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Inspiration from other schools

Green Halloween 2007

Two Seattle Schools turn Green for Halloween 2007

Green Halloween in Delaware

A Delaware Elementary School goes Green for Halloween 2007

Is your school going green this Halloween? Hosting an event at a retirement community? Having a post-Halloween candy exchange? Tell us about it and we’ll give your students (and school) props!

Have a Green Halloween®… at school!

If a Halloween or Harvest celebration is something you’re planning for your class, why not add a healthy and or green twist to things? Here are some easy, affordable and fun ideas that create an opportunity for learning, too.
  • Choose healthy or healthy-er options when available
  • Look for local foods (like apples and pumpkins) – some of which may be donated
  • If possible, consider products that contain organically grown ingredients
  • Think whole & colorful. What can you serve or make that is made from orange, black and green foods? How about a black olive, green and orange bell pepper pizza on a whole wheat crust?
  • If your school permits, toss ALL food scraps and leftovers in the yard waste/compost bin instead of in the trash.
  • Don’t use disposables (cups, plates, etc.) – try to find something reusable, or ask parents to provide place settings for their kids. Make teams and see who can bring more (they get a prize). Ask kids to bring in a story about their family’s traditions, along with their place setting.
  • Do not offer bottled water. Have a filter instead.
  • Make sure that all drink containers are recycled.
  • Plan for only enough food/drink as you need.
  • Ask the students and teachers to bring canned or dried food that will later be donated to your local food bank.
  • # Teens and ‘tweens can learn to make wallets, purses and bracelets from candy wrappers (search the internet for “candy wrapper purse” for ideas).
  • Make Halloween art/ décor only from recycled goods or things found in nature.
  • Have a Green Halloween? inspired door decorating contest.
  • Teach students to make homemade face paints.
  • Make leaf rubbing art.
  • Make “treat & treasure” bags from recycled goods or old pillow cases.
  • Make some Halloween décor or gift items for people at a retirement community or for a local farmer.
  • Have your party at a local organic pumpkin farm.
  • Make a Halloween-themed bean-bag toss game out of recycled boxes.
  • Have a Halloween-themed obstacle course – children have to put on one piece of a costume at each station.
  • For little ones – have a pumpkin pass game, or do “witches limbo.”
  • Have an eco-themed costume contest.
  • Make a haunted house or one of those carnival cut-outs where the kids stick their heads through (and you can take a picture) - out of only recycled materials.
  • Make a treasure out of trash. Send the kids on a mission to collect litter in fall colors: orange, black, red, brown or gold. Use the pieces to make a fall collage. (Covering recycled soup cans make for great pencil holders, too!)
  • Host a “zero” waste party where everything must be consumed, reused/ repurposed, composted or recycled
  • Read stories on the history of Halloween and “write the future” that includes healthier and more Earth-friendly traditions.
  • Make ‘jack-o-lantern’ oranges or ‘goblin’ sweet potatoes using toothpicks and raisins, cranberries, pepper strips or other items for the faces.
  • Host a Green Halloween-inspired party for others (such as at a retirement home or hospital)
  • Host a post-Halloween candy exchange and composting party
  • Give less “treats” than you gave last year (i.e. one instead of handfuls)
  • Look at Green Halloween’s list of treats and treasures and choose what will work for your school.
  • Plan ahead. If you order on line, you may save money and be able to find healthy and eco-wise choices, but be sure to allow enough time for shipping.

  • Reuse classroom décor from last year.
  • Commit not to buying anything new.
  • Consider using mostly décor from nature – pumpkins, gourds, apples, hay, etc.
  • Hit up a thrift store and see what you can find there.
  • Make Halloween themed banners and other décor items from recycled, reused or repurposed materials.
  • Reuse everything you’ve used this year, next year.

Waste & cleaning
  • Compost all food scraps and natural décor items. Even candy (unwrapped) can be composted or put in the yard waste bin. Pizza boxes and other food contaminated paper/ cardboard items may also be composted/ included in yard waste.
  • Recycle anything that can be: aluminum cans, water bottles, cups, food containers, etc.
  • Use healthier cleaning supplies – vinegar and water works wonders!

Teachers may ask Won’t it cost more? No. In many cases, the cost is equivalent or less than what you’ve paid for candy, décor and other items for this event in year’s past.

Won’t the kids be upset? Green Halloween participated in numerous Halloween events last year and came face to face with thousands of children. We asked them what they would think if someone gave them one of the alternative goodies we had on our display instead of regular candy. After seeing the alternatives, not one single child of any age said they would rather have candy. Not one. Kids feel good when the adults around them model positive attitudes. If you’re excited about it – they will be too.

Is there a happy medium? Sure! Going healthy and green can happen in leaps and bounds or in baby steps. Either way, when changes are made for the better, they always count. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. One idea is to hand out 50% candy and 50% something else. Or just give away less than you did last year. You may have lots of other ideas as well.

Like what you see? Feel inspired?
We can’t wait to see what you come up with! Let us know if you plan on taking healthy & green steps this year during your school Halloween event and we can post your event on our calendar. Also, be sure to take photos and send us your students’ stories, we’d love to feature you and your kids on our website.

…Who knew Halloween could be such a great learning tool?

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