Halloween produces more boos, eeks, screeches and ding-dongs than any of us should tolerate. In an attempt to make sure our kids don't hate us parents — and our neighbours, family and friends don't ridicule us for doing things differently — this post will provide you with useful resources and suggestions that have been tried and tested by my family, in hopes that we can all together inspire a less scary Halloween (since, boycotting the holiday altogether is a little ambitious and un-spirited — for this year, anyway).
Eat and give real sweet treats
Kids love treats. You love your kids. What to do? Every store has colourful boxes lined up on shelves ready for us to buy. The artificial colours and flavours, and over-processed ingredients and dyes that are in that candy should petrify us all. It is remarkable in the very scariest way that they are even on the shelf!
The sugar industry and the big companies making "chocolate" (that shouldn't even be allowed to be called chocolate and often is only allowed to be called "candy") are the true horrors of our present-day Halloween! You'll never buy a chocolate bar the same way again after you read "Your Candy Bar Was Made By Child Slaves."
If you are not keen on giving out pencils made from recycled materials (stop rolling your eyes), these are our choice treats that still allow kids to enjoy the sweet rush of Halloween with your neighbourhood, friends and community.
That's right, it's a "thing" and I didn't make it up. My kids did it for years (only one still trick-or-treats at this point). Instead of taking candy, GIVE a piece of organic, fair-trade and nut-free candy or chocolate. We find it's also helpful to hand people an explanation of what we're doing so they might not be spooked themselves.
Carve an organic pumpkin like you mean it
Growing conventional pumpkins means that farmers are using pesticides. This matters whether you are eating any part of the pumpkin or not. What goes into our air, soil and earth comes back up into our lives, and is also dangerous for those working in the fields. Buy your organic pumpkin at a farmers' market, or better yet, grow your own next year — it'll get you right into the Halloween spirit! Once you've brought yours home, enjoy creating and carving it together as family, and bake and enjoy the seeds, too! Maybe draw inspiration from my 2016, 2015, 2014 or 2013 pumpkins?
Be allergy aware and friendly
Have you heard about the Teal Pumpkin Project? This incredibly powerful initiative is raising awareness of food allergies and promoting inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season! Join the fun and help keep Halloween (and well beyond) safe and fun for all.
Choose a safe and eco-friendly costume
Do this for your health, and for all of the reasons that you should be concerned about all of the clothes you buy and wear. Use a costume you already have, or make your own. Do you remember dressing as a ballet dancer or hockey player? Of course, and it's easy. How can you justify putting on an off-gassing, store-bought, made-in-China, phthalate-laced, over-packaged mask by choice? A few costume ideas that are bright, easy and comfortable: a whiteboard (all-white clothing with a pen on a string around your waist and people can sign you — now that is interactive!); a compact fluorescent lightbulb (again, all-white clothing with skinny white balloons in twisty shapes on your head); a ghost (with an organic cotton sheet, of course); a jellyfish (dressed in pink while opening and closing an umbrella).
And please, please, do not use toxic face paints — your skin is your largest organ and your body immediately absorbs everything you put on it. Those face paints are full of heavy metals and other dangerous ingredients. You can check the safety of your makeup, hairsprays, nail polish and more on the Skin Deep Database.
There's no need to spook our kids and the planet.
Wishing a happy, healthy and safe Halloween to you all!
For a little more personal insight about Halloween, you can read this interview — with myself!
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