Green Halloween Mom Insists Children will be Just as Happy with a Small Treasure as with Sugary Treats this Halloween

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Green Halloween is an initiative to create a healthier and more earth-friendly holiday. It started last year in Seattle and in 2008 a number of cities are throwing their own Green Halloween festivities. The Seattle mom, Corey Colwell-Lipson, who founded Green Halloween asserts that children will be just as happy with healthier alternatives as with traditional candy and will enjoy Halloween just as much when they wear recycled costumes and put worn-out jack-o-lanterns in the compost bin.

This mom believes kids are smarter than parents think. Insists children will be just as happy with a small treasure as with sugary treats this Halloween.

Last year, Corey Colwell-Lipson started a Halloween revolution in Seattle. Her idea, that this holiday doesn't have to be all about conventional candy, has spread like wildfire and in 2008, six cities across the country, including Los Angeles and Phoenix, will be hosting Green Halloween events and raising funds for local non-profits.

Why pick on Halloween, some might wonder. It's just one day out of the year. Can't kids just forget about health and the planet for a single day?

"The problem is," says Colwell-Lipson, "it's not just one day. If it were, that might be OK. In reality, we are constantly celebrating. Whether it's the biggies like Christmas, Easter or Thanksgiving or the myriad individual celebrations that clog our calendars--birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, baby showers, office parties, family reunions, religious and ethnic holidays. Each one of these celebrated by millions of people creates problems. We're not asking people to give up the fun of celebrating, only to consider the impact our traditional approaches might have and consider the alternatives.

"Last Halloween, even we were surprised by the overwhelmingly positive input from children about receiving alternatives to conventional candy," says Colwell-Lipson. "It was the occasional parent who expressed doubt about our approach to making Halloween more child and earth-friendly."

"In view of the childhood obesity epidemic, we are sending the wrong message when we dump handfuls of conventional candy into children's sacks," contends Tracy Bennett, executive director of Treeswing, the non-profit "host" of Green Halloween. "It's appalling that the average child brings home 10 pounds of candy after making the Halloween rounds."

Colwell-Lipson proved that children would be open to giving Halloween a healthy twist at a series of appearances around the Seattle area where the Green Halloween team exhibited alternatives to conventional candy to more than 20,000 children. Not a single child between the ages of two and sixteen, Colwell-Lipson asserts, said they would be disappointed if they found in their bag, one of the treasures or healthier items displayed on a board.

So what are some of the alternatives to traditional treats? Visit http://www.GreenHalloween.org for dozens of suggestions (as well as hundreds of ideas on greening up costumes, décor and more). Here are a few favorites:

•Feathers (this was a favorite of children of every age)
•Organic honey sticks (not for children under age two)
•Play dough in individual portion containers
•Captain Teao's organic Tea for Kids
•Games for Your Brain Ocean Cards (one card per child)
•Organic fruit leather
•Pencils made from recycled money
•Spooky S'mores flavor Clif Kid™ Organic ZBaR™
•Seed packets
•Stamps from foreign countries
•Polished rocks
•Yarn bracelets
•Fortunes and jokes you write on strips of paper and place inside empty walnut shells, then wrap with string so they close
•Soy or beeswax crayons

From the Seattle area last year, Green Halloween® has gone nationwide this year. "Official" Green Halloween locations with their own special events are:
•Bay Area, CA
•Canton, CT
•Daytona Beach, FL
•Los Angeles, CA
•Phoenix, AZ
•Seattle, WA

In cities not listed above, people will be incorporating Green Halloween® ideas into their celebrations. Families, schools, neighborhoods, churches, organizations and businesses will be greening up Halloween by organizing costume and décor swaps, handing out alternative "goodies", composting pumpkins and more.

Green Halloween is a program of Treeswing, a Seattle non-profit working to reverse the trend of childhood obesity. Through innovative programs and partnerships, Treeswing improves the health of children and is working toward building generations of healthy, active communities. Learn more at http://www.Treeswing.org.

Top sponsors for 2008 are Crayons Beverages, Washington Oral Health Foundation, Puget Sound Energy and Overlake Hospital.

Photos, media kits and more information are available at the website, http://www.GreenHalloween.org.

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LYNN COLWELL

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