Green Tip – Treat Yourself to a Green Halloween

by Wendy Gabriel

GREEN TIP: Have a fun, safe, healthy and green Halloween.

I don’t need to tell anyone how unhealthy and expensive Halloween can be. Let’s endeavour to make it fun, safe, HEALTHY (or, at least, healthier) and GREEN this year.

The Costumes:

Don’t spend money on poorly made plastic, unnatural fiber costumes that are thrown away before the last candy corn is devoured. Instead create your own costume with items you already own. Or, take a trip to your local resale shop and let your imagination run wild. Once Upon A Child, for example, has gently-used costumes for sale.

More resources:
I blogged about making your own costumes, Make Your Halloween Green.
Jenn Savedge with Mother Nature Network has some great ideas for easy eco-costumes, Green Halloween costumes.
Greenfeet has some great ideas for a Green Halloween including some great homemade costume ideas.

The Treats:

To lessen the possibility of a sugar overload, before you head out for tricks and treats, give your kids a full, healthy meal. And, when you’re handing out the treats, instead of unhealthy candy, hand out organic candies, pencils, stickers, crayons, fake tattoos or small toys.

Local places to find organic treats and fun alternatives:

More resources:
Beth Swanson at Kiwi Magazine unmasks The Scary Side of Halloween.
Halloween’s Hidden Impactsby Julie Starkel, MS, MBA, RD

The Trick or Treating Bags:

Your Trick or Treat bag could be anything. Use your imagination. You could use a bucket, purse, basket or cloth bag that you decorate to enhance your costume. For example, last year my littlest went as an adorable piggy (note: costume was a gift from Grandma for our oldest daughter many years ago). The treat “bag” she used was a little decorative silver bucket that we use for storage, it looks like a farmer’s feed bucket. Perfect.

The Decorations:

Use natural decorations like pumpkins, squash, gourds and hay bales. And when, for example, your pumpkin has done it’s duty as a jack-o-lantern, toss it in the compost bin. Or buy decorations that can be used year after year. You’ll save money and the environment.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Green Halloween
Green Halloween is dedicated to offering fun, healthy, affordable, not-too-time consuming ideas that will support your goal of creating a Halloween that is happy and healthy for your kids and the planet we all share.

In 2010, Green Halloween became a program of EcoMom Alliance, a 501 (c) 3 with members worldwide. EcoMom Alliance works to inspire and empower women to reduce global warming and propel an environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable future. To do this, EcoMom Alliance utilizes the historically proven power of education, mothers and community action, and in this way create a global network of change leaders – an EcoMom Alliance.

Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1020am (central) every Wednesday at

NOTE: Starting September 22nd 2010, Simple Tips for Green Living will air Wednesdays at 1220pm (central).

This article was previously published October 7, 2009.

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