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Posts Tagged ‘Halloween candy’

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.

Green Halloween® The “EEK-o-friendly” Revolution

Sunday, September 4th, 2011


Who says Halloween has to be unhealthy? And who says healthy can’t be fun? Green Halloween® is about making Halloween happy and healthy and about creating community traditions we can all be proud of.

What is Green Halloween?

Green Halloween is a non-profit, grassroots initiative striving to create healthier, eco-friendlier holidays– starting with Halloween. Launched in Seattle in 2007 by a mother of two, the nationwide movement, now a program of EcoMom Alliance, is all about educating and inspiring communities by showing how easy, affordable, and fun it can be to factor our earth and our health into our daily choices.

To read all about Green Halloween and find fun events near you, visit You can learn how to get involved locally, sign up for the super nifty newsletter, and get fab DIY costume ideas, recipes, upcycled décor how-to’s and more. There’s even a trick-or-treat bag design contest for kids!

So forget orange and black. With upcoming events in cities across the U.S., this community initiative is adding much-needed green to Halloween.

It’s a scream!

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 partner events in cities across the U.S.

Guest Post: Extra Candy? Try Candy Experiments!

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Loralee Leavitt is the creator of Her articles about candy experiments have appeared in Family Fun, Parents, Mothering, Highlights, ParentMap, and Miami Family Magazine.  Recently she presented candy experiments at the USA Science and Engineering Festival.

Pictures reprinted by permission of

As a Green Halloween reader, you’ve filled your Halloween bowl with healthy treats and eco-friendly toys for trick-or-treaters.  But unless your own trick o’ treaters stick to Green Halloween houses, they’ll bring home loads of candy you don’t want them to eat.  What can you do with it all?

Try candy experiments.

Three years ago, my daughter started our family’s candy experiment tradition.  “What would happen if I put these Nerds in water?” she asked me.  I got her a bowl of water, she dissolved the Nerds into a lovely purple liquid, and we poured it down the drain.  When she asked again a few days later, I covered the table with bowls of water.  It didn’t take long for my two children to dissolve and dump their entire Halloween stash.

Since that fateful November, we’ve gone through bags and bags of candy.  We’ve dissolved it, smashed it, floated it, microwaved it, frozen it, painted with it, and tried whatever else we could think of.  We’ve learned about density, dissolving in hot or cold water, testing for acid in sour candy, and water displacement (what happens when your son dumps so much candy in a bowl of water that the water overflows).

At, we’ve posted a dozen of these experiments that kids can try at home.  For instance:

Acid Test: Test for acid by dissolving sour candy in water, then add a spoonful of baking soda to make bubbles

Find Hidden Candy: check labels to see how much sugar is in a serving of food, then weigh sugary candy so the kids can see how much sugar that really is

Oil Test: Melt chewy candy to separate out oil spots

But you don’t have to use our experiments.  Put out bowls of water, table knives, rolling pins, and whatever else you think might help them get creative with their candy.  You’ll be surprised how fast they go through it all–without eating it!

So don’t be dismayed by big bags of Halloween sugar.  Set up a candy lab in your kitchen, and watch the candy dissolve away.

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.

Five Ways to Avoid Sneaking Candy from the Candy Bowl

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

(via flickr)

According to the National Confectioner’s Society, more than 40% of adults take candy from their own candy bowl. It’s also suspected that close to 90% of adults will take candy from their child’s candy stash. [i] Think about it. If there are 50 calories in a bite size piece of chocolate and you sneak a couple pieces here, one more piece there, and then a final two pieces later … that could really add up!

Of course you are concerned about your kids having a healthy Halloween, but don’t forget about your own needs, too. Instead of over indulging and instead of stressing out about the calories, try these five tips to avoid sneaking candy from the candy bowl.

1 – Don’t Pass Out {conventional} Candy, Share Healthful Snacks or Treasures

Green Halloween® was founded on the idea that Halloween can be healthy AND fun. While conventional candy around Halloween may be tough to avoid 100% of the time, you can do your part by forgoing the candy bowl at your house and instead filling a bowl with treats (and treasures) kids will love and you can feel good about noshing later such as Larabars, Cascadian Farm Granola Bars, Stretch Island Fruit Leather, Jammy Sammys and Glee Gum. Dozens of ideas can be found here.

2 – Wear a Complicated Costume

A costume that comes with gloves or long nails, for example, will make it hard to open those tricky candy wrappers. Do yourself a favor and dress up as a werewolf or a one armed-pirate for Halloween. :-)

3 – Make a Low-Cal Dip and Keep Veggies Close By

When your kids bring home candy and you feel the urge to snack on it, choose to dip celery into a mango salsa dip or a slice of green pepper into a cilantro yogurt dip. Both of these homemade dips will last in the fridge for a few days, so there’s no reason not to whip up a couple batches of dip during Halloween time.

4 – Drink a Big Glass of Water

No, this isn’t just something people say. A recent study found that drinking two cups of water before a meal will make it easier to eat less and help you feel full longer. [ii] Before you set out to trick or treat, you should drink a full glass of water for the same benefit.

5 – Say “Trick, Treat, or Jumping Jacks”

There’s proof that exercise suppresses your appetite[iii]. When your doorbell rings or your little ones ring your neighbor’s doorbell, encourage the kids to get their blood flowing with jumping jacks.  You can do the same right alongside them.

Guest blogger Sara Lancaster writes about dips, sauces, and her featured dip festival, Dipstock, (happening right now in time for Halloween) over at her blog, Saucy Dipper.


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.

Why you should choose natural, organic candies, like Surf Sweets, this Halloween.

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Guest post by our AMAZING 2010 Green Halloween sponsor: Surf Sweets!

Halloween is a spooky time of year, but spooky in a fun sense with goofy costumes, ghoulish jack-o-laterns, haunted houses and scary movies. All things fun. What about candy, though? We like to think it’s is all fun too. It’s sweet, delicious, makes us feel warm and fuzzy – maybe a bit giddy after too many pieces. But have you stopped to think about what’s REALLY in that candy? If you did, you might be spooked in a not-so good way, and think twice about indulging and sharing with our little ones.

Many conventional candies contain artificial dyes like “Red 40”, “Blue 2” or “Yellow 5 Lake”. Colors that have been artificially created to make Watermelon Jolly Rancher Pink or Skittles the color of the rainbow. However, these dyes have been linked to hyperactivity and other disorders in children. In fact, the European Union recently asked food manufacturers to remove most food dyes from their products and now require warning labels stating that the food “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.” You’ll also find many candies are loaded with corn syrup and hydrogenated oils. Both of which have been linked to health problems, like obesity and heart disease. In the end, conventional candy doesn’t pan out to be the feel-good, yummy treat you thought it was. And after knowing this, how can we share this with all the little ones this Halloween season? Shouldn’t we be encouraging them to make better choices?

Well, we can! There are delicious, all natural and organic candies that satisfy the sweet tooth. Like Surf Sweets! Surf Sweets is passionate about making delicious candy using all natural pure ingredients. Our motto is “if it doesn’t exist in nature, you won’t find it in Surf Sweets.” So there’s NO artificial dyes or flavors. You also won’t find any corn syrup or hydrogenated oils. And to add to the benefit, Surf Sweets candies supply 100% of your daily vitamin C per serving. It’s candy you can feel good about sharing.

Choosing products made with organic ingredients is more than just good for you, it’s good for the earth too! Organic ingredients require organic farming. So there’s no pesticides, harsh chemicals or artificial fertilizers used. This means no chemical run-off and an enhanced biological structure and nutrient level for the soil, resulting in high-quality harvests and long term sustainability of the farm. It’s a win-win for everyone.

So make a change this Halloween. Try something new. Try something that’s good for you and for the earth. Try a delicious candy that’s all natural and organic and share it. The more we share, the more we can encourage others to make better choices and the happier our bodies and earth will be.

Learn more about Surf Sweets at

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.