Halloween is a great opportunity for your family to add some GREEN to the traditional orange and black of the day. There are plenty of easy ways to reduce, re-use, and recycle as you celebrate the spookiest day of the year.
Create a family challenge to have the best Halloween ever with the least environmental impact. This will take some creative planning and brainstorming but it is something every member in the family can get involved in. Here are some ideas to get you started:
If you want a totally original and one-of-a-kind costume you don’t have to look any further then the attic or possibly your local thrift store. One creative mom I know made her son’s monster costume by gluing dryer lint to an old pair of jeans and sweatshirt. Once your child decided what they want to be it is easy to look for unique ways to make it happen.
You can also make your candy bag match your costume without having to go buy one of those plastic, disposable bags. All you have to do is ask yourself what would your chosen character be holding? In the case of the lint monster, maybe a large, colorful laundry detergent box that has been reinforced with tape, or a pillowcase also covered with lint.
The individually wrapped candy of Halloween has a huge impact on the environment. For friends and family why not make your own Halloween treats? Make sure you include the recipes for anything you give out. To hand out to trick-or-treaters, brainstorm treats you can give away that are multi-use such as pencils, tooth-brushes, chalk, crayons, and little soaps. You can make your own crayons by recycling and re-melting old crayons stubs. You can even get candy molds in the shapes of pumpkins and ghosts to pour them into. Heat and pour soap kits are available from craft stores and online too.
If you do get lots of candy, save those wrappers and turn them into art projects. There are lots of instructions on the internet for making candy wrapper necklaces, bracelets, earrings and beads. Foil can be used to accent pictures and homemade cards. You can also collage or decoupage with paper candy wrappers. Why not make a frame out of card stock, cover it with candy wrappers and put in a picture of your child in their Halloween costume?
Look for things to decorate your yard that you can use again, re-purpose, or recycle. Have Tiki torches in storage from the summer? They would be great to line your walkway with! Scraps of wood or tree branches can be tied together with twine to make crosses and grave stones. If you are going to buy Halloween decorations choose ones you will want to put out year after year. Use features you already have. Our large garden beds are turned into fresh grave sites, the trellises used to hang spider webs (which we reuse every year).
Throwing a Party
Avoid using disposable paper plates, napkins, cutlery, and decorations. Send invitations out electronically and encourage people to walk if possible. You could collect canned food donations for the local food bank and offer prizes for the most creative costume, the costume that uses the most re-purposed or recycled items, and the most “Green” costume.
There are plenty of ways to “green” your Halloween. Do you have any unique ideas to share?