For myself and my friends, particularly here in the Green Mountain state of Vermont, we are always thinking about ways to lighten our environmental footprint, so to speak. Here are some earth friendly ways to enjoy this super fun day with an eco friendly spin: - Organize a costume exchange. Kids grow SO quickly! Rather than going out and purchasing anew, make some Halloween refreshments a week early, to get in the mood, and have a little gathering with friends to try on and swap! -On a similar note, make your own costumes, and recycle materials where ever possible. Everyday items can make a great disguise! Aluminum foil, paper towel rolls, fabric scraps, you name it, can all contribute to the makings of a great costume...and the best part is, they can be dismantled and put it your recycle bin when you are done with them! There are a lot of plastics involved in the making of commercial costumes, and this is really hard on our environment...face paints are a great substitute for these! Encourage kids to think outside the box and instead of dressing as a favorite video game or cartoon character, creating one of their own, from their imaginations. -Create a spooky atmosphere by dimming the lights in your home...better yet, they are now making energy saving LED lights in creepy colors ( I saw them at Home Depot last week!) These are great to create a spooky-scary feeling if you are having a party! -Consider giving out non-edible green treats instead of mass produced candy ( much of which is in non-recyclable wrappings). How about pencils for drawing , cotton string friendship bracelets, small glass beads and cording ( like mini necklace kits) ..or, if edible treats really are an important feature to your fun, choosing something organic and packaged in a way that CAN go into the recycle bin. -Use cloth trick or treat bags..or, better yet, an old pillowcase...that was my favorite as a kid! -Host a green Halloween party, if you are having one, by using items to set the mood that can be used beyond Halloween. Avoid disposable plates and silverware, consider hollowed out pumpkins and gourds as serving vessels to set the mood, use electronic invitations, organize a carpool to get to the party, and of course, choose organically grown foods and snacks to serve. I would love to hear if you can think of any more ideas to add to this list!. Remember, small changes on all of our parts, can make a world of difference. You really CAN find a way to enjoy all holidays by invoking the SPIRIT of the day in an earth friendly way.... BOO! p.s. this photo has NOT been tampered with!...that really really is the true color of this pumpkin!