Go Lean, Go Green This Halloween

I know what you’re thinking. You’re dreading the moment I unleash my judgement on the parent who irresponsibly allows pollution of their child’s bodies with artery-clogging sweets, over-packaged junk food, and artificially dyed and preserved confections.

Relax, that’s not how I roll. All you’ll hear from me are a few friendly pointers on how to have more fun and less guilt on October 31st. Here goes:

√ Rent or borrow a costume - You thought I was going to say ‘make recycled costumes for yourself, your two kids, and your pet chihuahua’, didn’t you? Hey, if you have the time, the skill, and the will, I’m totally impressed.

Recycling random trash-bound objects is a creative way to divert stuff from the waste stream, while saving the materials and energy needed to produce and transport store bought costumes. Like that one year I stapled together 15 or so black plastic produce trays and arrived at the bar as an octopus. But, by the end of the night I was pretty sick of the question ‘what are you??’.

So, if you’re short on time and inspiration, peek into the tickle trunks of your friends and family, or head to your nearest costume rental shop. Less work + Zero waste = fun times.

√ Spookify your cuisine - You know your kid will want to gorge out on candy. But, for the sake of his nutritional well being and your lack of a dental plan, set reasonable limits on how many pieces he snarfs in a day. Then, surprise him with these healthy spook-inspired meals to level out his sugar high.

Pumpkin Patties - Bake 1 inch slices of sweet potato, let cool, then inflict a pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter on each slice. Decorate and devour.

Personal Crime Scene - Cook, drain, and cool spaghetti noodles. Add food colouring to the pot as desired. Have each family member build a body out of the noodles on a small cake pan. Puddle pasta sauce on and around each victim, and top with grated cheese as desired. Bake for 15 minutes, and serve.

Bloody Eyeball Soup

More Halloween Recipes - Beware if you have a weak stomach.

√ Handout something different - If you’re like anyone in my family, you bought your Halloween candy six weeks ago. On the off chance you’re a little less prepared, check this out. Treehugger has worked out a deal with YummyEarth, a company that takes organic and natural ingredients like beets and carrots to add sweetness and colour to its candies and lollipops. Go to the article for a promotional code that will win you 20% off your order of $25 or more (US Dollars - sorry!). But order lickety split - you have only 1-4 business days to receive your order before Halloween. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have a major organic grocer in your area, there’s a chance you’ll be able to find organic, fair trade, and other candy individually wrapped alternatives.

If you’re too late or a sugarphobic, try a tip from a recent green Halloween article I read: hand out non-edibles. Apparently, the author says, kids are really excited to get things like rocks and feathers in place of a mini-kitkat. If you’re brave enough to risk a neighbourhood revolt, you have my respect. Maybe you’ll think of something even cooler, like film cases filled with home-made orange and black play-dough. Let us know what you came up with, and how it went over - the best response wins a hand-crank LED flashlight!

√ Reverse Trick or Treating - Global Exchange has invented a clever way of drawing attention to the issue of fair trade during Halloween called Reverse Trick or Treating. Rather than sending your kids door to door to collect candy from your neighbours, you load them up with fair trade chocolates and information cards to give out instead. I’d encourage you to sign up for a kit, but Global Exchange has none left. Sorry, my bad. But, you can still sign up to hand out the info cards. I know, it’s not as exciting as giving out chocolate. But really, it is exciting! Through your kid’s efforts, more folks will become aware of fair trade issues, and perhaps even choose to hand out fair trade munchies next Halloween.

(Image: Fair Trade Cocoa & My Garden Squash except the Spaghetti squash)

So, that’s a good start. I know it’s the week of Halloween, and you probably have dozens of other things to do besides prepare for Halloween. Maybe you’re canning your tomato harvest, or picking your apples before snowfall, or raking all those leaves that your neighbours have been fuming about for the last three weeks. In the end, the message is to have fun, and to find at least one way to make Halloween better this year. Or more if you can handle it (see below).


Treehugger’s Green Holiday Guide - Includes great tips for greening all your holidays, including Halloween.

GreenHalloween.org - All things green at Halloween.


(cross-posted at Raisingspaces.com)

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rocks and feathers eh.
Good times.

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