13 Non-Candy Options To Give Out On Halloween

halloween trick or treat non candy Essential Oxygen
By: Emmi Buck
 
We don’t need to tell you that candy (especially a LOT of candy, like on Halloween) can be bad news for your oral health. Trick-or-treat doesn’t need to mean a sweet, cavity-causing treat; you can give out other kinds of treats, or even tricks!

 

Don’t forget the first option in trick-or-treat 😉 … after all, it is a night for mischief and fun, right?!

 

Another bonus of avoiding chocolate candy is that many kids have allergies and dietary restrictions that make Halloween a bummer for them since most houses give out low-quality, GMO-sugar chocolate treats. The below options are far more suitable, sustainable, and healthy for all trick-or-treaters!

 

  1. Fruit Snacks / Fruit Leather – As sweet as candy, but much healthier and in fun shapes. Top picks are Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks, YumEarth Organic Gummy Bears, and Stretch Island All-Natural Fruit Strips.
    Annie's organic gummy bunny snacks halloween yum earth prganic gummy snacks gummy bears Essential OxygenStretch Island fruit leather halloween essential oxygen
  2. Mini Trail Mix Packs – Most kids don’t see trail mix as ‘healthy’, but rather a fun treat with lots of choices! Trader Joe’s has good options, and so does Trophy Farm’s All Natural Snack Mixes.                                                                 trader joe's handfulls trail mix mini bag halloween essential oxygenTrophy Farms nut mixes
  3. Spooky School Supplies – A ghost eraser or vampire pencil would make any kid excited for class after Halloween!Halloween erasers pencil school supl
  4. Glow Sticks – Not only will trick-or-treaters light up with excitement, giving out glow sticks will literally light them up, and help them to be easily seen by cars while walking around the neighborhood. glow sticks halloween
  5. Magic Tricks – The first part of trick-or-treat is tricks, and kids LOVE magic tricks. Look some up online to learn or buy. If you don’t want to leave kids empty handed, do a trick that involves a gift too, like finding a nickel or yo-yo in their witches’ hat.magic trick essential oxygen
  6. Essential Oxygen Organic Brushing Rinse – Growing up, I lived on a street with 2 dentists. On Halloween, one gave out toothbrushes and the other gifted mini toothpastes, and to be honest… even as a kid I thought it was cool! Be the yin to Halloween candy yang, and give out our 3 ounce travel sized BRs to help combat cavities the coolest, foamiest, whole-mouth-healthiest way possible!Organic Brushing Rinse Essential Oxygen travel size 3 oz
  7. Non-Toxic Crafts – Steer clear of paints and play dough’s with ingredients you can’t pronounce, but check out Eco-Kids Eco-Dough and Natural Earth Natural Face Paint.                                                                                eco-kids eco-dough natural earth natural face paint
  8. Bubbles!!! – What kid (or adult) doesn’t love bubbles? Some eco-friendly options include Fubbles Bubbles and Pustefix Bubbles, or easily make your own with 2 cups of warm water, 3 Tablespoons of Honest Co. Dish Soap, and 1 teaspoon of sugar.                                                                                                                         Fubbles bubbles non-toxicpustefix bubbles
  9. Temporary Tattoos – Many brands make Halloween themed tats, but really any temporary tattoo will do! We found some cool non-toxic options including biNK’ed vegetable based tattoo sheets and Spestyle nontoxic temporary tattoos.
  10. Apple Cider Single Serve Packs – Like fruit snacks, this is another sweet treat option that doesn’t pack quite the cavity-causing punch! You can even find sugar free options nowadays.
  11. Popcorn – While making your own is the healthiest option, many parents won’t allow their kids to eat home-made treats. Try pre-popped and packaged options like non-GMO BoomChickaPop or popcorn look-alike Pirate’s Booty.                                                                                                                                        boomchickapoppirates booty
  12. Bouncy Balls – Toys are great non-candy treats, and bouncy balls are always  favorite toy. Look for bouncy balls that use natural plastic.
  13. Granola / Snack Bars – There are SO many healthy options these days and even Halloween ones! Get Clif Kid Organic Z-Bars in Full Moon Brownie flavor or Nature’s Path Bars in Chococonut or Pumpkin-N-Spice.                                                                                                                                                               clif bar kids zbar healthy halloween brownie Nature's Path organic granola bars

Microbeads: the Miniscule Killer

By: Stephen Au

 

The innovation of plastics has made life far more convenient for everyone, so much so that plastics are among the most traded commodities in the world. The diversity of plastics has contributed to its widespread use throughout the world; plastics can be found almost anywhere you look from bags to phones to facewash. The most common form of plastics used in the Health & Beauty industry is microbeads.

 

Microbeads are tiny balls of plastic, typically smaller than 5mm, and usually found in body washes, toothpastes, and exfoliators. The microbeads used in personal care products are mainly made of polyethylene (PE), but can be also be made of polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and nylon. Microbeads have slowly replaced many natural, biodegradable materials in cosmetics, in large part due to its cheap cost of production and easy accessibility. So what purpose do they serve? These tiny plastic beads don’t do much to help cleanse the body – but they do contribute to the cleansing / exfoliating feeling, so much so that companies are more than happy to incorporate these cheap beads as an alternative to the more expensive, biodegradable products.

 

Widespread use of microbeads in body washes, toothpastes, and other cosmetics does not bode well for the environment. Plastics do not readily break down when flushed down the drain, and the sewage system in place is not built to filter out these plastics. Once the beads are washed down the drain, they accumulate in the wild where an estimated 808 trillion pieces swirl down American drains every day. Researchers estimate that 4.8 to 12.7 million tons of plastic trash are being flushed into the environment every year, and this is believed to be a conservative estimate! Microbeads are exponentially adding onto the accumulating concentration of plastic trash, which is very harmful to the environment. Avoid microbeads if you can!

Image source

 

Microbeads are very damaging to the marine life as well. The tiny beads look like food to fishes and when ingested, causes reproductive harm to the sea life. The plastic beads also easily absorb harmful chemicals and accumulate at a higher rate than they would in water. Plastic microbeads absorb lingering organic pollutants (long-lasting toxic chemicals like pesticides, motor oil, and more) and other industrial chemicals that then move up the food chain when these toxic-coated beads are consumed by fish and other marine organisms. A single microbead can be up to a million times more toxic than the water around it! These same fish are then sold and eaten by the general public so keeping these tiny beads out of the sewage systems is in everyone’s best interest! Again there is no proven benefit of putting these plastic beads in cosmetic products. Dentists have expressed concern that microbeads added to toothpaste are getting stuck in patient’s’ gums, trapping harmful bacteria. Additionally, scientists in China found microbeads someplace they shouldn’t be: in table salt. Imagine finding these tiny beads in your food!

 

The good news is that microbeads are slowly being shut down by many new government policies. President Obama signed a bipartisan bill that prohibits selling and distributing products containing microbeads. The bill is intended to protect the nation’s waterways. These policies are a step in the right direction to help curb the environmental footprint left behind by millions of people. The right combination of research, awareness, and action has helped stop this potentially fatal environmental problem from snowballing into something worse. Although these policies will lessen the damage on the environment, public awareness and action is the best bet for stopping environmental problems existing everywhere so do your part and avoid these little plastic beads! Plastic pollution is a problem that can be controlled much more easier than other daunting environmental problems such as climate change so spread the awareness and avoid adding onto this plastic problem.

22 Packing Tips, Tricks & Hacks

By: Emmi Buck
Essential Oxygen Packing Tips Luggage Pic
  1. Get luggage that is functional, and unique. Look for something that can turn into a backpack or roll, and that has a good amount of pockets (but not too many so you don’t misplace stuff). Make sure the style or pattern/color stands out to you because if it blends in, somebody might mistake it for their own. If it isn’t unique – add your own bow of ribbon or rope, or a bright sticker, etc.

  2. Keep track of small stud earrings by fastening the set through buttonholes before slipping them into your jewelry bag. – Via Cosmopolitan

 

  1. Utilize the space inside of your shoes to pack easily breakable things, or smaller things like underwear and socks. To be extremely efficient, roll breakable things like glass perfume dispensers in your socks, and then stuff in shoes!

  2. Have essentials in your hand luggage – It’s always best to be prepared for the worst and let’s face it, sometimes bags go missing. Make sure all your valuables are in your hand luggage and always pack a spare change of clothes in your hand luggage too, just in case the worst happens and your checked bag is lost/delayed. That way you won’t have to rush to the shops as soon as you arrive to buy replacement clothing. – Via Skyscanner

  3. Avoid packing food or anything that can melt. It’s hard to predict what temperatures your luggage will encounter, so avoid a chocolate-melted-clothing-ruined mess (it has happened to me!) by not packing those things altogether. If you must bring chocolate covered anything anywhere, triple wrap it in extra plastic bags in case it melts and opens.

  4. To prevent liquid products from bursting inside your bag, cut a small square of plastic wrap, unscrew the product’s lid, set the plastic wrap on top, and screw the lid back on. That way if the lid pops open, no product can spill out. – Via Cosmopolitan

    Essential Oxygen Brushing Rinse with plastic saran wrap

  5. Choose knits, wools, and cottons. These fabrics tend to resist wrinkles and are versatile (some garments can do double duty, like yoga pants that moonlight as pajamas). – Via Real Simple

  6. Pack extra plastic bags for storing your shoes so they don’t get the rest of your stuff dirty. You can also use these bags for dirty clothes, garbage, or other souvenirs, etc. Hotel shower caps for covering shoe bottoms work great too.

  7. Use or create a packing checklist that you can go-to as a reference each time you travel. When/if you forget something you might need or you learn a new tip/trick, make sure to add it to the list.

  8. If you forget the wall plug-in for your phone charger, check the back of your hotel TV. There’s usually a USB port. – Via BuzzFeed

    If you forget the wall plug-in for your phone charger, check the back of your hotel TV. There's usually a USB port.

  9. Make copies of your passport, driver’s license, health insurance, travel plans / itineraries, maps, any flight/hotel/restaurant/tour reservations, and emergency contact info. Email this to yourself or have it available via the cloud, and also share it with friends and family in case of emergency.

  10. Pack your heaviest items at the bottom of your bag (especially if it is a backpack) so it isn’t top-heavy and is easier to carry/roll. This will also prevent any small/light items from being squished at the bottom.

  11. Pack two tops for every bottom. You’re more likely to re-wear a pair of bottoms, then a top. So to avoid overpacking, stick to this rule: pack two different tops (perhaps a blouse and a sweater) for every bottom. – Via Marie Claire

  12. Pack extra medicine. If you have a prescription that you’ll need to refill during the trip, contact your doctor/pharmacy ahead of time and arrange to have extra medicine before your trip. It’s also a good idea to pack some of your meds in your carry on and some in your checked bag so you have backup options if one bag goes missing.

  13. Rolling vs. Folding. Ahhh, the age old debate! … The choice to roll or fold is totally up to you and depends on your preferences, but a great trick is to do both. Roll the clothes you wish to keep wrinkle-free and fold the thicker items like sweaters. –  Via World of Wanderlust

  14. Wear your heavy/bulky items. If you want to bring a big coat, heavy boots, or thick sweater, save a ton of space in your bag by wearing these items on your travel days. If it’s too hot for the sweater or coat at the airport, drape it over your bags to carry.

  15. Don’t ruin that pressed collar. – Using the old shower trick to de-wrinkle a dress shirt while traveling is most likely the last thing you want to do when you arrive. However, a belt is an easy way to keep the collar of a woven shirt looking neat and stiff. Roll the belt around the collar, so it acts as a mold for keeping the collar in place. – Via Today

  1. Multifunctional Items – It’s always smart and space-friendly to use the same object for various functions. If you can, invest in a large yet thin scarf that could serve as a towel, a cloth to sit on or lay down, a pillow for the plane or a cosy wraparound around on chilly nights. Don’t be afraid to use your imagination, it’ll make you look like a bad-ass rough traveler full of creative ideas. – Via Contiki

  2. Fresh Upon Arrival – Sometimes older luggage or shoes in the bag can make your clean clothes smell not-so-nice. Keep dryer sheets or satchels of herbs like lavender or dried rose petals in between the clothing layers of your bag so all your stuff smells good while travelling.

  3. For Your Tech – Wrap the cords. A tangle of cords could look like something potentially harmful if it’s viewed a certain way, which could mean a more thorough and time-consuming bag check. Wrap cords around their devices, pack chargers together in one bag (ziplocks work!), and take advantage of rubber bands and twist ties to keep them tangle-free. – Via Pop Sugar

  4. Pack whatever you’ll need first, last. If you land at night and will need a jacket or pajamas – pack those items last in your bag so they’re easy to grab on top, and you don’t wrinkle everything rustling through your bag looking for the first things you’ll need!

  5. Pack Outfits – Not Just Clothes. Think through each item you’re bringing in terms of outfits and try to make sure everything is used in more than one outfit.

8 Tips + Tricks To Drink More Water

By: Emmi Buck

essential Oxygen tips and tricks drink more water hydration agua

Other than “I should exercise more” the most common thing I hear people saying about their health is “I need to drink more water”. I myself am guilty of sometimes not drinking enough H2O, so I researched and tried some good ways to hydrate! Ideally you should drink half a gallon of water, or eight 8-ounce glasses per day. Another way to calculate how much you should be drinking is half your weight in ounces (i.e. a 200 lb. person should drink 100 ounces).

 

Proper hydration is a key component in overall health and wellness, just as much as diet and exercise. It can also help you achieve:

  • Weight loss (your body retains water weight if you aren’t drinking the right daily amount, and when you are drinking the right amount – you have less food cravings and feel more full. It also boosts metabolism!)
  • Healthier skin (less acne and/or dryness, smoother, less dull)
  • Saving money! (water is usually free! Even if you choose bottled/filtered water, it’s STILL cheaper than that high sugar and fat-filled mocha or smoothie)

 

Here are 8 tips and tricks to get more agua goodness in your life:

 

1. Flavored Ice or Water – If drinking plain water bores you, add some additions to make it not-so-plain! Either freeze into flavored ice cubes, or add right into your water: berries, mini lemon wedges, fresh mint or basil, lime, cucumber slices, orange slices, or a cinnamon stick.

flavored water essential oxygen

2. Cool and Clean Water Bottles – Having a snazzy looking bottle (I like S’well, Bobble, MiiR, and Lifefactory) will make it harder to forget it since it looks so great, and more likely to be used. Also, bottles that are really effective at keeping water cold or hot and are sturdy/useful (like Hydro Flask, Klean Kanteen, CamelBak for your backpack, or Nalgene) are more likely to inspire you to drink water. Most importantly – keep your water bottles clean! Swish 1 oz. of 3% Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide around the bottle and it’s drinking rim / lid then rinse with water to ensure no yucky stuff gets on your bottle and to keep it smelling and tasting great!

hydro flask

Hydro Flask water bottles keeps cold water cold and hot water hot for over 12 hours and are the most durable in our experience.

 

Life-Factory-beverage-bottles

Lifefactory water bottles are glass with a protective silicone sleeve. BPA-free, easy to clean, and cute design are why these water bottles make our list.

 

swell

S’well water bottles are so cool/pretty looking you could consider them an accessory addition!

 

3. Eat Your H20 – There are some foods that have a very high percentage of water in them like cucumber, which has almost 97% water content. They can help you stay hydrated, but don’t count them in your daily intake – just consider them a boost! Some extra watery foods include: cantaloupe, eggplant, watermelon, bell pepper, cucumber, pear, carrot, apple, strawberry, raw broccoli, iceberg lettuce (+ most other types of lettuce too), celery, and radishes (an amazing 95.3% water).

4. Be Careful with Substitutes – Just as I mentioned above with eating food high in water content, don’t count those are part of your daily minimum ounces – just like you shouldn’t count coffee, juice, smoothies, etc. Just because there is water in coffee doesn’t mean you should count it in your daily intake. When tracking your daily water consumption, just count the glasses of water!

5. Buddy System – Talk to a friend, family member, or coworker (or all of them for best results) and start a buddy system to remind each other to drink more water. Whether you and a colleague silently “cheers” your water bottles every hour in the office for a sip, or you have a group text with your cousins about how many ounces you drink daily – try to find a community of support to keep you accountable for good hydration. I actually have a buddy system with my dog! I keep his water bowl by my desk and when he drinks water (which is frequently) it reminds me to have a gulp too!

essential oxygen dog drinking water

6. Pee Clear Rule – Pardon the potty talk, but this is important! I learned this one 6 years ago at Burning Man and have attempted to apply it to my daily life. If you aren’t peeing clear (your urine should not be dark), drink more water!

7. Treat Yo’ Self – It may seem very kindergarten, but find some method of tracking hydration goals and rewarding yourself if you reach them. Whether it’s gold star stickers on your daily planner that add up to a shopping spree, or some kind of goal tracking app that gives you digital points of badges – find something to motivate you to drink agua!

8. Car / Public Transportation Water – If you spend any amount of time in a car (or bus or BART, etc.), always bring your water! When unexpected (or expected) traffic occurs, you should never be left thirsty because car time is a great time to hydrate.

Lead: Should You Be Worried About Clay?

By: Jessica Davis-Thompson

lead clay bentonite dangers toothpaste face mask health beauty products

The oral hygiene market is a rapidly evolving one, and many progressive companies have found healthy alternatives to some of the dangerous ingredients found in mainstream oral care products. Harmful ingredients such as triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate, aspartame, fluoride, propylene glycol, diethanolamine, and plastic microbeads have been replaced by ingredients like hydrogen peroxide, essential oils, herbs, and coconut oil. One of the more popular ingredients is bentonite clay, also known as montmorillonite clay.

 

Bentonite clay is a naturally occurring element, harvested from volcanic deposits, that is rich in minerals from the earth. Often, it’s used externally in face masks to help cleanse pores and in hair masks to help remove excess hair build up. It is also taken internally to help detox the body, as it’s negatively charged molecules are said to effectively bind to positively charged molecules of heavy minerals, and draw them out of the gut. However, because bentonite clay comes from the earth and has been exposed to soil contaminants, it has been found to have elevated levels of heavy minerals in it, especially lead. Exposure to lead, even in a small amount, can cause serious damage to the central nervous system, kidneys, and immune system. In children, chronic exposure to lead, even at low levels, is associated with cognitive impairment, reduced IQ, behavioral difficulties, and other problems. Once absorbed into the body, lead may be stored for long periods in mineralizing tissue, like teeth and bones, and the stored lead may be released again into the bloodstream.

 

On March 23, 2016, the FDA issued a consumer warning about the high levels of lead in a bentonite clay product, and urged anyone who used the product to see a medical professional immediately. While companies using bentonite clay have issued statements that their products are safe to use, there has been substantial controversy over how much lead is safe, and whether or not the type of lead used is bioavailable enough to be absorbed through the skin. Here’s what studies have been saying time and time again: even the smallest amount of lead exposure can cause significant damage, and even the smallest amount of lead exposure can be stored in the body for long periods of time. Are you willing to take that risk? Why not use a toothpaste without any of those concerns? Food grade hydrogen peroxide and essential oils are more than enough to keep your mouth clean, healthy, and worry free!