Kimberly Pinkson is the founder of EcoMom Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to help parents make environmentally smart parenting choices.
She and her friend, Corey Colwell-Lipson, who started National Costume Swap Day, suggest the following tips to have a green Halloween. More tips can be found at their website, www.greenhalloween.org.
• Give treasures instead of treats, such as stickers, trading cards, seashells, polished rocks and small toys. A list with more suggestions can be found on the website.
• Give healthy treats such as small boxes of raisins, organic juice pouches or boxes, real fruit strips, whole food bars and organic cookies.
• Can't do without candy? Give organic chocolate and caramels, organic lollipops or organic candy bars.
• Use a green trick-or-treat bag such as an old pillow case, cloth grocery bag or recycle and decorate a bag.
• Recycle a costume or create one using items you have on hand. Costume items also can be found at thrift stores.
• Buy an organic pumpkin to create a jack-o'-lantern. Put it in the compost pile when Halloween is over.
• Reuse decorations from last year or make new ones from items you have around the house.
• Host a Halloween celebration for your friends and neighborhood. "Make seasonal cookies or do an apple-bobbing contest. There are a lot of fun and easy things you can do that don't impact the environment," Ms. Pinkson said.
• After Halloween, unwanted costumes can be donated to family shelters, day care facilities and preschools. "Kids love to dress up and be creative and schools love to have them," Ms. Pinkson said.
Kathleen Ganster, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.