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Coming to your door on Halloween: The reverse trick-or-treat

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With every passing year, it seems, our culture's capacity for Halloween parental angst grows like an out of control green blob. But it had nothing to do with eerie Headless-Horseman skies or creepy ghosts lurking in the dark.

Instead, parents worry about all that candy. They worry about razor blades in all that candy.

They worry about whether kids should actually be out there walking around collecting all that candy.

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They worry about what the heck a " caring costume is" and why goblins aren't good enough.

And then, there's the " Reverse trick-or-treating" phenomenon that may be coming to a front door near you.

Yes, clever activists parents are seizing on your propensity for answering the door on October 31 by having their kids give you some fair trade chocolate and a card that explains that the chocolate you're giving out may come from a country which relies on slavery and child labour in their cocoa trade.

Blogger Kim Conte weighed in on the American campaign this week, saying while she agrees that consumers should be aware of these issue, ambushing folks on Halloween to talk about ethical supply-chain options may not be a great idea.

She writes: "...there's a time and a place to have this conversation, and it's not on Halloween going door to door. Did the person at the house handing out the Hershey's candy bar make the best choice they possibly could with respect to ending child labour? Who knows?! But there are more effective ways to spread the message about Fair Trade chocolate than giving candy back to people and making them feel ignorant and ashamed in the moment.

"Yes, let's raise awareness about and fight against major chocolate companies with disgusting labour practices! But let's do it before or after Halloween – not when you are at a well-meaning person's front door taking candy they're giving you out of the goodness of their own heart."

Do you give out fair trade chocolate? If you don't, what would your reaction be to a fair-trade chocolate advocate showing up at your door?

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About the Author

Tralee Pearce has been a reporter at The Globe and Mail since 1999, starting as a writer in the paper’s Style section. She joined the new Life section for its launch in 2007. She covers parenting and family issues for the daily section. More

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