In 2007, Corey Colwell-Lipson, mom of 2 girls, launched Green Halloween in Seattle. Her mission was to make Halloween both healthier and more earth-friendly, without sacrificing any of the fun for the kids! This year the initiative is expanding nationwide, and their website is FULL of fantastic ideas to help you green your Halloween!
First, you can make your halloween handouts a little bit more green. Here are a few ideas:
1. Here are some green treat ideas: Organic juice boxes, Organic apple sauce snack packs, Organic fruit leather, Boxes of organic raisins or other organic dried fruits, Trial size packs of dried veggie chips (like Terra Chips), Spooky S’mores Clif Kids Organic ZBar, Organic granola/breakfast bars, or Trial/snack sized bags of organic cookies, crackers, or popcorn (like Snikiddy or Annie’s).
2. Or, you could hand out some non-food items such as: Adhesive “bandages” with pirate, black cat and other fun themes, Barrettes or other hair things, Bean bags (homemade), Charms, Coins, Confetti (biodegradable, water-soluble), Cookie cutters – mini, soy-based crayon “rocks”, Fake jewels (lead free), Fortunes, Jokes, Seashells, Seed packets, Stickers, Temporary Tattoos (recycle-themed), or toothpaste.
3. If you really don’t want to give up on handing out candy, maybe you could consider giving certified organic, all natural candy. The Green Halloween site has some excellent suggestions for brands that offer organic candy.
If your child does collect candy on Halloween, here are some ideas:
1. Invite the Halloween Fairy to come to your home: Talk about how the Halloween fairy turns candy into magic fairy dust and so needs as much candy as she can get her hands on. Explain that if a child leaves his bag of candy outside on the porch, the fairy will gladly come to take the candy, and because she will be so grateful for the help with her fairy-dust-making, she’ll leave in the candy’s place a very special gift. Some parents make the exchange while their child is brushing their teeth, others wait until their child is asleep. Either way, make a big deal of it! Act surprised! You may also want to consider letting your child keep a small amount of candy and leaving the rest out for the fairy. Please don’t donate your leftover sweets to charity, though. Other people’s kids don’t need the candy either.
2. Have a candy trade: let your kids trade their candy towards other little gifts or give them a “pumpkin point” for each piece of candy they collect. Use pumpkin points to “buy” a toy or do a special activity with your child.
3. Let them choose a limited amount of candy to eat (for example, one piece for each year your child is old). In many cities, the leftover candy can be recycled and turned into compost! Just be sure to remove candy from its wrapper first.
Tip for parents: Model healthy choices. Remember that your children look to you for cues. When you take good care of yourself, others and the planet, your child is bound to follow in your footsteps. When you show your children that having a Green Halloween can be just as fun (if not more so) than one that is not-so-healthy, your children will be more likely to go along with the changes and may find themselves loving every minute of it.