There are so many ways to start down the path to greening Halloween, but for those who are new to the idea, here are three simple, easy-to-implement, no cost suggestions based on the well-known 3Rs--reduce, reuse, recycle as well as what we call the 3Gs--good for people, good for the planet and good for community. No one should worry about implementing all six out of the gate. Instead, use them for a springboard or guide in your planning.1. Hand out less.
We supersize everything in the U.S. When our kids were small, they were handed one or two candies. Nowadays, the average child hauls home about 10 pounds
! When you plan to hand out less, you buy less (saving money) and there is less waste because very few kids (or families) will consume that ten pounds and most gets thrown out.2. Avoid buying decor.
Halloween is the second biggest holiday for the sale of decor after Christmas. It's a billion dollar bonanza. Why? It's so easy for kids to use their imagination (with adult help of course). Or scour the internet. You'll be shocked and delighted about the simple, free ideas. And if you can't resist buying, make it something handmade, made from recycled/recyclable materials or plan to keep it for a long time and turn it into a Halloween tradition.3. Get your kids on board.
Your approach to the celebration is the most important thing in determining whether or not a green Halloween will be a success for your family. If you approach your kids and say, "This year, we're having a green Halloween. That means no more candy." Guess how they'll respond. Instead, talk with them about the link between the health of people and the planet, about how of the three little princesses who come to your door, one will develop diabetes (a great opportunity also to talk about this illness that is increasingly damaging to our children), and reinforce what they are probably already learning in school about the environment. Then ask them, "So, what ideas do you have?" or offer alternatives such as those we offer on www.GreenHalloween.org
, and they are much more likely to enthusiastically embrace moving in the more EEK-o-friendly direction.