As any parent will tell you, Halloween is not just one night, but a season. First there's the costume deliberations, then the decorating, then the school events, and finally, October 31st. After the big night on the town, it's time to clean up. Here, some tips to promote a quick return to balanced, healthy, and sustainable living.
1. To reduce sugar consumption, have little ones sort through to keep their favorite treats and then give the rest to the "Sugar Fairy" (trash!)
2. As kids get older, talk to them about food dyes and preservatives and encourage them to toss candy with food coloring, especially red, blue, yellow and green dye. Food dye has been found to increase symptoms of ADD, and ADHD.
3. Ration out sweets. Tell your children ahead of time what the rules will be for sweets on Halloween evening, and over the coming days so they know what to expect and you can avoid temper tantrums. Offer a healthy treat in exchange for candy overload. For example, a new baseball or art supplies (http://www.ecomom.com/eco-friendly-play-and-education/art.html) in return for tossing leftover candy.
4. Save costumes for year long dress up and creative play, or donate them to a local Goodwill or thrift store rather than putting them in the trash. Some preschools and local theatre companies will also accept gently used costumes.
5. Don't add your pumpkin to the ever-growing waste stream. Instead, use this opportunity to start composting in your yard or neighborhood garden. Here's my How To video. http://www.ecomomalliance.org/video/robin-wright-penn-and-ecomom-1
6. Planning for next year: stop by thrift shops and shop seasonal sales a week or two after Halloween to stock up on decor for next year. You'll save $$$ and keep those witches and skeletons out of the landfills. (ecomom Halloween Blowout http://www.ecomom.com/eco-friendly-products-for-any-occasion/green-halloween.html?utm_source=EcoMom&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20111102_HalloweenBlowout)
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