October is here and the stores are already displaying their Halloween wares. This year, consider greening up your Halloween.
Use natural items like small gourds and pumpkins, or upcycle old decorations by checking out what local second-hand shops have to offer.
Reuse is the green way to go. Consider buying second-hand items at a thrift store to make a costume. Alternatively, swap costumes. While you can always swap with family and friends, you may want to broaden the choices and have a costume swap event at your school, community center, workplace, or playground. National Costume Swap day is officially Saturday, October 14.
Uncomfortable handing out unhealthy candy, much of which is produced with questionable labor practices? Green America offers some excellent alternatives. Although you might pay a bit more per piece, limiting trick or treaters to one piece each can keep the costs manageable—and give you the peace of mind that you are providing a healthier/more sustainable option. Many kids also enjoy non-edible treats, so check out the suggestions for “treasures” at the end.
These sustainably sourced chocolate companies offer mini pieces perfect for trick-or-treaters, using all-natural, fair trade, and/or organic ingredients:
Alter-Eco Chocolate Minis
Cascadian Farm Chewy Granola Bars: Organic bars.
Glee Gum: All-natural, Fair Trade chewing gum.
Honest Tea Honest Kids Juice Pouches: Organic fruit juice.
Larabar Mini Multipack: Kid-sized fruit and nut bars.
Plum Organics Kids Yo’ Drops: Fruit bars and snacks
Surf Sweets: Organic gummy bears and jelly beans.
Crayon Rocks: US-made, soy-based, rock-shaped crayons.
Greenline Paper Company: Pencils made from recycled money or cast-off blue jeans.
Naturally Playful: Nontoxic colored highlighter pencils.
Education and More: Fair Trade friendship bracelets.
FOR MORE IDEAS: GreenHalloween.org is a resource to green your Halloween. The website includes a guide to hosting your own Green Halloween party, toolkits for holding a community event or Costume Swap, treat and treasure ideas for trick-or-treaters, homemade costume hints, DIY face paint instructions, arts and crafts ideas, energy conservation tips, downloadable posters, kids’ activities, and more!