Make it a Green Halloween

Submitted by Courtney on Thu, 02/25/2010 - 21:45

Ghosts, goblins and ghouls – oh my! Halloween certainly is an exciting time of year that is packed full of sweets, tricks and treats. Remember the costume you painstakingly scoured the stores for both you and your kids? Or the jack o' lantern that took you a good 3 tries to actually look half-way decent? Or maybe you remember that sugar coma you went into after you ate the candy left-overs. When November 1st rolls around, we all tend to look around at the great excess we've created for one night of fun and ask ourselves, “The heck am I supposed to do with this stuff now?”

There is no denying that many of the Halloween preparations we make total a small bounty of pure waste. I couldn't tell you how many parents simply cast aside their child's costume or throw it out, or how many decorations are tossed into a trash bin after one year of use. It's time for us to buckle down and take an eco-stance on Halloween! October 31st can still be a day filled with thrills and chills while being environmentally conscious.

So how can you make your Halloween turn from orange and black to green?

Costumes

If you're looking for complete costumes in a retail store, you're wasting your cash. Second hand stores have a wealth of clothes for men, women, children – even pets! - that you can purchase at a fraction of the cost. Many of these stores also have the best complimentary accessories for your creative get-up and the staff is usually more than willing to help you create your vision.

Decorations

As much fun as those cheesy cut outs of witches and skeletons may be, the reality is that you won't get ore than 2 years' worth of fun out of them due to poor construction and weathering. Keep it stylish and keep it local by choosing pumpkins, corn, fallen tree leaves and gourds from your area. Not only that, but rather than throw these things out after Halloween, you can add them to your compost.

You can make your own “fun” decorations out of reusable materials, such as garbage bag ghosts or glass bottles that you can later recycle, and string up orange and purple LED lights either around the outside or inside of the house. Turn off all of the lights for a truly spooky experience!

Treats

Ahh, the great dilemma: what sort of eco-friendly treats are there? You know if you hand out granola bars and local apples they're going to end up in the trash cans of all the kids in your area. Many parents are also extremely wary of homemade treats and will discourage their children from eating them, so that pretty much rules out THAT option for you. Think of organic treats that are being sold in stores or “Fair Trade” approved chocolates. You'd be surprised how many of these things are out there if you are actively looking for them!

See? It is possible to have a less wasteful “green” Halloween. And hey, be sure to ask your kids or the children in your neighbor hood for some ideas of their own (you'd be surprised just how crafty kids are these days!).

photo by Malcolm Jelley

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