Have a Non-GMO Halloween!

Happy Halloween!  We are thrilled to partner with Non-GMO Project this year to present the 2012 Guide to a non-GMO Halloween!

Offered to parents as a toolkit, the 2012 Guide (pdf) contains a list of Non-GMO Project Verified Halloween treats, such as Endangered Species Chocolates, fun ideas for “treasures” (non-food goodies) and even a healthy recipe fromGreen Halloween®  food blogger, Kia Robertson.

Get the facts about “Frankenfoods” in from our Green American magazine online.  And if you live in California,vote yes of Prop 37 next Tuesday!

Get the Guide here.

Learn more about GMOs and what you can do to fight “Frankenfoods”! Visit:

Top Tips From Green Bloggers: How to Green your Halloween

This is a guest post compiled by Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson of Celebrate Green

Summer’s long over. School is back in session. And that means Halloween is knocking at your door.

We thought that in addition to reminding you to check out GreenHalloween for ideas, we’d pass on some tips from our fellow green bloggers.

1. From green blogger and independent crafter Becky Striepe, comes an idea for a simple Halloween scrap banner. And if you’re into banners, here’s a paper one we created last year.

2. Do you read Healthy Home magazine? If not, you should. You can get awesome ideas for all things healthy and green, like this BPA-free pumpkin puree that’s easier than pie to make.

3. Lots of parents today are opting out of masks and choosing face paints instead. But these can contain chemicals that you don’t want on your children’s skin. What to do? Make your own! You can check out our recipe here, and for more ideas, check out this article on Greenwala by Danika Carter, or this one from Diane MacEachern at Big Green Purse.

4. Great tips on avoiding GMO sugar this Halloween from My Healthy Green Family.

5. Emily Roach at Random Recycling loves roasting pumpkins seeds. Here’s her recipe.

6. From Robbie Schneider at Going Green Mamawhat to do with that mammoth Halloween stash.

7. The Smart Mama, Jennifer Taggart, suggests using tee tree oil to keep your carved Jack-o-lantern from molding. And Danika Carter, from Your Organic Life says adding those little silica gel packets works well too.

8. And finally, Tamara Rubin, writing for DrGreene.com, explains how to avoid exposing your kids to lead during Halloween festivities.

Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are mother and daughter and authors of  Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family, and founders of Green Halloween®.

Raise the Bar Hershey Halloween Update

October is a busy time for chocolate sales.  According to The Nielsen Company, Americans purchase an estimated 90 million pounds of chocolate each Halloween.

Spreading the word in Niagara Falls

October is also a busy time if you are campaigning for human rights in the cocoa sector.  We’ve spent the last month bringing together an increasing number of consumers who care that the chocolate they consume was produced without the use of forced or child labor.  Across the country, individuals and groups called on Hershey, America’s iconic chocolate company, to go fair trade.  We generated tons of media as well.  Here’s a recap of all we have accomplished together.

With local organizers in New York City, Chicago and Niagara Falls, we were able to spread the word about the labor abuses in Hershey’s supply chain in front of its three retail locations.  In Niagara we teamed up with NYSUT (New York State United Teachers), the New York Labor Religion Coalition, and the Council of Canadians to collect signatures for the CEO of Hershey. The group handed out more than 400 brochures to interested consumers and collected signatures of people from over 18 countries.

Taking action in Chicago

In Chicago we teamed up with Chicago Fair Trade as well as students and teachers to collect signatures in front of the Hershey store on Michigan Avenue.  In New York City we teamed up with local grad students to bring this message to the folks in bustling Times Square.

In addition to collecting signatures in person, we reached out to more online sympathizers.  With the help of Change.org, we were able to more than double the amount of signatures we’ve collected online in just a few days. This video was also a big help to build awareness at this critical time.

Finally, on October 25th we gathered all the signatures the campaign has collected thus far ( a whopping 100,000!) and hand delivered them to Hershey’s headquarters in Hershey PA.  Read more about this trip here, or hear about it on the radio.

Rasha Sharhan, winner of the Halloween photo petition contest

On Halloween we engaged hundreds in our online photo petition contest on Hershey’s Facebook wall. We even had the chance to talk about the campaign on CBC Evening News (skip ahead to minute 52:40).

We are so grateful who all who have taken action with us this far to call on Hershey to stop sourcing cocoa produced with labor abuses. To take further action on this issue please consider:

  1. Ordering The Dark Side of Chocolate to screen in your community
  2. Sign our online petition on Change.org
  3. Choose fair trade chocolate for your holidays (download our chocolate scorecard for more information)

A Sweet Day

Yesterday was a day that I have been looking forward to for a long time.  It was the day we finally got to deliver all 100,000 petitions that the Raise the Bar, Hershey! campaign has collected to their intended recipient: John Bilbrey, CEO of Hershey.

We have been collecting petitions for just over a year.  Signers are calling on the Hershey Company to remove forced labor, child labor, and human trafficking from its chocolate bars.  In partnership with Global Exchange, the International Labor Rights Forum, the Not for Sale Campaign, the New York State Labor Religion Coalition, and countless schools and congregations, we gathered more than 50,000 signatures.  Then last month we teamed up with Change.org, an online platform for social change, to collect another 50,000 signers to our online petition.  (This platform also sends automatic emails to Hershey executives, board members, and members of the Corporate Social Responsibility team.  If you haven’t signed yet, it’s not too late!)

So, with heavy boxes of signatures in hand, and dressed in our most appropriate Halloween costumes, (I went as a member of a Child Labor Hazard Squad) we headed north up to Hershey, PA.

Before we even reached the front door of Hershey’s Corporate Headquarters, we were approached by two men who must have been part of Hershey’s security team. They were ready for us and seemed pretty nervous about what we had brought for them. (This campaign is having an impact!)

These men accepted the petitions on behalf of the CEO, saying they would pass them on.  We were unfortunately not able to engage with anyone at Hershey about the demands of the campaign, yet this was still an important step.  In addition to the stack of petitions we delivered to the CEO, we also sent a copy of the petitions to all of  of the members of Hershey’s board.  If the board members were not aware of the concerns of their customers before, they are now!

With Halloween only days away, chocolate companies are in the limelight.  We’re pointing the spotlight to Hershey in particular because the company lags far behind its competitors when it comes to tracing its supply chain to prevent abusive child labor.  We are hoping this extra attention Hershey is receiving this year will push the company to do right by their customers, and the children of West African cocoa-growing communities.

Hershey, your mission is to bring sweet moments of Hershey happiness to the world every day.  Will you raise the bar and commit to developing a Fair Trade Hershey bar by Halloween? That truly would be sweet.

Push Hershey to take action on Fair Trade by Halloween

With Halloween fast approaching, chocolate companies are poised to rake in the profits from consumers stocking up for trick-or-treating. This is precisely the moment that Hershey does not want a public relations disaster, so our Raise the Bar, Hershey! campaign is pulling out all the stops.

We’ve teamed up with Change.org, an online platform for social change, to send targeted messages about Fair Trade to five of Hershey’s top executives. We’ve already recruited more than 47,000 signers, but we need more! Please sign our petition today!

Change.org made this timely video to illustrate what’s wrong with Hershey’s chocolate, and to inspire everyone to sign the petition and not buy Hershey chocolate. Watch now and please share with your friends this Halloween!

Also, this weekend, Raise the Bar, Hershey! supporters will be leading three simultaneous actions in front of the Hershey stores in New York City, Chicago, and Niagara Falls, collecting more petition signers and letting consumers know about the child labor issues that plague Hershey’s chocolate. To join one of these actions, please e-mail our Fair Trade Director, Elizabeth O’Connell.

Finally, next Tuesday, Elizabeth will drive directly to Hershey’s headquaters in Pennsylvania to deliver the signed petitions to company representatives in person. Right now is the moment to turn up the heat on Hershey.

Please sign our petition telling Hershey to commit to
buying Fair Trade certified chocolate »

Halloween Actions for Fair Trade

Reverse Trick or TreatingJoin our fifth annual Halloween campaign against abusive child labor in the cocoa supply chain. With a reverse trick-or-treating kit, kids can go door to door, handing Fair Trade chocolate back to adults, to let them know that you can find chocolates made by companies with fair supply chains.

This year, there are two ways to order Halloween chocolate kits:

 

  1. Kits for individual families are available through Global Exchange for $7.50. Each kit contains 15 mini chocolates, informational cards and an instruction leaflet. Order your kit by October 11 »
  2. Larger groups can order kits through Equal Exchange for $24.50 plus shipping. Each kit includes 150 minis, informational cards, and instructions Order your group kit from October 3- October 7 »

 

More ways to take action this Halloween:

  • Order Fair Trade chocolate to give out to your trick-or-treaters. Check out our Chocolate Scorecard to see which Fair Trade chocolate companies have minis.
  • Screen The Dark Side of Chocolate in your community and collect petition signatures for the CEO of Hershey as part of our Raise the Bar, Hershey! Campaign.
  • Join the Raise the Bar, Hershey! Campaign’s Halloween photo-petition contest to send Hershey the message that we won’t accept halloween candy made with forced child labor.

Here’s how the contest works:

1. Write a big, clear message to Hershey on a sheet of paper, or print out our standard message here.

2. Take a picture of yourself holding your message.  If you’re able to wear your Halloween costume, it’s even better.

3. Email your photo to info@raisethebarhershey.org for a chance to win free Fair Trade chocolate from Divine Chocolate.
Don’t forget to also upload your photo to Hershey’s Facebook wall on Halloween (Monday, October 31st) for extra impact!

The prize will go to the most compelling photo message and will be announced on Tuesday November 1st, 2011.