Keeping Halloween Happy

Last October, I posted here about an important issue related to Halloween: The Bitter Truth About Chocolate. Many people don't realize that most of the world's cocoa is harvested by West African children who are either working with their parents in the fields, or are victims child trafficking who've been wrenched away from their families and communities and forced into servitude. All the big candy companies, including Hershey's and Nestle, rely on slave and child labor to produce cocoa for their Kisses and Crunch Bars. As fellow mama Kristen recently pointed out in a post at Rage Against the Minivan, this truth about chocolate pretty much ruins Halloween.

Thankfully, though, there are some things that parents can do to keep Halloween happy:

  • Buy Fair Trade certified chocolate. Products certified Fair Trade have met strict criteria for ethical labor practices as well as other environmental, social and economic measures. The website Stop Chocolate Slavery has a list of recommended brands here.

  • Buy organic chocolate. Certified organic chocolate is usually "slave free," since the certification process includes a review of the producer's labor practices.

  • Buy healthy snacks or small toys to hand out to trick-or-treaters instead of chocolate from one of the big conglomerates. The website Green Halloween has an extensive list of ideas for green and healthy Halloween giveaways.

Check back next week for more Green Halloween tips and ideas.

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