Published on October 24th, 2008 | by Stephanie Evans
Halloween Eco-Bits from “Green & Clean Mom” Founder Sommer Poquette
Any holiday can be daunted with wastefulness, plastic decorations,
blinking lights, an abundance of cheap decorations and “stuff” that
just doesn’t represent much other than “stuff”.
The last few Halloweens
for my family have been turned into fall celebrations with close
friends in our home. Instead of trick-or-treating, we invite our friends
to our home for a sampling of hot soup, healthy snacks, games, caramel
apples and goodies for the kids…
…Yes, they get candy but their bags aren’t full to the brim! The children enjoy dressing up, painting pumpkins, and each other’s company in a safe environment where we don’t worry about who gave them what candy or a crazy driver as we cross a dark road. The adults get to talk, catch up, and we all enjoy our holiday. The home is full of jack-o-lanterns, the smell of hot apple cider, and—best of all—the laughter of children on Halloween.
This is one example of how I am striving to avoid a sugar filled Halloween and be a little healthier, while still making great memories and embracing the holiday. Autumn lends itself to natural decorations and décor, which makes the season even more earth friendly for my family. I can compost the pumpkins and spread the hay for the deer to eat this winter.
The children learn about all the different uses for apples and pumpkins and about the variety, sizes, shapes, and colors. I love leaf sorting, going on leaf hunts, figuring out what leaf came from what type of tree. Learning about the environment for my children has to come from enjoying it, and this is one time of the year where there is an abundance of outdoor learning experiences to be reaped.
Trick-or-Treating can also be a learning experience about good will and generosity. Using Unicef boxes, children can collect money to help other children. Instead of homes giving out candy in plastic wrappings, they can empty their change jars and help children in need. Wouldn’t it be something, to see whole communities adopt this practice and leave the candy buying choices up to the parents?
Trick-or-Treating for a cause verses cavities could lead to social change. Children could still dress up and enjoy the holiday season, minus the candy! I know, I know, this probably isn’t possible and a wild dream but hey, we all have to dream!
Article Contributors: Sommer Poquette, green blogger and founder of Green & Clean Mom