What’s really scary about Halloween are not the spooky costumes and trick-or-treaters, but how environmentally unconscious all the waste is. Think about it: black and orange-wrapped candy goes uneaten, wads of toilet paper in the trees, and trash cans full of cheap plastic masks and costumes, worn once and then thrown away. It doesn’t have to be this way.
It doesn’t take much for a family to make the switch to a more environmentally-friendly Halloween. This year, for instance, challenge the kids to reduce, recycle and reuse. An online community of like-minded families can be found at Green Halloween.
Green Halloween Costumes for Kids
Poke around the house, in the attic, in the basement, in the garage, and at grandma’s and chances are — boo! — green Halloween costumes will reveal themselves. For instance, Uncle Bob’s old high school band uniform? Perfect. So is the floor-length aubergine bridesmaid dress and the old karate uniform and the old vest and pork pie hat. How about a parasol? There’s one gathering dust in the corner, so someone in the family should frankly not give a damn that parasols are out of style and go as Scarlett O’Hara. The pile of old, ratty sheets can easily be made into a troop of ghosts or mummies. What better use for them?
Raiding closets for funny/scary things to wear is a great, environmentally friendly Halloween fun for the whole family. The kids will have a great time going through the fashions of the ages and laughing till they ache that mommy actually wore a cowboy hat and leather-fringed jacket and believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that she looked cute. Daddy thought she did too. But what did he know? He was wearing chaps and mutton-chops.
In addition to recycled green costumes, families can think outside the plastic pumpkin candy box with these environmentally-friendly holiday tips:
Celebrate Sustainably This Halloween
- Have the kids use pillowcases to carry the haul of Halloween candy
- Don’t buy plastic decorations, make your own from recyclable newspaper and cardboard
- Start a tradition of serving homemade cookies and cider instead of pre-packaged candy
Halloween is a great time to start learning to celebrate sustainably. Start with finding costumes among the things you already own: it’ll be easy to wow the neighborhood. They probably have never seen a roving family of fortune-telling gypsies (costumes by grandma’s attic) and you and your kids will be setting a great example for others to follow.