Halloween is now only days away and everyone is preparing for Saturday’s festivities.  Since, October is officially Fair Trade Month and since Halloween is on the last day of the month, we think it is a perfect opportunity to celebrate both.  This year we suggest you hand out Fair Trade chocolates as Halloween treats! Not only will you be supporting Fair Trade and the farmers who produce the chocolate, but you will be educating your community on Fair Trade.

When you drop a piece of candy with the Fair Trade label into a child’s pillow case, you are spreading the Fair Trade message. Suppose that child take home his goodies for his parents to check over, they will see the symbol. If they don’t know what the Fair Trade symbol is, hopefully they will look it up. Or maybe the child will ask their parents what exactly the symbol means. Either way, the act of giving Fair Trade Halloween treats will get the conversation started and families talking about fair trade values.

On top of spreading the message during the spooky holiday, purchasing Fair Trade chocolate treats is of utmost importance, considering the plight of the conventional chocolate laborer.  There have been reports of slave labor, child labor, safety hazards, and low wages in the chocolate industry, including market giants such as Hershey’s. By not purchasing conventional chocolate and handing out Fair Trade chocolates, you can support good labor and boycott abusive companies.

So where do you get these tasty treats? There are a few companies that offer small chocolates to hand out, perfect for trick or treating. These include Equal ExchangeSjaak’s, and Dagoba. These cute little chocolates, especially those from Sjaak’s are perfectly made for handing out on Halloween night. Also, Global Exchange offers this handy Fair Trade Trick-or-Treat Action Kit. The kit includes 40 Equal Exchange minis to hand out, informational Fair Trade cards, an eco-friendly trick-or-treat bag, and a “Fair Trade is Boo-tiful” poster.  You can still order this kit and receive it in time for the holiday if you order in the next two days.

Remember, take advantage of a fun and festival holiday to spread the Fair Trade message to your communities! Enjoy the last few days of Fair Trade Month and have a Happy Halloween!!



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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