those giant cardboard boxes (that can’t be recycled! The dyes used to make those silly pictures sometimes prevent the cardboard from being recyclable), filled to the brim with plastic wrappers.

I recommend you go out and buy store-bought treats last, because it will create some more waste than the other options here, but if you absolutely feel you need to, then do it. Zero waste isn’t about denying yourself things you like, or feeling like you have to ‘give up’ things you enjoy, it’s about helping the planet and minimizing your environmental impact.

It’s also impossible to be ‘true’ zero waste in today’s society, so don’t worry too much about trying to be perfect. Everyone creates waste – the trick you need to remember is to create as least as you can, as often as you can. If you create a little bit more than usual once a year, there’s no Zero Waste Police who are gonna show up and fine you, or revoke your zero waste card.

So relax, and have fun!

*Bulk Barn has temporarily suspended it’s BYO policy due to COVID safety practices. Call/check your local bulk store to see if/when the policy will change back


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Go Max Go Chocolate Review

With Halloween right around the corner, I thought that it would be a perfect time to review one of the best vegan chocolate companies around – Go Max Go Foods. Also, since it’s nearly Halloween, I thought I would do a special review: the chocolate products I’ve tried of theirs in one review. This way, you can have some chocolate along with your candy.

Let’s get on to the first one:

Twilight Bar

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Food Review - Go Max Go Foods - Twilight Bar

Said to be the closest vegan chocolate bar to a Mars, this bar has nougat and caramel and is my favourite of the  bunch! It is so rich, soft and chocolatey it’s seriously drool worthy. The caramel stretches when you bite into it like the cheese in pizza commercials, and that might just be the best thing about this bar.

Oh wait, no – the best thing about it is that the wrapper is purple. And purple’s the magic colour, which is probably why this chocolate bar tastes so good.

 

Cleo’s White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Food Review - Go Max Go Foods - Cleo's White Peanut Butter Cups

Dude, it’s a white chocolate peanut butter cup. What else do you need?

Only problem? Only two in a pack.

Cleo’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Food Review - Go Max Go Foods - Cleo's Peanut Butter Cups

Like the white chocolate ones, except dark chocolate. Same texture, size and ratio of chocolate to peanut butter goodness.

Buccaneer

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Food Review - Go Max Go Foods - Buccaneers

This one is still good, but it’s too nougaty for my liking. Biting it is like biting into a brick of nougat. And then, the chewing. There’s so. Much. Chewing.

Who knew a brick of nougat would be so dense?

All these chocolates are great vegan alternatives, but the one downside is that they don’t sell them in those giant boxes that the mixes of Mars, Coffee Crisp, Kit-Kats, etc. Come in. I’m sure I’m not the only vegan who would be down for buying a box of these chocolate bars in ‘fun size’, or hell, full size. (Then you don’t have to eat 20.)

They have a few other products I’ve yet to try, (check them out here), but these guys should be your go-to for all your Halloween-y chocolate-y needs.


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Surprising Vegan Halloween Candy

Ah, Halloween.

A great night where kids get to dress up, explore the neighbourhood, and get free candy. Sadly, this night only comes once a year, so you’ve gotta make it count.

If you’re newly vegan, you might be wondering, ‘what are the chances my kid (or yourself) will be able to eat any typical Halloween candy?’ Well, check out the collage below and you’ll see, it’s more then you think. There are plenty of products that are ‘accidentally’ vegan by nature, even though they’re not advertised as such.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Surprising Vegan Halloween Candy - Halloween Candy, halloween, holiday

Starting in the top left corner, going clockwise:

  • Ruffles Original
  • Ruffle’s All Dressed
  • Pringles Original
  • Airheads (Red 40, Blue 1, Yellows 5+6)
  • Pringles Ketchup
  • Old Dutch Ketchup
  • Old Dutch Original
  • Twizzlers
  • Pull N Peel
  • Super Nibs
  • Jujubes (Red 40, Blue 1 and Yellows 5&6)
  • Hickory Sticks
  • Sweet Chili Heat Doritos
  • Sun Chips Original
  • Lays Oven Baked
  • Lays Salt N Vinegar
  • Lays Classic*
  • Mini Oreos
  • Rockets (In the US, called Smarties)
  • Swedish Fish (Red 40, Yellow 5&6, and Blue 1)
  • Jolly Ranchers (Red 40, Blue 1 and Yellows 5&6)
  • Gobstoppers (Carmine Colour, Blue 1&2, Red 40, Yellow 5&6)
  • Mike and Ikes (Red 40, Yellow 5&6, Blue 1)
  • Nerds
  • Pixy Stix
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Maynards Fuzzy Peaches (Yellow 5, Red 40)
  • Maynards Swedish Berries
  • Skittles Original
  • Maynards Sour Cherry Blasters (Contains Tartrazine [Yellow 5])

*Lays Classic is made with pork enzymes in the US, making them not vegan. However, in Canada they don’t, so they’re safe to consume. Check out the US list here (at the time of writing, I’ve only been able to find a Canadian and US list, I’d suggest contacting the company for other specific countries)

As explained in my Candy collage, I’ve listed the food dyes next to certain candies because these food dyes aren’t vegan. It’s a choice you need to make for yourself – where is the line for you? Remember, no Vegan Police are going to show up at your house if you ingest something that has animal by/products in it.

The only downside to this is that pretty much all the chocolate has milk in it. 🙁 You’ll most likely have to buy a vegan brand of chocolate if you want that on Halloween night. I’d suggest Go Max Go they make some great chocolate! I’d also advise not handing vegan-specific chocolates out to Trick Or Treaters, unless you’ve got a money tree in your backyard.


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Surprising Vegan Candy

I’ve decided to turn ‘Surprising Vegan _____’ into a series, since there’s too many things to place in just 1 collage.

So, this week we’ll be looking at Surprising Vegan Candy. These are candies that are vegan friendly (in Canada), even though they’re not marketed as being vegan. (Hence the ‘surprise’)

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - Surprising Vegan Candy Collage

From the top left clockwise, this collage includes:

  • Swedish Fish (Red 40, Yellow 5+6, and Blue 1)
  • Twizzlers
  • Jolly Ranchers (Red 40, Blue 1 and Yellows 5+6)
  • JuJubes (Red 40, Blue 1 and Yellows 5+6)
  • Super Nibs
  • Maynards Fuzzy Peaches (Yellow 5, Red 40)
  • Nerds
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Pixy Stix
  • Maynards Swedish Berries
  • Skittles Original
  • Maynards Sour Cherry Blasters (Contains Tartrazine [Yellow 5])
  • Rockets (Called Smarties in the US)
  • Pull N Peel
  • Airheads Originals (Red 40, Blue 1, Yellows 5+6)

Now, you may be wondering, why did I list Food Dyes next to some of the candy? Well, that’s because these food dyes aren’t vegan, since they’re tested on animals, and, Red 40 is made out of crushed cocchineal beetles. ‘But then, why list them on a vegan candy collage?!’ Well, I believe that this might be one of those ‘how far down the rabbit hole’ things. We all know it’s impossible to be 100% vegan already, and while that’s certainly not an excuse, I want to throw the choice to you. I’ve seen some vegan products that have the food dyes listed, so the choice is yours. It’s hard enough already to find ‘regular’ food that vegans can eat, don’t make it harder on yourself.

Eating some candy once in a while  won’t make the Vegan Police show up at your house and revoke your vegan card. Do I wish that these candies didn’t have the food dyes? Yes, of course. Am I guilty of still eating some of these candies on occasion? Yes, I am. While I do my best to completely avoid Red 40 (since, y’know it’s literally crushed beetles), I don’t agonize over the fact if I eat candy (whether intentionally or by accident) that have the other dyes in them. That doesn’t make me less vegan, and it won’t make you, either.

We don’t live in a society that caters to vegans, and, should you be in a pinch, or not able to make it to your favourite vegan store to stock up on ‘real’ vegan candy, it’s nice to know what ‘regular’ candy you can pick up without stressing about it, especially, say for Halloween, when you need to pick up a giant pack of candy for cheap (let’s face it, vegan candy is pretty expensive), these are regular candies that are sold in bulk, that you shouldn’t feel you need to completely get rid of.


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Surprising Vegan Snacks

We’ve all been there before, starring down the snack aisle with longing and slight resentment. ‘Why do they put milk in everything?’ You may wonder as you read box after box of cookies, crackers, etc.

Whether you’re a new vegan who’s worried about not being able to eat your favourite snacks, a veteran who’s maybe sick of eating kale chips or perhaps you’ll be hosting a vegan at a get together and want to make sure they have something to nibble on, the following Surprising Vegan Snacks collage can help.

These are all snacks that aren’t specially made vegan, and should be pretty easy to find. Some of these may only be available in Canada, (like the Maple cookies) but I’m sure that no matter where you are, you’ll be able to find at least some things in your local store.

AterImber.com Surprising Vegan Snacks - vegan food, The Veg Life

Snacks shown (starting top left and going clockwise):

  • Ruffles Original
  • Ketchup Doritos (Only available at limited times, sadly)
  • Sweet Chili Heat Doritos
  • Hickory Sticks
  • Bugles (Original)
  • Smartfood Sweet & Salty Popcorn
  • Pringles (Original)
  • Lay’s Classic
  • Skinny Pop White Cheddar Popcorn
  • Kettle Brand Sea Salt and Vinegar
  • Tostitos Restaurant Style
  • Tostitos Scoops! (My personal favourite)
  • Tostitos Rounds
  • Tostitos Multigrain
  • Rold Gold Pretzels
  • Ruffle’s All Dressed
  • Super Nibs
  • Rockets (called ‘Smarties’ in the US)
  • Sour Patch Kids Original
  • Pull N Peel
  • Vegetable Thins
  • Ritz Cracker Originals
  • Oreo’s Original
  • Fudgee-O’s
  • Maple Cookies
  • Twizzlers Originals
  • Betty Crocker Whipped Vanilla Icing
  • Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn Kernels Original & Kernel’s Krazy Ketchup Popcorn Seasoning
  • Skittles Original

Clearly, this is not every non-specially made vegan snack out there, but they are all the ones I’ve found to date.

If you know of any surprising vegan snacks, feel free to comment them below so I can continue to update this post.

**I took out the Miss Vickies Salt N Vinegar, Lays Ketchup and Lays Salt N Vinegar chips because they all contain lactose. I also took out the Pop Tarts as they conained gelatin. I thought they were vegan, but a quick re-check of the ingredients confirmed they weren’t. Sorry for that, and hopefully you didn’t go out and buy any.


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