>Please welcome my guest Lynn Colwell…


Today I have a treat for you! Please welcome Lynn Colwell, co-author of the book Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family. I love Halloween! And I know some of you will think its shameful, lol, but its always been one of my favorite holidays. Lynn’s sharing some great ideas not only for a fun but greener Halloween. 

Halloween Ideas for an EEK-o-friendly event
 by Lynn Colwell
Halloween can be one of the most fun holidays of the year. Unfortunately, it’s costly in many ways–$4.75 billion was spent on the holiday in 2009 and much of what is purchased is tossed shortly after. Whether pumpkins, candy, costumes or paper decorations, the landfills are full of Halloween leftovers. So while spending may be great for the economy, it’s a bit scary for the Earth. This year, when you’re planning your spook-taclar event, why not take the health of kids and the planet into account. Here are eight ways to do it:
Greener Halloween costume ideas:
·        Set up or participate in a costume swap, public or private. Swaps are no-cost and fun. You can find a swap or register one at the National Costume Swap Day site.
·        Challenge your kids to make their costumes from items you already have. We bet you’ll be surprised and delighted with their creativity.
·        If you’re going to use face paints, make sure they are chemical free. Search the internet for alternatives.
Greener Halloween party ideas:
·        Stage a progressive party for your friends where each house in the neighborhood offers a different craft or other activity along with a healthier treat.
·        Fill a suitcase with odds and ends, then have kids make costumes and model in a fashion show. A prize for the winner could be first in line for treats.
·        Choose party foods that reflect the colors of the holiday and season: Black: olives, black beans, poppy seeds, raisins/currants
Orange: bell peppers, oranges, carrots, squash, sweet potato/yams, tomato
Green: green apples, herbs, bell peppers, leafy greens, broccoli, kiwi, celery, avocado, peas/beans
Seasonal: pumpkins, acorn squash, butternut squash, sweet potato, cabbage, apples, pears
·        When choosing party favors, look for items that are made locally, made from eco-friendlier materials including recycled, and that can be recycled ore re-purposed. For a long list seeGreenHalloween.org.
Greener Halloween treat ideas
·        Kids actually don’t want only candy in their bags. They are happy with a wide range of inexpensive choices. So offer a choice. Fill a large bowl with a variety of items including candy if you like (but choosing organic is best), then let each child choose her favorite.
·        If you’re giving out conventional candy, it’s still helpful to have a choice and give out one or two instead of handfuls.
·        Believe it or not, the top rated alternative among hundreds of children from 4-14 when asked to choose from among two dozen items—was feathers! Think about the “treasures” you find in your children’s pockets. This will give you a better view from their perspective on items they might like.
·        For a list of alternatives to conventional candy, check this out.
Greener Halloween games:
·        Any activity you can do that does not require you to buy something new is going to be green.
·        Use games you already know but add a Halloween twist, i.e. play musical chairs using Halloween music. Play pin the nose on the witch with noses the kids make themselves.
·        Make a game out of sorting items for the trash and composting. Let everyone know you’re aiming for a no-waste event when you invite them. Instead of throwing away candy wrappers, make bracelets or purses from them before kids leave the party.
Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are mother and daughter and authors of Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family and founders of Green Halloween. The book and their websites, www.CelebrateGreen.net and www.GreenHalloween.org are jam-packed with quick, affordable, fun ideas for celebrating green all year long.