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AN ECO MOM'S GUIDE
TO A GREEN HALLOWEEN

Another summer has come and gone, the kids are back at school, the smell of autumn is in the air. As another crisp October beckons, kids everywhere are repeating the age-old question “What are you going to be for Halloween?” The answer wavers often, sometimes even after the costume is planned, made or purchased, but it’s Halloween after all and that’s just part of the fun.

Fortunately for us eco-moms, Halloween is one of those celebrations that works well in green. It’s easy to switch from drugstore candy containing more wrapping than edible contents to eco-friendly treats. Do-it-yourself costumes can be a simple and inexpensive alternative to their made-in-China counterparts. Of course even with our best intentions, the double-espresso-speed schedule that so many of us run on can render any new direction daunting. It’s tempting to get sucked in by all the crazy promotions and point-of-purchase displays encouraging us to grab & go in order to save some time. But with a few simple changes to hearken a more wholesome holiday, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you’ll find.

Favorite Halloween Eco-Treats

Halloween treats don’t have to be individually wrapped balls of artificially colored corn syrup – although kids will certainly get plenty of those. Locally grown, fair-trade or organic candy makes a more conscientious alternative environmentally. Small, sustainably-made toys are a healthy eco-friendly substitute. Halloween party-goers often enjoy all-natural or home-baked goods even more than those overly sweet, questionable ingredient-laden supermarket varieties. Look online or at your local healthy foods store for some of our favorite treats below:

• Yummy Earth Organic Lollipops – delicious and dye free, they come in a large variety of flavors including lemon, mixed fruit, peppermint, mango, watermelon, and pomegranate.

• Plan Toys Monkey Pencils – Made from reclaimed rubberwood, these eco-friendly pencils are as cute as they are functional – a kid and parent favorite.

• The Ginger People Ginger Chews – You’ll love their spicy apple ginger chews. Made from all natural ginger, a holistic remedy for nausea, it’s the perfect holiday candy.

• Endangered Species Chocolates – These delicious bite sized chocolates squares are fair trade manufactured by a company that donates a portion of proceeds toward preserving animal habitat.

Don’t forget your reusable trick or treat bag!

Eco-Friendly Costume Tips & Tricks!

Think back to when you were a kid and how the best costumes were always the most imaginative ones, those last minute inspirations pieced together with a stapler and glue gun. Part of the fun of Halloween is in giving kids permission to use their imagination and figure out a way to create their vision, then see where it takes them. Depending on the age, they may need guidance and ideas, but it’s so much better when they help to create it themselves from objects or materials you have at home.

• Host a Halloween Costume Swap: Invite some friends to join you for a pre-Halloween potluck. If they have kids, chances are they’ve got extra dress up, last year’s costumes or accessories to swap. A perfect way to save money, go green and have fun.

• Used Clothes: Costume Shops or your local Good Will are tremendously fun to visit for Halloween ideas. Visit Goodwill for old linens to make a fun ghost or toga costume. Dress them up with leaves to show they’re eco. Other favorites: gangster, wise old crone, clown or cat.

• Spooky Scarecrow: Over sized flannel shirt, faded blue jeans with patches, rope for belt and to tie at the cuffs of his jeans and sleeves, stuff the shirt and jeans with plastic grocery, or paper, a little bit of straw to hang out of jeans and shirt.

• '60s Hippy: This one is hard, after all its all back in style! What is real, and what is costume? ;-) Tie die clothing, long wig (in the old days we called a "fall", sandals, headband, anything with fringe on it (vests, purse...) light colored sun glasses.

As every mom knows, it’s got to be quick, easy and affordable to work in any color, green included, but when you can stay true to the origins of the holiday without breaking the bank, it’s worth a try. This year try trading pre-packaged for reused, recycled and made by you. You’ll find an eco-friendly Halloween more fun, no additional pressure or extra work - Go Green!

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