Have you ever thought about how much we waste during Halloween? Purchasing costumes that our kids will only wear once, individually wrapped candies that are thrown in the trash, and those poor pumpkins that are tossed in the bin after their big night is over.
Let’s remember that Halloween isn’t really about the candy. Kids have fun when their parents, family, and friends get involved. Since part of being green is focusing on people rather than things, this year try and decrease the amount of ‘things’ you incorporate into your Halloween and increase the focus on fun.
How exactly can you do that? Glad you asked!
Here are some of Stan’s ideas for turning your Halloween from orange to green:
Try to use old materials to make your child’s costume. Old cardboard boxes can be turned into virtually anything, like a robot, a car, or a roll of dice. Get creative with scrap fabrics, pipe cleaners, and even old wrapping paper. You’ll be surprised at just how easy (and cheap!) costumes can be.
Make a big deal out of your child’s costume – getting dressed, taking pictures, etc. Make the focus on getting ready for the event, rather than collecting candy (good for your dentist bill too!).
Give kids a full, healthy meal before they go out trick-or-treating so they are not hungry.
Talk to your kids about what is in candy and why it is not healthy. Ask them to come up with creative, Earth-friendly alternatives that your own family can hand out and feel good about, like these:
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.
Compost your pumpkin! Show your kids how to rid of the orange guys in a sustainable way.
Hand out something alternative to candy that kids will love and be able to use over and over again.Some ideas of treats to hand out instead:
Crayons or Felts
If your child does collect candy:
Do something good: You may consider letting your child keep a small amount of candy and donate the rest to a charity.
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.
Let them choose a limited amount of candy to eat (for example, one piece for each year your child is old). Many Dentists do a candy trade program, to keep candy out of the mouths of kids.
If you follow these tips, and remember to have fun, you’ll make this Halloween a fun and healthy time for you and the environment.