You don't see Michael Myers running amuck grabbing candy with lots of unneccessary packaging and decorating the house with cheap decor shipped from across the world...
Here are some suggestions compliments of Grsit on reducing your environmental impact this halloween!
The Decor. Nothing simultaneously creeps out the neighbor kids and reduces energy use like a dark, spooky house, so give your filaments the night off. Send the message that you're still home and not merely hoarding the goods with a strand of LED lights or a jack-o-lantern on the porch. If you light with candles, choose beeswax or soy. BYO bag. As for a bag, use something you already have on hand, like a pillowcase or a canvas tote.
The Pumpkin. Take a tip from Cinderella and use a pumpkin from your 'hood -- if you can find one. If you can, try to get a gourd from a nearby farm or farmers market, or find organic ones at the hippie store nearest you. And once you're done carvin' and cannin' and roastin', compost the ghost of lanterns past.
The Candy. Trick or fair-trade treat. Nobody wants to be goblin high-fructose corn syrup, pesticides, or hormones. Thankfully, there's a plethora of alternatives, like fair-trade chocolate. Equal Exchange sells organic dark-chocolate minis, and Endangered Species chocolate which come in Halloween sizes and benefits "species, habitat, and humanity" by partnering with nonprofits. There's even fair-trade vegan chocolate minis. Other tasty options include organic candy, cocoa, and raisins, or Glee Gum, seeds, and all-natural fruit snacks or fruit leater. They also make organic lollipops if you can find them
The Outfit. Whether you use thrift-store components or stuff you already have, DIY costumes are cheaper and lack the excess packaging of store-bought ones. Plus no chemicals from the making of and breathing in of masks. If you do "need" a mask, the Green Guide says it should smell like balloons (latex), not a shower curtain (vinyl). Community trading site Zwaggle is a free source of secondhand Halloween costumes; putting your used goods up for trade earns "Zoints" with which you can acquire other's costumes.
The Superhero Route. Use the holiday as an excuse to do some good. Request a free kit (you pay the shipping) of fair-trade chocolate and be part of the second annual Reverse Trick-or-Treating, in which younguns give adults the goodies with a card explaining cocoa-industry exploitation. Or trick-or-treat for UNICEF, raising money for clean water, medicine, and education for kids in need. Alternatively, skip candy and cash and head straight to the big leagues -- personal electronics -- by asking people for their old cell phones. The Good Deed Foundation provides a postage-paid envelope for the phones; recycling them helps get women and families get out of poverty through Good Deed's partnership with the Women's Funding Network.Who knows? Maybe altruism is the sweetest treat of all.
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