Green Your Halloween: 3 Simple Ways
written by Green Mama
Here are a few simple ways of Greening Halloween (without losing any of the fun of my favorite holiday). Not challenging enough? How will you green your holiday?
MAKE your costumes and decorations.
Have you always meant to do this? Then this is your year. You have 30 days. Ready . . . GO!
- Get inspired to by Parents.com’s Do-It-Yourself Halloween Costumes. There are lots more ideas online; see below. Your kids are not as likely to take issue with your craftsmanship as you might think (especially if you run with the infant and toddler set).
- Engage kids over the next month by having them draw or trace pumpkins, black cats, goblins, etc. and the letters in “Halloween” on the back of once-used printer paper or on cardboard from cereal boxes. (Younger kids can color in what you draw or trace.) They can also jazz up any old decorations by drawing in or gluing on new details like masks, hats, or scary grins.
- If making something for your child to wear this year is really too tough, buy second hand. Once Upon a Child in Hamden and Milford both say they still have a nice selection of costumes, for now . . .
REUSE your materials.
Today I pulled out my Halloween decorations, some of which are at least 30 years old. Many seem to be on their last legs, but you could have said that about them five or ten years ago. A little tape and we’re good to go. Plus, if the skeleton’s leg is falling off, doesn’t that just make it scarier?
- After Halloween, carefully store anything that makes it through this year. Keep a list of what you have to help resist the temptation to buy more.
- Hold a neighborhood swap for costumes that won’t fit next year and trade any decorations you might be outgrowing or bored with, too. Or you can always resell a store-bought costume or donate costumes or materials to a thrift store. If there is something you (or anyone else) really can’t use again next year, check out Can I Recycle Halloween Decorations? from Earth911.
- Read Earth911’s 10 Uses for Your Halloween Pumpkin, including pumpkin biscuits and pumpkin potpourri. If you like the ideas, check out the site’s No Carve Jack-o-Lantern Ideas, which will allow you to have the most options for reusing your pumpkin after Halloween.
Go NATURAL with your treats.
- There is lots of delicious organic and natural candy available now without the chemical colorings, flavorings, and preservatives. Last year, the Yummy Earth Organic Lollipops I gave out were a big hit. (My fave is mango tango.) A 5-lb. bag on the company’s website is $31.96 (slightly less on Amazon) — share the 325 pops with a friend! Or find them and many other options in smaller packages at your natural food store or in the natural food section of your grocery store. Elm City Coop says they have natural Halloween candy coming in or check out Natural Candy Store.com: “All the fun without the funny stuff.”
- According to Organic Deals & Coupons, many snack companies are offering Halloween versions of their treats. Annie’s Halloween Bunny Grahams and Clif Kids Organic Halloween ZBars were spotted at Target, but you can certainly give out small pouches of your favorites without the holiday designs.
- Halloween Play-Doh® is also a cool option — mini cans in holiday colors. On Amazon, they cost about $13 for a 20-pack, but I found mine at Marshalls for less than a third of that. I am also planning to look for closeouts after the holiday on non-perishables like spider rings that can be enjoyed for years (as long as they don’t get lost!).
- Finally, while children must unfortunately still be cautioned against eating anything unwrapped from strangers, consider making a small batch of natural, homemade treats for the friends and close neighbors you expect to come trick-or-treating. Control the ingredients, waste less, save money. Your family will just have to eat any leftovers!
Guide to Greening Your Halloween from Earth911
Homemade Halloween Costumes from Parents.com
25 Unforgettable Homemade Halloween Costumes Made from Recycled Materials (costumes for adults and kids; a few of the photos are slightly racy or graphic for kids–check them out on your own) from The Daily Green
10 Crazy Crafts With Candy Wrappers from Earth911