GuestÂ post by: Jennifer Crawford,Â Founder & Owner atÂ Gaia’s World Fun CenterÂ (www.gaiasworldfuncenter.com) and host of a National Costume Swap Day event in Federal Way, WA
I found Green HalloweenÂ® on my own journey with Gaia’s World (a seed company working to build the first Eco-friendly children’s play center in our region).
When I learned of Corey and Lynn’s concept for a costume swap, I believed this was an awesome project that followed the Gaia philosophy of reducing waste, reusing and recycling items to improve wellness and our impact on the environment.Â So I JUMPED at the opportunity to help in theÂ National Costume Swap Day campaign.
With Green Halloween promoting the event nationally, all I had to do was register my own swap, find a location, and then tell lots of people about it.Â I found the Federal Way Farmer’s Market was a perfect spot at The Commons Mall, and the owners of the market graciously donated booth space for our swap.
I was so excited about the concept I made fliers and handed out at networking events, elementary schools (after getting permission), anywhere that would take them.Â I also posted on all my social media outlets, advertised in our community paper and calendars, notified local PTA’s, Girl Scout troops, and other organizations.
The day of the swap came and despite the weather, we had a great time and a great response.Â Most families found this program beneficial financially and loved the ‘green’ education that complimented the swap.Â My troop helped with our booth signs and made a board showing all theÂ healthier choices parents can use to promote a greener Halloween.Â We had crafts and handed out treats for every swap, and the joy on children’s faces to see their next ‘character’ they will portray this year was simply priceless.
People were so excited about this event I was asked for an encore the next two weekends.Â I plan on meeting that demand and doing the same thing next year since this was such a success.Â Even my own children, who helped at the booth, couldn’t make up their mind what they wanted to be this Halloween when they saw all the options they had. My daughter swapped her costumeÂ fourÂ times and my son twice as their imaginations lead their choices.
My only recommendation to othersÂ interested in hosting a swapÂ would be to make sure if you can get help toÂ get the word out, do so.Â I was able to do much of this alone, yet I still needed others to share and spread the benefit of this event.Â I can only imagine how much more we could have done for the families in our community if I was able to reach farther and truly saturate our area.Â It does take time and some money to make fliers, the boards, and coordinate games or crafts, but if you are creative to find a means to do this without expense to yourself, the better.
As for Gaia’s World, we hope to continue to partner withÂ Green Halloween in the future as we both believe our children canÂ â€œGrow Green through Laughter, Knowledge, and Play.â€Â :-)