Thursday, October 1, 2009

Throw a Green Holliday, forwarded from Sara Snow


This year, more so than in recent years, people are looking for alternative ways - both healthier and cheaper - to celebrate Halloween. People are increasingly more aware of their health, of cancer and diabetes rates, and as a result they're looking healthy treat alternatives to M&Ms and Candy Corn. And more and more people are pinching pennies, no longer able to afford the luxury of spending $20 or $50 on store-bought costumes. This has me, I have to be honest, excited! What I'm hoping we're going to see is a throw-back to the days when we all used to make our costumes from mom's or dad's clothes, old sheets, and random household items. And though we can't go back to the days of making cookies or muffins to hand out to trick-or-treaters, we can all find healthier alternatives. Here are three easy steps you can take.

Have a Litter-free Holiday This October, teach your kids to protect our planet and have them put their trash where it belongs: in the trash can or the recycling bin. Each year on November 1st people wake up to sidewalks and streets littered with candy wrappers, discarded costumes and so on. Let's break that cycle this Halloween!

Piece Together a Greener Costume The best place to shop for a greener Halloween costume is in your own home! Raid the linen closet for old sheets and towels (think capes, little ghosts, and 50's style poodle skirts). Look in your closet for old clothes that can be pieced together for a look sure to bring a laugh (imagine a little business girl in your old navy suit, tie-dye a t'shirt and put panels in the bottom of old jeans for a hippie costume, or pair a frilly dress with your best costume jewelry for a modern day princess). Don't stop until you've rummaged through the kitchen, the wrapping paper cupboard and the craft drawers for aluminum foil, feathers, buttons, ribbons, and glitter. Remember how easy it is to make a fairy wand out of a dowel rod and an aluminum foil covered star or a light saber from a foil covered flattened wrapping paper roll.

Find Better Treats Instead of sugary treats, hit the dollar store for pocket games, bubbles, whistles, or stickers. Shop the grocery store for packs of gum or snack sized packages of popcorn, crackers, and healthy cookies. If you are going to hand out candies, choose Fair Trade chocolates. By buying fair trade you can ensure that the people who farmed the cocoa and made the chocolates were paid fair wages, and given fair and safe working conditions. It's a great way to show you care about the people who share this precious planet.

Happy Halloween!