Remember the ‘cool house’ that gave out full-size candy bars on Hallow’s Eve? I do, and once I got married I was determined to be “that house.” My husband thought it was ridiculous we were spending so much money on Trick-or-Treaters, but I hit up Costco and rationalized it was only one time a year.
Fast forward a few years later. Now I’ve got my own little one (see our own version of “The Great Pumpkin” to your right), and for the most part we kept him candy-free until he turned two. So how did I justify dolling out double serving sizes of chocolate covered goodness to other people’s children, when I was trying to teach my little one that raisins and fruit leather were a special treat?
Last year I thought I had found a decent compromise – candy bars and organic vegan fruit & nut bars that were packaged so delightfully, I think a few of the kiddos took them just based on looks. Not sure what happened to the bird-food after they got home to verify their spoils and discovered my mischievousness.
But this year I’m looking for something different, especially when you consider:
- This generation of kids has a life expectancy that is shorter than their parents.
- The EPA considers that 60% of all herbicides, 90% of all fungicides and 30% of all insecticides found in non-organically grown foods are carcinogenic.
- Over 6,000 synthetic chemicals are used in the processed-food industry.
- A 2004 study found that children’s behavior measurably improved after a one week diet without preservatives and artificial colors and dramatically worsened on the weeks they were given preservatives and artificial colors.
- Coco beans used for chocolate that are grown in full sun (as opposed to shade) are susceptible to disease and therefore require heavy doses of toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.
- The chocolate industry has engaged in the use of child slaves and other unethical treatments of growers.
- Store-bought costumes, makeup and accessories may contain phthalates, cadmium, lead and other toxins.
-From “Green Halloween FAQ’s”
So I’ve been trying to find ways to make this year a less sugar crazed, more eco-friendly day (and month) of festivities. Fortunately I found it at Green Halloween – “a non-profit, grassroots community initiative to create healthier and more Earth-friendly holidays, starting with Halloween.” There are loads of ideas for making the holiday greener: from costume swaps and crafts, to ideas for neighborhood parties and ideas for ‘trick-or-treaters’ (yes,they mention tooth-brushes).
So in my search to still be a Cool Kid, I’m asking for your help, and offering up this month’s challenge. I’m not planning on overhauling our entire Halloween this year, but I do think a step in the right direction for our family starts at our doorstep. So what creative & GREEN treat ideas do you have for the little witches, ghosts and ghouls that visit us on the 31st?
**And if I may be so bold as to offer a “ps” since I won’t be seeing you until next month: It’s a good time to start thinking about, locating and ordering your heritage or locally raised turkeys for Thanksgiving!**