Green Halloween

Tricks for Earth-Friendly Treats




The scariest aspects of Halloween are the unhealthy sugar overload and disposable waste in costumes, decorations and pumpkins left to rot. Ranking second only to Christmas as America’s best-loved holiday in a FamilyFun.com poll, Halloween started going green across the country last year with the help of a grassroots, volunteer-run initiative on the Web at www.GreenHalloween.org.

While the movement started in Seattle in 2007, spreading to New York City and Phoenix, neighborhood, school and community groups around the United States and Canada are now getting in on the act. Founder Corey Colwell-Lipson is behind the move to get people to “think outside the candy box.” Thousands are logging on for start-to-finish ideas for staging local eco-Halloween festivities.

One twist is to substitute alternative keepsakes like yarn bracelets, seed packets, polished stones, organic fruit leathers and foreign stamps instead of candy. A 2003 Yale University study found that nearly half of young trick-or-treaters picked a small toy over candy when given the choice. Another option is reverse trick-or-treating, an initiative of Global Exchange, where kids hand out free samples of fair trade chocolate with an informational card on the benefits of supporting fair practices in the cocoa industry (search trick-or-treat at www.GlobalExchange.org).

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