+ A Green Halloween?

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From www.tonic.com we got an article by Annie Scott on changing the face of Halloween.

The goal is to make the holiday more about community and creativity, and less about candy and consumption.  With a national obesity epidemic and a planet that is clearly in pain, kids and parents are joining forces this year to celebrate in a healthier, “greener” way. 

The “Green Halloween” and “Healthy Halloween” concepts were launched in 2007 across the country from each other.  They were initiatives to make the holiday a little less scary for health and the environment.

The two organizations are teaming up this year, in New York City and across the country.  On October 31 in New York, a festival in the Nolita neighborhood will be followed by a special healthy trick or treat trail.

But if you don’t happen to be in New York, there are many ways you can participate.  Draper conducted email interviews with Jim Glaser, Corey Colwell-Lipson and several families who have participated in the past about their vision for the project. 

Colwell-Lipson says “It’s the same fun holiday it’s always been — with a healthy and sustainable makeover.”  In New York, groups including the Action Arts League and Dr Mehmet Oz’s HealthCorps back the Green halloween party and help provide good times.

“With headlines screaming about lead in candy, phthalates in costumes, the childhood obesity and diabetes epidemics, the incredible environmental and human costs of spending billions of dollars on decor that gets tossed, and so much more, the timing was just right,” says Colwell-Lipson. 

“But someone needed to make the greening of Halloween practical, affordable and fun.  That’s where we stepped in to start the ball rolling.”

Jim Glaser makes a good case for Halloween with no candy.

Really, what’s fun about candy?… In the ultimate vision, Green Halloween locations will actually offer more fun — more art, more interactive experiences and a wider selection of gifts that will actually be more fun to go through than pounds and pounds of the same discounted high fructose corn syrup products.

Think about halloween pouches seeming more like Christmas stockings and ask which might be more fun?  And by the way, Green Halloween does not advocate ‘NO candy.’  It advocates moderation and more wholesome, natural sugar treats.

Coldwell-Lipson feels that it’s hard to get enthused when the problem is simply presented.  For example, one reporter found a child on the street and asked how he’s feel if people stopped handing out candy.  The kid almost started crying — how could people take away his fun like that?

But the reporter failed to tell the child — or better, show him — the fabulous alternatives.

The two organizations are helping families participate by encouraging people to get involved on the website [www.GreenHalloweenNYC.org  ], where they can find other local advocates and with the eventual goal of greating green trick-or-treating networks.

Colwell-Lipson also suggests making a Green Halloween door sign to spread awareness and help kids find places to get better treats.

People are getting involved for different reasons, but everyone seems to have the same goal: smarter choices.  Susannah Pryal of Sammamish Washington says “I think the older kids who come to our house are surprised and disappointed.  But really, it’s the same.”

She has been participating from the beginning.  “I felt like such a hypocrite giving out candy when I didn’t like giving it to my kids.  Plus, I am such a candy addict and I didn’t want candy in my house.”

Barbara Keskiner of Tampa Florida is helping organize a Green Halloween in her community.  She became involved because of her 2-year-old daughter.  “As she has not yet been started on a candy diet on halloween, we don’t think that she will miss it!”

A mother in Los Angeles is part of “Green Teen” and founder of the Green Youth Movement, Ally Maize, has this to say: “This has really become a mother-daughter project for the both of us, and her involvement has made it more meaningful for me.”

Their family will be participating in Green Halloween in a number of ways, including a YouTube video for green halloween tips, informative email blasts to local schools, and by handing out special treats.

“For halloween,” says Maize, “we will be giving out eco-friendly and socially responsible treats like fair trade chocolate and Trick-or-Treat for Trees coupons, which are inexpensive coupons that can be purchased in bulk (a tree is planted for each coupon purchased).  Also, 90 percent of all of our home decorations are either homemade or recycled.”

Visit www.GreenHalloweenNYC.org for more information.

source: Annie Scott’s article at Tonic.com’s on October 16, 2009. 

tutoring in Columbus OH:   Adrienne Edwards   614-579-6021  or email  aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com

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