Treats, community building and running around in costumes! What could be more fun? Hallowe’en is tonnes of fun, but lots of parents these days are looking for healthier, more Eeeeeko-Friendly solutions for the trick-or-treating scenario. Here are some ideas:

1) Choose treats that are fair-trade and organic. Companies that focus on these values are causing less damage to the physical and social environment with their growing practices. The production of artificial colours and flavours is a chemical process that affects the environment and the health of factory workers (not to mention your child’s health!), and you can be sure that if they are using chemicals IN the candy, they are also not giving much attention to recyclable wrapping, or green production practices.

2) Give away fewer treats. Yes – be “that” house that doesn’t give a handful of candy bars. Set the example by focusing on quality, not quantity, and build a relationship with the children that come to your door, instead of just throwing handfuls of treats at them. It is a misconception that kids don’t care.

3) Give treats that will be used and that a child might need anyway, like pencils, erasers, or toothbrushes. Avoid throw-away plastic toys.

4) Give money – the ultimate reusable.

5) Think “Less is More”. If you have kids, and want to avoid accumulating bags and bags of unhealthy candy, especially for little ones, carving a pumpkin and handing out a few treats in costume may be plenty of activity.

6) Fill your pockets with healthy, homemade treats, and go out on a photo tour. Take pictures of fun pumpkins, decorations, or friends in costumes that you run into.

7) If what you love about Hallowe’en is community, find other ways to create it in your neighbourhood. Join your community association and promote a Green Hallowe’en event, or get together with friends and do a mini-trick-or-treating with healthy, eco-friendly treats. (Check out Garrison Woods on Hallowe’en to get an idea of what that could look like.)

8) Older children may be interested in organizing a Green Hallowe’en carnival or Haunted House in your yard and inviting neighbourhood kids to play games such as bobbing for apples. Consider collecting money at the event for an environmental cause.

9) For costumes and decorations, buy second-hand or make from things you have in your house already. Don’t buy cheap, plastic costumes or decorations that will fall apart in a year and end up in the landfill.

Enjoy a healthy, eeeeko-friendly Hallowe’en!