|Just hangin' with some pumpkins|
Really, truly if we are looking to have an eco-friendly Halloween we really need to only be concerned with two things: Costumes and candy. (Holiday decorations in general will be dealt with in a future post).
The easiest way to go green on a costume is to make it out of clothes and supplies you have around the house, or use a hand-me-down. Some of the women in our mom's group got great costumes on consignment. And the little ones are so, well, little that it doesn't take much material to get creative. The worst choice you could make is to purchase a new costume out of synthetic materials...this is what we did.
Shame on us! I am very crafty, but the thought of constructing a costume was just too over-whelming this year. And when we looked online at the adorable, and I mean adorable costumes available for babies I just got caught up in the whole thing. We bought her a peanut. Not just the nut, but the whole shell. But not Mr. Peanut. She has no top-hat, monocle or cane. Though I wish...a baby with a monocle would be awesome!
I couldn't even tell you what this peanut is made of. It's some sort of dense foam layered over some sort of polyester. I don't know what possessed us. But I can try to turn it in to a positive by keeping the costume in great condition and giving it to baby after baby to prolong its life.
Luckily Phoebe is at an age where I don't have to be concerned about candy. But none-the-less I wanted to do a little research and find out what the greenest candy options were. When I did a random google search the first thing I came across was an article about green things to give out a Halloween. They were the following:
Yikes! I mean, I love pennies, apples, books and pencils, but it's Halloween! It's Candy Day!!! And can you imagine how heavy our little plastic pumpkins would get if we went around collecting pennies or books from every household?
Then I found an article on making vegan candy corn. Aye yi yi. If I don't have the energy to slap a red onesie on my daughter and draw some black dots on it so she can be a lady bug, I am not shaping minuscule pieces of maize.
Third time is a charm, because I found actual candy! The following website http://ecofabulous.com/ecoguides/the-ecofab-guide-to-halloween-candy/
shows you different options you can order online and hand out including the "ultimate mixed bag of natural candy."
You can also go to this website: http://www.globalexchangestore.org/Fair-Trade-Trick-or-Treat-Action-Kit-p/gp5400.htm
and get a Halloween Fair Trade action kit. Not only does it come with candy, but it is educational.
Great! These are, of course, way more expensive than Kit Kat bars, so I wanted to find out what the best option would be for run-of-the-mill commercial candies. This was a real challenge, because none of them are good for the environment in their packaging or production. But here are a few things to keep in mind if you can't afford the organic stuff:
Anything packaged in cardboard is better than plastic. You can recycle the cardboard, but those tiny insidious wrappers won't biodegrade.
If you are going with chocolate, Cadbury has just announced they will begin using fair-trade chocolate, and while Hershey's is NOT fairtrade, you can actually recycle Hershey's Kiss wrappers.
Avoid wrapping you little candies in a bigger plastic bag. I know they are cute as can be, but they just get thrown in the trash.
Use a natural-material bag for candy collecting.
Most of all, walk the neighborhood instead of driving! This is the most eco-friendly choice you can make on Halloween.
Don't forget to stop by and Toys-R-Us or Babies-R-Us and pick up your free little Unicef box to Trick-or-Treat with. A donation as small as 7 cents can get a child clean water for a day.
And finally, I found this great website:
It is fantastic! It tells you all sorts of things you can do from solar halloween lights to a national costume swap. In fact, this whole blog entry could have just been, "Go to www.greenhalloween.org."
So check it out! And (said in spooky Vincent Price voice) Happy Halloweeeeeeeeen!
totally depressing environmental fact:
200,00 children in West Africa work under forced labor on cocoa farms
totally exciting environmental tip: