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Happier Halloween – ghoulishly green

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC


Although as a kid, what I best remember about Halloween is an ongoing stomach ache and mood swings (we all hid our hoards of sweets under the bed and gorged for days, right?), but as an adult, I’ve come to enjoy a day where we are encouraged to put on a costume and take the darkness of life lightly. I’m not just referring to ghosts and goblins, but the idea that accepting and honoring what is no longer living. You know, all that pagan stuff – birth, life, death, rebirth – all celebrated and honored.

As we many of the commonly recognized holidays today, we adopted many of the pagan rituals of “All Hallow’s Eve”  or Samhain – jack o’ lanterns, cauldrons and apples. Yet, somehow, the mainstream culture seems to gravitate towards one overriding aspect of each (Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny come to mind…) With Halloween, the candy companies have cashed in, But between unfair labor practices on sugar and cocoa farms, and chemicals used in candy and costumes, it means the environment and farm workers have to cash out. What’s a green goblin to do?

Buy Fair Trade, organic candy or at least those sweetened naturally, here’s a list of some greener goodies.

Make your own or rent your costume. Consider the safety of face paints or hair sprays and go with natural ingredients for die – I mean, dye.

Get your pesticide-free pumpkin from a local farm and be sure to compost or feed to wildlife afterwards.

And all that stuff about honoring the dead? The pagans used to set a place at the table for the dear deceased, inviting them to visit. Now, THAT’s spooky.

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7 Responses to “Happier Halloween – ghoulishly green”

  1. phyllis diehl Says:

    nothing to add, but, happy that you enjoy halloween. i think its a great holiday, since i am surrorunded by children who can’t stop talking about the big pumpkin day. all i hear is happy talk, and children looking forward to marching outside with their parents….how they love this day………………..i am glad you appreciate the spirt of the day. with children its just pretty simple booo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!and trick or treat!

  2. Greg Says:

    Happy Halloween from the bike riders in Asheville. About 50 folks met in downtown, with full costumes, and rode around town for 2 hours promoting commuter biking. After the ride, we went to the Wedge Art Gallery for live music and dancing. It was great.

  3. ourgreatgreenglobe Says:

    Definite food for thought! With kids it is easy to get caught up in the craziness of the holiday but it is good to step back and look at the larger impact.

  4. tao Says:

    Halloween is actually one of my FAVORITE holidays because it’s light-hearted and fun (despite the “death” theme ~!).
    Costumes and pumpkins and honoring our creative dark sides – whee! – who needs candy??

  5. Jolly ROger Says:

    Any chance I have to “costume,” is exciting to me. La dia de los Muertes, is more a celebration of the lives of loved ones who have passed. Set a place, or light a candle for someone who has left this earth, dress a little silly, and oh yes, have some CANDY!!!!

  6. Catfish Frank Says:

    Yes, i dig the setting a candle for the dead, sometimes people lose sight of the beautiful spiritual side of things, but i guess that happens with everything… happy Halloween from new york!

  7. phyllisdiehl Says:

    love your halloween views, sometimes its just fun to have fun. forget the meaning, just a night to pretend your something else. scary…funny, spooky, goofy, just to pretend. i also have good memories. and thank you for commenting about halloween and sticking up for this silly fun holiday

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