Five Super-Simple Steps to Green Trick-or-Treating
Getting your little ghosts and goblins ready for Halloween while attempting to minimize your impact might seem scarier than global warming, but it’s so simple: you’re probably already doing at least one of these things.
- Use reusable candy-collecting bags. This is simple, easy, and ensures that your large stash of candy won’t end up all over the street from a less-than-durable plastic bag. Avoid those plastic pumpkins, too. They’re made of petroleum, and you can only use them once a year.
- Handing out treats for trick-or-treaters? They’ll get enough conventional candy from your other neighbors. Try healthier alternatives (for both kids and the planet) like honey sticks, fruit leather, granola bars, organic chocolate, or boxes of raisins. Avoid food altogether and give pencils, erasers, mini toothpastes, soy crayons, or stickers. (If you’re stuck on candy, find out some healthy variations here or chose socially responsible fair-trade chocolate.)
- Don’t drive your kids around. I’m amazed at how many kids’ parents (even in Missouri’s mild October weather) drive them around the neighborhood. Part of the fun of trick or treating when I was young was the thrill of walking around the neighborhood at night. Save the gas and get your fill of the night air.
- DIY your costumes. Avoid the plastic and vinyl monstrosities at the discount store and create your own costume from things at your house or secondhand stores. Your costumes will cost less, look better, and your kid won’t be one of seventeen Dora the Explorers or Thomas the Tank Engines you run into.
- Use trick-or-treating as an opportunity for stewardship. After trick or treating, bring a separate bag for your kids to pick up the inevitable candy wrappers left by less-savvy munchkins.
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By Kelli Best-Oliver, Green Options