Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Green Your Halloween or Harvest Day Activities

Halloween used to be one of my favorite holidays. I reveled in the eerie celebration and thinking up ways to scare people, baking themed treats and really enjoyed trick or treating! Then came church. We are discouraged from celebrating Halloween and to replace the scary themes with celebrations of the harvest bounty(which in itself has some connections to pagan traditions, but I guess you have to replace Halloween with something). Enough about me, let's talk about you and your families. A big issue for those of use that try to be socially and environmentally responsible is how to have fun with your Halloween or Harvest Celebrations and reduce the impact on our family's health and the environment. Green America, a non-profit organization, whose mission is to "harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society" has developed a great and comprehensive guide to greening your late October celebrations. A few highlights from the article:
  • Replace candy treats with non-food treasures (homemade bracelets, pencils, stickers, cool looking pebbles decorated as eyeballs, interesting knick knacks, mini pumpkins, hair accessories, dried mini-floral bouquets bundles, bouncy balls, acorn or monkey ball crafts
  • Instead of buying costumes - create your own from stuff around the house or swap with neighbors and family members, there are lots of great ideas online
  • Have a neighborhood celebration in the community garden - you could encourage everyone to bring some homemade baked goodies for a harvest tasting
  • Hand out fair trade goodies in place of non-fair traded chocolates, include with tags that promote and educate on fair trade
  • Avoid non-toxic face paints
When my son was younger, we would have Harvest Parties with his little crew. There was usually a video game tournament, a Beyblade tournament, lots of goodies, leaf  pile diving and given that I was entertaining boys - a good ole pumpkin smashing contest to work off all of that energy and sugar to cap off the night!

So whether you celebrate Halloween or Harvest Days, there are lots of fun, green options to do so in a socially and environmentally responsible way.

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