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Posts Tagged ‘Costume swap’

Finding the Gifts in Goodbye

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

We started with a tiny spark of an idea: make Halloween better for kids and planet.

The year was 2006 and “going green” was being embraced by the mainstream. But holidays and celebrations were still in a conventional bubble; as of yet, this topic almost entirely untouched.

Parents who wanted to create healthy and fun traditions were on their own and Halloween Crafts for Seniors of every type And just forget about easy or affordable.

We had a feeling we were about to spark a revolution. From the moment we uttered the words, “Green Halloween,” people clamored to join in. The world was hungry for ways to celebrate sustainably and, as a mother-daughter team, ours was a mission fueled by love. We were not starting a business; we were igniting global and generational change. Our idealism was born of unflinching optimism.

We first announced the launch of our book, Celebrate Green!, with a “baby” announcement complete with weight (1 pound), height (12 inches) and a picture of us, beaming with pride. Possibility was in its infancy. We nurtured this possibility and it bloomed.Read these baby photo contest tips that we made if you want.

Over the next seven seasons our “spark” would ignite a flame reaching more than five million people coast to coast. We were asked to write our book, Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family. Seemingly overnight we had a radio show, speaking invitations, and requests from around the globe on how to green up everything from Appetizers to Zoo events. Good Morning America, Real Simple, People.com, MSNBC and more buzzed. Even Stephen Colbert chimed in on The Colbert Report! Leading, visionary non- and for-profit entities partnered: EcoMom Alliance, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Dr. Oz’s HealthCorps, Green America, Larabar, Surf Sweets, Plum Kids, Nature’s Path and many more.

We inspired good-for-kids and planet brands to become even better. We secured donations of millions of dollars of healthy treats and treasures. We enabled shifts in long-held retailer, consumer and product trends, opening up entire markets for new entrepreneurs. We transformed traditions from public events to private homes alike, by proving what could be gained by losing the stuff that never really mattered in the first place.

We opened doors, reframed conversations, wrote new rulebooks and built bridges.

And we were deeply honored to have done so.

Because of course, fanning the flame, fueling the revolution, driving the possibility of change, was you. And we couldn’t have done this without you.

And people like you. People who envision a world where healthy, safe and planet-friendly traditions don’t require revolutions because healthy, safe and planet-friendly options are simply woven into the fabric of our culture. Of course treats are made with real food. Of course costumes can be swapped. Of course face paints don’t contain lead.

We are endlessly grateful to have walked this path with you, whatever your role, and we thank you for saying yes. For all that you did, gave, shared, created, led and held, we recognize your priceless contributions, and celebrate the powerful ripple effect that occurs when you, and people like you say yes.

And now, it is time to say goodbye.

It’s sad. And it’s hard. And we will miss you terribly.

But as Lynn lyricized in a song celebrating Corey’s high school graduation, “love is letting go.”

So, with love, we are letting go…

As of this Halloween season, our programs, Green Halloween® and National Costume Swap Day™, will not continue in their current formats. Our websites, including Celebrate Green! will remain for a period of time and we welcome you to gather ideas and inspiration for your own continued journeys. Please note we will not be updating via social media.

Our decision, made over this last year and a half, was a difficult one. In a practical sense, our fledglings grew too large, too fast for our existing structure. In a personal sense, we have accomplished what we set out to do. We have more seeds to cultivate, more ways to serve and perhaps more revolutions to lead, personally and professionally.

Of course, as with all transitions, the possibility for transformation is ever-present. Should we have an announcement to make regarding a re-launch or new twist, we’ll let you know about it via e-mail (register for updates at the top of this page).

We are proud of what we’ve nurtured, and it’s time to release it, let it fly. We trust that what we have built with you will continue to flourish, without our being at the helm.  We leave with tremendous gratitude towards you and all of those, our village, who helped raise this revolution.

Signing off with profound love… and of course, laughter!  (If the video below doesn’t load, please click here.)

xoxo,

Lynn & Corey 

We’re signing off with a light-hearted look at some of our less shiny moments and hope you’ll laugh along with us as we are reminded that the rewards of a journey are found not only at the destination but in the journey itself. We’ve sincerely enjoyed taking this journey with you and wish you, and yours, all the best this year and always. Party on! xoxo Lynn & Corey

 


				

Save money, reduce waste this Halloween with National Costume Swap Day™

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

By Corey & Lynn

If you’ve ever participated in any kind of swap, you know what a great feeling you get when you trade what you don’t want/need anymore, for something you do.

Well, multiply that feeling by the number of kids you have and add the fact you don’t need to spend any money and you’ve got a great experience coming up when you participate in National Costume Swap Day™!

The idea for National Costume Swap Day came to us three years ago. Within weeks, we’d registered swaps all across the country (and Canada!). That launch made such a huge splash that we even had a segment on Good morning America.

Last year, the number of swaps grew into the hundreds and this year, under the leadership of Green America and in partnership with Kiwi magazine, it’s going to be bigger and better than ever.

Plus, for all our Canadian friends, this year kicks off National Costume Swap Day Canada.

So whether you’re planning a swap or want to find one to attend, check out the Costume Swap Day website and find out how to set up a swap, list a swap or seek out a swap near you.

Then mark your calendar and have fun!

(Note, if you’re busy on October 13, the official date of National Costume Swap Day, many swaps are taking place on multiple weekends or other days throughout October.)

What do YOU think is the best part about swapping?

Originally posted on the Celebrate Green! blog, image courtesy of Holli Dunn Photography
***

Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are mother and daughter and authors of  Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family, and founders of Green Halloween®.

We didn’t make the Today Show but….

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

by Corey

… We did make ‘em laugh.

Despite the truly incredible media storm surrounding the second annual National Costume Swap Day™ – with print, television, radio and online coverage in nearly every major market across the U.S. – we thought this year’s national coverage was likely over.

We were wrapping up as Happy Campers. We didn’t make Good Morning America (like we did last year) or another major morning show, but we were pretty darn over-the-moon about getting the word out about costume swapping via Real Simple, Family Circle and Kiwi magazines, MSN Money and many (many) more. Our goal of 100 registered swaps was blown out of the water with over 170 event registrations in the US and Canada. Some events were so successful that second and third swaps were planned for later in the month!

And although Halloween is just 4 days away, there are still more costume exchanges in the works.

But because the official National Costume Swap Day was actually on the 8th, we assumed (yes, I do know what this means), that there wouldn’t be any additional major PR coverage on this topic.

But last night came a treat.

Er, wait – a trick.

And I’m not sure we can call this “news” exactly, but as they say, “No PR is bad PR…”

“Environmentalism goes against everything Halloween stands for: Rampant consumerism and waste.” — Stephen Colbert

And (to quote another quote), “If you can’t laugh at yourself….”

We can definitely laugh at this one. At least it’s funny (unlike this wet blanket editorial).

(Stephen, just wait until you hear about what we’re doing with candy, face paints and decor!)

(Rockin’ the “swap talk”: Ciana Maglio, our Green Halloween® coordinator in Daytona Beach, FL on Fox News Orlando. )
National Costume Swap Day™ 2011 is a partnership of Green Halloween®, Swap.com & Kiwi magazine

Guest post: A Better Way to Celebrate Halloween

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Guest post by Dana Verhoff

This year my daughter will celebrate her fifth Halloween.  I can easily remember each costume she has worn.  There was the blue cow, a hooded sleeper borrowed from a neighbor, and the lion, handed down from cousins in Missouri.  My favorite was the year she dressed as a cowgirl.  The little red shirt with white piping she worn was mine from childhood, a gift from my Grandma Tex.  I wore it for my second Halloween.  My sister wore it, and her daughter wore it.  Someday, my youngest daughter will wear it, too.  The photo that you see above is from last year.  My oldest wore a dress and tiara from her princess collection (hand-me-downs and gifts) and shoes that still fit from Christmas.  My youngest wore a pea costume borrowed from a neighbor.  Ah, yes, the Princess and the Pea!

I can even remember a few costumes from my own childhood – Strawberry Shortcake, a gypsy, a magician, and a punk rocker.  With one exception, all of those costumes were put together with borrowed things from closets in my house or the neighbors.  The Strawberry Shortcake costume was store-bought because as a five year old, I insisted upon it.  And, you know what?  I hated that plastic smock and impossible-to-see-through mask, and both were ripped by the end of the night.

Yes, I’ve been thinking a lot about costumes lately.

And I’ve come to the conclusion that National Costume Swap Day™ is about showing our children a better way to celebrate! Because something as simple as a costume swap does make a difference.

Admittedly, swapping costumes is a shift in the way kids think;  it has become the norm to decide what you “want to be” and then head to the nearest box store and buy a new costume.  In contrast, a swap offers children the chance to make a decision with an open-mind and possibilities laid out before them!  Dare I say it may even be reminiscent of those times you raided your parent’s closet to put together a costume … you know, back in the day!

Here’s the bottom line: Halloween has become a holiday filled with traditions that are unhealthy for our children and our planet. We owe it to ourselves and future generations to serve as role models.  Participating in a costume swap not only encourages celebrating in a way that is healthier and more earth-conscience, but it also empowers our children to think about how small changes can have a big impact.  All while still having fun!

***

Dana and her partner, Diana, publish family-friendly website, Macaroni Kid Snoqualmie Valley-Issaquah.  On the morning of October 8th, they will be hosting swaps in North Bend at Totz and at Small Threads in Issaquah.  Both are looking forward to bringing the community together, showing our children a better way to celebrate, and swapping with all of you!

Will be be hosting or attending a costume swap this year? If so, what are you swapping and what costumes do your kids hope to find in exchange?

25 Ways to Go Green This Halloween

Friday, September 16th, 2011


 

Halloween is meant to be enjoyed, but somewhere in between “planning” and “cleanup,” many parents find themselves feeling overwhelmed. It might seem that attempting to consider the Earth while planning a great ghoulish party is just too much work and way too expensive. Some fear it might even zap the fun right out of the day. But creating an eco-savvy Halloween doesn’t have to be scary, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg when you follow these pointers:

  1. Consider your costumes. The truth is many store-bought costumes and accessories contain toxic chemicals that not only are a potential hazard to your child, but also to the environment and the people who helped to make them. Choose fabrics such as cotton, wool and silk or make costumes yourself from materials you know to be safe.
  2. Go au natural. When decorating your home for Halloween, skip the plastic black cats and paper skeleton streamers made in China. Instead, use décor inspired by Mother Earth by choosing fallen leaves, gourds or pumpkins, and 100% beeswax candles.
  3. Trim your trick-or-treats. Hand out less ________ (fill in the blank). Preferably your goodies of choice are healthy and/or Earth-friendly, but even if they’re not, handing out just one (rather than the conventional handful) of something is better for kids, better for the planet and better for your bank account.
  4. Apply the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) to all of your holiday choices: costumes, décor, goodies, etc. Of the 3 R’s, reducing is the best for the Earth, our wallets and, in regard to food, our waistlines. Rent, borrow, swap, make or acquire used, when possible, to avoid buying new, especially disposables.
  5. Choose eek-o-décor. Say ‘no’ to disposables and instead, re-use or re-purpose items you already own. Look also for items from nature and don’t forget to decorate with food (consumable décor). If you must use disposables, look for products that are compostable and then be sure to compost them. Or, choose recycled, reusable and recyclable items like Preserve products. Too bad they don’t come in Halloween colors… yet.
  6. Go kid powered. Give your child a shakable or hand crank flashlight to light his way.
  7. Love LEDs. Use decorative Halloween LED and/ or solar lights for trees, outside of your home, and for lighting the path for trick-or-treaters. They come in every shape, theme and color imaginable!
  8. Bag it, green style. Instead of buying, make your child’s goodie bag from a pillow case or anything else you already own that goes with the theme of the costume. Or, purchase a keepsake, reusable Green Halloween® trick-or-treat ChicoBag. (Designed each year by kids! Enter the design contest here. 10% of the sales support the Green Halloween initiative.)
  9. Get creative. Turn costume making into a creative and fun experience for your child. Hunt through the house, at neighborhood garage sales, or a thrift store for costume-worthy items. Enjoy the process and the product! Another idea: host a costume exchange as part of National Costume Swap Day (second Saturday in October).
  10. Switcheroo. Instead of allowing your child to eat all the candy he collects, ask him to select a limited, pre-agreed upon amount and then leave the rest out for the Halloween Fairy/ Witch/ Great Pumpkin, who will, while your child is sleeping that night, swap the candy for goodies such as books, games or “pumpkin points” redeemable for outings.
  11. Green the YUM. Make the party meal using foods that are mostly orange, black and green. Create spooky names for the food, if you can. Shop locally (support local farmers) and choose organic, whenever possible.
  12. Recycle the unexpected. Compost all leftovers, jack-o-lanterns, natural décor and unconsumed candy – remove wrappers unless they’re compostable. In some places of the country, you can add compostables to your yard waste bin.
  13. Celebrate others. Host your Halloween party at a retirement home, children’s hospital, organic farm or similar.
  14. Say ‘no’ to toxic chemicals. Make your own face paints. Here’s the recipe. Or purchase mineral-based, lead-free paints.
  15. Choose eco sweets. If buying candy, choose organic – you’ll be surprised at how affordable some brands are! If buying chocolate, look for triple certified: organic, shade grown, Fair Trade.
  16. Think outside the {conventional} candy box. Instead of giving out conventional candy: give away healthy and/or Earth friendly treats and treasures.
  17. Make décor to DIY for. Make your own Halloween décor by visiting craft sites and swapping conventional materials for eco-supplies. For example, if you are going to make some paper ghosts for your window, be sure the paper is reused, recycled or tree-free.
  18. Invite sustainably. Use e-invitations or make your own from reused, recycled or tree-free sources. Kids will love Mr. Ellie Pooh’s Elephant dung paper! It comes in gorgeous fall colors (all scent-free!). The orange cardstock is perfect for Halloween invites, place cards and more. Supporting Mr. Ellie Pooh means supporting the Elephants in Sri Lanka, who are losing their lives because without profit associated with them, they are seen as liabilities to local farmers.
  19. Reclaim wrappers. Collect candy and bar wrappers and turn them into picture framed, purses, jewelry and more. Tweens and teens especially love this activity. Contact Terracycle.net for a collection box.
  20. Trick-or-treat for good. When tweens and teens are too old to trick or treat, but still enjoy the traditions, encourage them to take a look at how they can turn trick or treating into an activity that benefits others such as: Reverse Trick-or-Treating, trick-or-treating for cell phones, or of course, UNICEF’s program.
  21. Start small and build your confidence. Start simply by having (and using) a recycle bin at your party or by going bottled water-free. You can green up each of your next celebrations a little bit at a time until celebrating green-style becomes old hat.
  22. Plan ahead to avoid costly impulse buying. You’re less likely to invade the local super party store at the eleventh-hour when you make food, gift, décor and activity decisions in advance.
  23. Get the family involved. Ask your kids to come up with three ways to give Halloween a green makeover. Write all of the viable ideas down on paper, toss them in a bowl and select three to try this year.
  24. Don’t drive to trick or treat. Encourage your neighbors to go green and then go door-to-door near you. It’s good for you and the planet and builds community.
  25. Learn more. For more great tips and tricks sign up for the e-newsletters from www.GreenHalloween.org and www.celebrategreen.net. And don’t forget to buy a copy of Celebrate Green! It features ideas, recipes, crafts, gift suggestions and more.
Green Halloween® is a nationwide non-profit initiative started by mother-daughter team Corey Colwell-Lipson and Lynn Colwell. In 2010, Green Halloween became a program of EcoMom® Alliance and has events in cities across the U.S.