Halloween is coming up this Friday and if you’re looking to make this year’s monster bash a little more ethical, than we’re here to help! You don’t have to succumb to the holiday’s unhealthy consumption-driven tendencies. Check out these creative ideas on how to make your pumpkin a little greener this year and get ready to have the best Hallow’s Eve ever!

Go Organic: We were tickled pink (or orange?) to find out from New York Times blogger Kate Galbraith that there IS such a thing as an organic pumpkin!  Call up your local farm or pick-your-own organization and see what they’ve got before swinging by the ‘seasonal’ aisle of the grocery store like usual.

Go Vintage: Why bother buying a new plastic costume every year, when the best costumes are usually found at vintage stores?  Buying vintage not only recycles clothing thus keeping them out of landfills, but supports local business and your local economy.  If you don’t have a vintage store near you, check our Grandma’s closet.  You never know what kind of goodies you’ll find in there!

Exercise Your DIY: Even better than buying vintage is making a costume yourself!  Rather than tossing those old scraps, foils, empty beer cans, and rags in the trash, re-use them and let your creativity go wild.  Anything goes when it comes to building your own and you’ll have a ton of fun in the process.

Buy Fair Trade: Skip the Reese’s and M&M’s and instead buy Fair Trade chocolate.  There are a ton of ethical, independent businesses out there offering super yummy Fair Trade-certified and organic chocolate bars.  Check out your local markets and gift stores for these products.  You’ll be surprised at the great stuff you find there!  Some of our favorites include Equal Exchange, Theo and Alter Eco.

Reverse trick-or-treating: Join the leagues of Global Exchange and the International Labor Rights Forum and make Halloween a meaningful holiday of solidarity, activism and education.  Rather than encouraging your kids to go out and take candy, youngin’s participating in reverse trick-or-treating hand the adults at the door a Fair Trade chocolate with an educational card.  The goal of reverse trick-or-treating is to raise awareness, especially amongst youth, of the poverty and abusive labor conditions in the cocoa fields.

And after it’s all over and you’ve come down off of your sugar high…what do you do with the litter of candy wrappers, cardboard boxes and torn costumes?  Toss ’em by the wayside?  We think not.  Check out this cool contest from SustainLane.com:

  1. Take a ‘before’ photo of your prized mound of rubbish for posterity.
  2. Make something cool. Check out these candy wrapper purses from Ecoist for inspiration.
  3. Take an ‘after’ photo and blog about your creation on SustainLane.com
  4. SustainLane will evaluate all entries received by November 15 and the winner will receive a reusable bottle from Klean Kanteen.

Not digging that much effort?  Then donate your wrappers to the Candy Wrapper Museum and hang up your witches hat ’til next year!

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