For anyone who thinks their green actions can’t make a substantial difference in the world, I’ve got two words for you, “Green Halloween®.”
Green Halloween is an amazing program that’s swept the nation and created a massive rethinking about how we celebrate Halloween in the United States – and I’d guess in other countries too. While the idea may be big now, it started small, with just one green mama looking to make a difference.
How Green Halloween Got Started
Before 2007, very few folks gave any thought as to what might make Halloween more eco-friendly. However, someone was thinking about it – in 2006, Green Halloween founder, Corey Colwell-Lipson, took her kids trick-or-treating and realized that most Halloween treats are freakishly sugary and non-green, which led her to start brainstorming ideas for a healthier, greener Halloween.
While brainstorming Corey realized that it’s tough to find green Halloween treats. Especially if affordability is factored in. It was a problem, but Corey just kept on brainstorming.
These brainstorming sessions led to some conversations with Corey’s local Whole Foods Market store (in Bellevue, Washington) and then the idea took flight. Other organizations and businesses in Washington also wanted to help make Halloween healthier and safer for children and the environment, including Overlake Hospital and ParentMap Magazine. Parents loved the idea too and started contacting Corey about how to help bring Green Halloween to their neighborhoods.
By 2007 Green Halloween was in full swing locally in Washington State and in 2008, Green Halloween went nation-wide. Green bloggers and other media venues helped to spread the word and by 2009, Green Halloween official cities included Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, Tampa, Daytona Beach, and New York City.
In 2010, Green Halloween became an official program of the non-profit organization, EcoMom Alliance and grew to even more cities. According to Green Halloween, “A record one million pieces of candy were replaced with healthier and more sustainable treat options at events all across the U.S.” As if Green Halloween wasn’t cool enough, a sister program, National Costume Swap Day was launched.
Fast Forward To 2012
This month, Corey and her mom Lynn, now co-authors of Celebrate Green, made a big announcement – Green Halloween is partnering up with Green America. This is amazing news as Green America is a huge eco-consumer organization, which means they have the resources to help promote Green Halloween to new levels.
Alisa Gravitz, Green America’s Executive Director, notes, “Green Halloween is exactly the sort of program we love to support. Like Green America, it is equally committed to both people AND planet. Additionally, it is a solution-based approach that uses the collective power of consumers to grow the green economy.”
You can make a difference
What started as one little idea in one mama’s mind has grown into an initiative that now reaches more than one million people via approximately 30 official public celebrations a year, not to mention 50 trick-or-treating events at zoos and aquariums and over 200 community-based costume swaps across the U.S. and in Canada. At these events, Green Halloween has managed to replaced over 1 million pieces of conventional candy with healthier and more sustainable options, such as Honest Kids juice, Lärabars, Endangered Species chocolate, Stretch Island Fruit strips, and Plum Kids treats.
I’ve been a fan since the beginning, and it’s amazing that Green Halloween has come so far. A BIG congratulations to Corey, Lynn and the rest of the Green Halloween team!
As for everyone else, if you have a green idea forget about playing it down – why not take action?
You may think your ideas or actions can’t matter or make a difference, but this one simple idea for a greener, healthier Halloween shows that even the smallest green actions can take hold and change the world.