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Posts Tagged ‘halloween activities’

Easiest (ever!) Halloween treat-decor-activity idea

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

by Corey

This Halloween tip is just too cute (and easy!). Perfect for healthy treats, edible decor or a party activity for wee-ones.

What are your most clever Green Halloween ideas? Can’t wait to hear ‘em!


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®.

Celebrate Green (this Halloween)! It’s Easy.

Friday, September 9th, 2011


Busy parents need greening to be simple. Whatever the choice may be (goodies, costumes, décor, etc.), adding an eco-friendly twist shouldn’t increase stress and chaos to an already hectic holiday season.

But making healthy and green choices is, in fact, easier than it seems.

The key is thinking (and acting) outside the conventional candy box.

  1. Plan ahead. Halloween is a fairly last minute holiday, resulting in a lot of knee-jerk choices that aren’t good for kids or the planet. But if you make a habit of thinking ahead, you can find exactly what you want while saving time, energy and reducing stress. One idea is to create a reoccurring appointment in your calendar for each October 1st. Decide what you are going to give away this year and, if necessary, order it online or pick it up. If you have the bandwidth to coordinate with a few friends or co-workers, you can save money by buying online, splitting the quantities and dividing the shipping charges. If the recycled plastic tops or eco-themed temporary tattoos are a hit, make it easier on yourself by giving the same thing away next year. (Make your green goodies a tradition.)
  2. Take a different road. Who said goodies have to be bought at grocery stores? Most of us run out to the grocery store the night before Halloween to pick up that 10 pound bag of candy (or two), but what if we realized that great, green goodies can be found elsewhere, too? What about picking up some seeds while you’re at the nursery? Or some cool glass beads when you drive by the art supply store? Playing cards with magic tricks, recipes and Halloween jokes can be found at bookstores and toy stores. Lots of ideas for “treasures” can be found here.
  3. Include the kids. Going green is a family affair, so make it easier on yourself and include the kids by asking for their ideas. When they’re involved from the get-go, they’re more like to stay involved and to have positive attitudes.
  4. Relax. Going green isn’t an all or nothing deal and busy moms have a lot on their minds and plates. So start with simple green steps that will work for your family this year. You can always add more the next time around. Holidays should be about the fun, not about the stress. Even green choices, if stressful, won’t be sustainable over the long haul.

Other ideas:

The loot

  • When it comes to which goodies to hand out, take a cue from doing laundry. Why? What “treasures” do your kids stash in their pockets? Polished rocks, feathers, seashells, and other items from nature are timeless treats for children of all ages. (And we’ve polled thousands of kids – toddlers to teens – who say goodies like these get two thumbs up!)
  • No matter what goodies you give away, give just one (instead of handfuls). When we were kids, most of us received one treat and each door, but now everything is supersized – including trick-or-treating. Giving away just one of something is easy to do, costs you less and is better for children and the planet. And here’s a tip: Place goodies in a bowl and let kids know  – with barely contained enthusiasm – that they can choose just one really special treat. When you do, something magical will happen. The kids will get excited about picking that one perfect treasure – more excited than if they had received a handful.
  • Many stores have healthier options for Halloween, but they might not know it (or market them as such). Take a quick stroll through the aisles and consider treats and treasures such as: Larbars, honey or agave sticks (may cost as little as 5-10 cents apiece), Stretch Island fruit leathers, all natural gum (like Glee Gum), or mini packs of all natural or organic crackers, granola or granola bars, cookies, or dried fruit. For treasures, stickers, bookmarks and pencils all made from recycled materials. Click here for a big list of ideas.
  • If you want to give out candy, consider organic options such as Endangered Species “Bug Bites” and look for candy in bulk. While still made with sugar, organic and all natural ingredients are better for children and growing foods organically is better for the planet and the people who grow them. Companies such as Surf Sweets sell organic candy with low price points.


  • Go green, save time and money by shopping for your child’s costume at a consignment or thrift shop such as Goodwill.
  • Celebrate National Costume Swap Day ( Have a lunchtime costume exchange with co-workers who are parents, or with your church, after a weekend soccer game or combine it with a ladies night.
  • Set the timer and let your kids go on a hunt through the house looking for Halloween costume components. (Be sure to tell them if any parts of the house are off limits). Let their imaginations fly. Instead of being a superhero or television character, the might just want to flex their creative muscles and be something unique.
  • If buying, look for costumes made from petroleum-free fabrics that are less likely to contain phthalates, lead or other toxins.
  • For the goody bag – use something you already own that goes with their costume. A chef can carry a bowl, a mountain climber a backpack, a princess a purse, football player a helmet, etc. Or go with the adorably eco, keepsake, reusable Green Halloween® trick-or-treat ChicoBag®.


  • Instead of buying petroleum based or disposable décor items, think about using items from nature such as pumpkins, gourds, hay, etc. When you’re done, simply toss them into your yard waste bin (if allowed in your area) or compost. Or buy items that are recycled, upcycled, handcrafted or ethically sourced (e.g. Fair Trade) such as those found here.
  • Candles are a popular Halloween décor item, but paraffin is an unsustainable product and contributes to poor indoor air quality. Instead choose 100% beeswax candles (available at most health food stores in a rainbow of colors, shapes and sizes). They burn cleaner and longer and don’t make as much of a mess. They also smell naturally sweet.
  • Instead of buying décor for the entire lawn, consider decorating just the doorway. Go simple in the house, too, by choosing one area to spruce up. Focusing and simplifying will save time, money and resources.
  • At the end of the holiday, pack reusable décor away carefully so that it stays in good shape and can be used for years to come. (Remember, when it comes to holidays, reusing=traditions.) While it may take some extra effort at clean up time, doing so will save money, time and resources in the long run.

Party food

  • Don’t make food ahead, instead, make it an activity. Here are a few ideas that are easy and fun to make (not to mention healthy and high on the ‘yum’ scale):
    • Pumpkin smoothies
    • Pumpkin seed “gorp”
    • Halloween pizzas (use pre-made, whole wheat crusts and have available orange, black and green veggies to customize)
    • Halloween-ka-bobs (let kids make their own with Halloween colored foods)


Putting some green into your Halloween does not have to be difficult or costly. In the continuum of being green, all families can hop on board! You can start wherever you are. For example, if your family eats organic and shops mostly locally, Green Halloween offers additional ways you can make your holiday even healthier and more green with tips even seasoned health-conscious parents will find useful. If your family has yet to try healthy alternatives, this is a great year to start. The Green Halloween website ( offers even green-newbies fun, easy and affordable ways to start new holiday traditions your whole family will enjoy. Being a part of Green Halloween means trying one new tradition–or trying them all. By going green for just one part of your Halloween, you’ll be making a difference you and your family can be proud of.

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.

We all Scream for Green Halloween (NYC)

Friday, January 28th, 2011

2010′s Green Halloween in NYC was a screamin’ success!

Screamin’ Green Halloween” was hosted by Brookfield Office Properties at the World Financial Center in the Big Apple.

Eek-o-fabulous fun was had by all (6,000 guests in just 4 hours!) with recycled art, a costume swap, poetry reading, marching band, healthy/green goodies and more.

Here are a few of the fab photos (by photographer Andrew Federman) for more, click here.

And check out this HUGE promotion banner hanging for all to see!

Date: Saturday, October 30, 2010

Time: 12 p.m.-4 p.m.

City & state: New York, NY

Event description: Green your Halloween at the World Financial Center! Join artist-educators for mask and costume making with funky recycled and repurposed materials, compete with other witches and warlocks in “Put a Spider in the Brew”, “Bowling for Ghosts” and a twist on the traditional “Bobbing for Apples,” and enjoy organic and fair-trade candy treats. Exchange last year’s costume for a new one at the Costume Swap, each gently used and ready-to-wear. Mini parades led by the Hungry March Band will take place on the Plaza at 1, 2 and 3pm, and the day ends with a Ghosts & Goblins Parade to Poets House for a reading of spooky poems and seasonal snacks. Ride your bike to the event! Free valet bicycle parking provided by Transportation Alternatives.

Presented by: Brookfield Office Properties

Event Production: Q+A Events and Production

Exact location: World Financial Center, 220 Vesey Street, New York, NY 10281

Cost (if any): FREE

Event URL:

Annual event?: YES

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.

8 finalists for 2010 Green Halloween ChicoBag contest announced!

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

The top 8 finalists for the 2010 Green Halloween ChicoBag design contest have been chosen!

Congratulations to every child who entered (over 500 kids this year!).

Click here for how YOU can help choose the winning design, which will be featured on a 2011 ChicoBag trick-or-treat bag, sold online and in stores all across the U.S.

Which design do you think best captures the “Spirit of a Green Halloween“? Vote by November 17th!

10% of the sale of Halloween ChicoBag™s support Green Halloween®! Thank you so much, ChicoBag for your support of our initiative! To purchase the 2010 Green Halloween ChicoBag, click here.

7 Healthy Halloween Foods That Are FUN To Eat

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

Family Fun magazine’s ideas for {healthy} Halloween fare are sure to be a hit with little ghouls and boys.

These dishes also double as edible dECOr, saving resources and money.

Invite kids to get crafty during your Halloween party – and you’ve just added an edible “activity” as well.

Meow! Use veggies and bean dip to make Black Bean Cat Crudités.

Ghastly grins! Apples and almonds are all that’s required for these “Apple Bites.” You could also fill “mouths” with nut butter and make the “teeth” out of all-natural white chocolate chips.

Finger food! “Carrot Fingers” reach out of veggie dip. Ew… Yum.

Eat your eyeballs – er, veggies! With “Edible Eyeballs” you can do both (and of course, munching on carrots is good for your kids’ peepers!)

Marvelous monsters! “Swamp Creatures” are made with scoops of mac & cheese, but you can also make with potato salad, quinoa salad or any other “salad” that holds together well. Swamp sludge can be made with spinach, kale, collards or a combo sauteed greens. A great dish to serve to filler-er-up before trick-or-treating.

Stick our your tongue! Simple but fun, these “Goblin Grins” are sure to cause smiles all around.

Yummy Mummies! These cute little “Pizza Mummies” Are a great main dish. Use English muffins or bagels (also available in gluten free!)

TIP: Always choose local & organic ingredients, whenever possible. However, if you want to know which foods carry the heaviest pesticide loads (many are on this list) and which are safer to buy conventionally grown, click to find “The Dirty Dozen” and “The Clean Fifteen.”

For more even more healthy Halloween food ideas, click here. And for Family Fun’s top craft ideas, click here and here.