Green Halloween – Making a Healthy Difference

You might see the traditional ghosts, goblins, and other spirits come Halloween, but don’t be spooked if there’s not quite as much candy. Wait a minute… isn’t that what trick-or-treating is all about? Ummm… you may be surprised to find kids are actually excited when you hand out special treasures instead of candy!

So, what’s going on? Green Halloween. It’s a non-profit, grassroots movement to create healthier and more Earth-friendly holidays, starting with Halloween. It started out in the Seattle area just last year and has already spread across the country.

The program’s founder, Corey Colwell-Lipson says it’s all about thinking “outside the candy box.” Not convinced? Read on… Corey talks to FatFighterTV about just how Green Halloween is Making a Healthy Difference.

This Halloween, think treasures, instead of candy. Kids love little trinkets like spinning tops, stickers and collectable cards. Most children especially love gifts from nature like polished rocks, crystals and seashells. (From Green Halloween)

Spoiling the fun?
“We’re not all about absolutely no candy. But we’re encouraging people to think about a balance and think about incorporating healthy choices and earth friendly and also people friendly choices, such as thinking about the people who grow or make the products.”

“We’re not trying to dictate what Halloween should be. We’re providing hundreds of ideas and alternatives for those families who are interested in as we say, ‘thinking outside the conventional candy box.'”

From Trick-or-Treat… to Trick-or-Treasure
“We estimate that we came face to face with over 20,000 children last year at the various events we were at. And at as many as we could, we asked them, ‘What would you think if people gave you one of these alternatives for Halloween instead of candy?’ Out of tens of thousands of children – not one single one said that they’d rather have candy, conventional candy, when they saw the alternative. Not one. And you know who was saying, ‘Oh, my kid will never say yes to that?’ It was the parents. The parents are having a harder time with the idea of change than the kids.”

No candy? No way!
“A lot of people weren’t really ready just to say, ‘Gosh – no candy? Really? So how about we do half candy and half something else.’ And that seemed to work really great. And a lot of people said, ‘Yeah, we had a lot of candy left over because everyone took all the temporary tattoos. Gone.'”

Ideas for “Treasures” from Green Halloween:
* Adhesive “bandages” with pirate, black cat and other fun themes
* Barrettes or other hair things
* Beads
* Charms
* Coins (US or non-US)
* Crayon “rocks” (soy-based)
* Earth tone feathers
* Fake jewels (lead free)
* Fortunes
* Glass rings
* Glass beads
* Jokes
* Polished rocks/ skipping stones
* Printed items like word games, word search or cross word puzzles
* Seashells
* Spider confetti
* Stickers
* Temporary tattoos (recycle-themed)
* Whistles (Recycled plastic)
* Yarn bracelets

Go Organic candy
“For people who still want to hand out candy, there are fabulous organic candy companies out there. And if you choose to give out organic candy, which by the way is not necessarily any more expensive than conventional candy, at least it’s organically grown so it’s better for the earth, and it’s better for our kids because it’s whole.”

Treasured treasure
“The number one treat last year of kids of all ages was feathers. We had moms all over the Puget Sound that handed out some conventional candy and then also some of the things we suggested just to see who would respond to what. And feathers came back as the number one thing. But you can’t say, ‘You can take a handful of feathers.’ It has to be, ‘You can choose just one special treasure.’”

Green and healthy – they go together
“There cannot be an unhealthy planet with healthy kids and vice versa. And the same goes for healthy communities – we need our children to be healthy, we need our planet to be healthy, we need our families to be healthy for our communities to be healthy.”

Healthy traditions
“When this idea popped into my mind and I started talking to people about it, it was from the very beginning wanting to start creating traditions that are better for our children including the childhood obesity issues.”

What a child treasures
“If everybody handed out something unusual – whether it was cost-free or whether it cost something – it’s kind of like when you do your kids’ laundry and you have to empty out their pockets because they’re full of little treasures. There are little polished rocks and a seashell and a feather and a little fluff of this and a little fluff of that. Anything can be a treasure to a child.”


Check out Green Halloween for more ideas for alternative treats and treasures – lots of choices! And if you have any questions, Corey says just email her: corey [at] greenhalloween [dot] org

By the way, Green Halloween is part of another program Making a Healthy Difference – TreeSwing.

Thanks Green Halloween for Making a Healthy Difference!

Check out all of FFTV’s Making a Healthy Difference honorees here.

If you know of someone you think we should profile, we want to hear from you. Just send us an email at sahar [at] fatfightertv [dot]com


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