Don’t ruin Halloween

Recently, for a freelance assignment, I was researching ways to have a more “green” Halloween.

To be honest, I had never given much – okay, any – thought to the environmental impact of Halloween. Probably because when you’re the one picking out plastic-y costumes from the party store and rolling around in candy wrappers, you’re a child. And then after that, you’re more concerned with a costume’s impact on your boobs than its impact on the environment.  And after that, you’re not really concerned with Halloween at all until you have your own kids.

So I had never really thought about it. But once I started reading about it, it made sense, and there were actually a lot of really simple ways to make Halloween a bit more eco-friendly. I found myself nodding in agreement with the reasonable suggestions.

The way it should be

But then. Oh then… Then my head exploded. Several of the sources I found advocated handing out organic, fair-trade dark chocolate to trick-or-treaters. Another suggested giving them soy candles. SOY CANDLES. I had to read that one like 12 times to make sure I was understanding it correctly.

Ok. If I, as an adult woman, show up at your house trick-or-treating, feel free to give me organic dark chocolate and a soy candle. I welcome it. However, if I were a child and received this, I’m pretty sure I would throw myself on the floor screaming. In fact, even now I’d probably be pissed if I didn’t get any Smarties or Reese’s Pieces. Also – if you do this, you should probably expect to have your house egged by an angry mob of children. Just a fair warning.

Can’t we be environmentally responsible without ruining childhood? That’s all I have to say.

(Actually, no it’s not. It’s ridiculous standards like these that make actual important causes seem so elitist/inaccessible to people. Isn’t it better to give everyone simple, affordable ways to make a difference rather than suggesting you need to spend $350 on chocolate at Whole Foods to be a good citizen?  End rant.)


4 thoughts on “Don’t ruin Halloween

  1. Haha oh my gosh this reminds me of the Crest/Oral B video in which they give kids healthy candy. The kids are not pleased. ( I’m all for environmentalism, but I agree that most “simple” tips on going green are really difficult or expensive.

    The first thing I thought of was buying candy without so much packaging/wrappers, which could lead to making homemade treats, but kids aren’t allowed to eat homemade treats because they may contain razor blades or rat poison. So this is kind of a dilemma.

    • Haha – “but kids aren’t allowed to eat homemade treats because they may contain razor blades or rat poison” — so sad but so true. Some good tips I saw were to buy candy that comes in boxes (like Nerds), since those can at least be recycled (though who knows if they will be), and to collect candy wrappers and mail them into this organization that uses them to make cool recycled products. I thought those were reasonable, easily doable tips. And if you’re going to give out a non-candy treat, at least make it something fun like temporary tattoos, not soy candles!!

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