Halloween is around the corner! Have you taken steps to make sure that this holiday is an eco-friendly one? If you didn’t know this already, fun holidays like Halloween are some of the most wasteful times of the year – think of the amount of new costumes, decorations, candy, and pumpkins consumed…..then the waste that comes afterwards? Fear not, your family can still have a terrific Halloween while still caring for Mother Earth. Plus, you can save money too. That’s another great reason to go green- it’s definitely good for the budget!
Read on for my very easy, tried-and-tested tips:
First off, the most obvious and easiest thing you can do is RECYCLE!! Your old decorations, I mean (this goes for costumes too, but more on that below). Last year, I had this in mind, so I made that extra effort to carefully store all my decorations to minimize breakages and maximize use for years to come in spite of 3 children under 9 and their rowdy Halloween parties. I purchased a few of those large plastic, airtight boxes, which may not seem so green an idea at first, but when you think of the durability and protection against the elements, it made sense. In the past I used old cartons, and lost a lot of things because of bugs, damp and rain.
If you need new decorations, do make them yourself, and this doubles up as a great weekend, playgroup or after-school activity you can do with the kids. Use items like old cereal boxes, milk jugs and so on. Look in thrift shops for extra supplies. There are loads of things at home that we no longer need and can use. Kids love it when one thing transforms into another- especially when they do it themselves!
Apparently, every year, millions of Americans, young and old, spend a whopping $5.77 BILLION on new costumes which will rarely get used again. Great for the retailers, not so great for the environment. This year, do your bit by NOT buying.
This is easy for parents with same-gender kids like me. For instance, my younger son now has all his older brother’s costumes to use (long may this last). My daughter, on the other hand does not have any hand-me-downs so we’ve been looking for some DIY ideas form stuff we already have at home. Good for your kids imagination, creativity, and for the environment! Homemade costumes are more interesting anyway, and it enriches the experience for both parent and child. If you aren’t a parent, don’t let it stop you from getting creative too. Non crafty nor good with your hands? Enlist help from a friend who is!
3. Trick or Treating and Parties
Before heading out to the warehouse shopping club and stocking up on huge bags of candy, think about greener alternatives for the trick-or-treaters. Like healthy snacks or fruit? Last year, one house in our neighborhood doled out small cups of juice instead of candy, while another gave out biscuits- a welcome respite for tired trick-or-treaters!
If you’re planning a Halloween party, the aptly named Green Halloween has some terrific tips on how easy it is to be eco-friendly and still have all the fun. I do wonder though how organic tea and agave sticks will go down with my kids……
For more inspiration and instructions, the Internet is brimming with great ideas on how to make this year an eco-friendly Halloween.
Here are some of my favourites, worth checking out:
Eco Friendly Crafts from Kiwi Magazine– The Kiwis show you a great way to spend an afternoon with the kids, using things from the rubbish bin at home. Easy and with good photos.
4 East Tips From Planet Green – Simple things we can all remember and do to make it this Green Halloween.
365 Green Halloween – The folks who enjoy Halloween all year round also have some cool ideas on how to go green this 31st. Ideas for treat bags, costumes and more abound.
4 Ways To A Green Halloween Costume– The most fun thing about Halloween has got to be the costumes, right? This article has 4 of the best ideas I’ve seen around. Sure to inspire, and will definitely get your kids to stop whining about buying that pricey costume from the web.
Buy Green This Halloween – If you must shop this Halloween, then forgo the cheap plastic stuff and buy something made from sustainable material, of good quality and made through Fair Trade. Not only are they good on party tips, but the non-profit Green Halloween also rounds up some great things like that, like this very cool Fair Trade Trick or Treat Action Kit and adorable Alpaca Animal Mask and Tail Sets.