Wednesday, October 3, 2012 | By kpekoz | No Comments
- Instead of buying a costume that will be worn once & thrown away, make costumes from old clothes & other items you have around the house. You can also get inexpensive costume materials from thrift stores or yard sales, or trade costumes with friends to get something “new” & different to wear. After Halloween, wash & store your costumes for use in subsequent years, trade with friends, or donate the clothing from which they were made to day care centers, homeless shelters, or charities.
- Use recycled & recyclable materials to create your Halloween decorations. Bed sheets hung from the ceiling or tree branches make great ghosts & can be taken down, laundered, & returned to the linen closet when Halloween is over. Turn off or unplug holiday lights during the day. Doing so will not only save energy, but will also help your lights last longer. Instead of throwing away your Halloween decorations each year, store & reuse them year after year, just as you do decorations for many other holidays.
- Host a Halloween party that features organic, locally grown pumpkins for carving, apples for bobbing, & other pesticide-free, locally grown foods appropriate to the holiday & the harvest season. Set the table with cloth napkins & reusable dishes, glasses, & silverware. Consider renting more formal tableware that you might not use very often.
- Once the jack-o-lanterns have been carved & the games have ended, apples & pumpkins can be used in pies, muffins, soups, or other dishes. You can also roast pumpkin seeds & serve them to your guests.
- If you don’t already compost, Halloween is a great time to start. You can add post-Halloween jack-o-lanterns to your compost bin, along with fallen leaves, food scraps, & other organic, biodegradable yard & household waste.
When your little ghosts & goblins go trick-or-treating, make sure they carry reusable bags or containers that don’t need to be discarded after they are used. Cloth or canvas shopping bags, or even pillowcases, make terrific eco-friendly alternatives to paper or plastic bags, or to the molded plastic jack-o-lanterns many kids use to collect candy.
- When the neighborhood ghouls show up, give them treats that also treat the environment gently. There is a growing variety of eco-friendly candy—from organic chocolate to organic lollipops—available online and from local organic groceries, health food stores, or consumer cooperatives. Choose treats that use little or no packaging. Whenever possible, buy locally produced treats from local merchants.
- Rather than drive to other neighborhoods, stick close to home this Halloween & walk from house to house to reduce fuel consumption and air pollution. If you are attending a party, use public transportation or ride your bicycle. If traveling by car is really the only way to join in Halloween fun, try carpooling.
- Teach your children to keep candy wrappers in their bags until they return home, or to dispose of them in trash cans along their route. Preventing candy wrappers from becoming Halloween litter on the street is the right way to treat the environment. Take along an extra bag when you take the kids out treat-or-treating, and pick up litter along the way to help clean up the neighborhood.