Almost everything we do these days can be done in a greener way, and Halloween is no exception. There are even entire websites devoted to just such a thing. Since Halloween is generally a holiday for kids, it is also a great time to reinforce the importance of sustainability, and show how each of us can help. Here are five easy ways to make Halloween greener for us all.
Costumes – Instead of fighting the mobs at your local Halloween supply store, why not hit your local thrift store instead? Second-hand stores are a great place to find used Halloween costumes, as well as components for homemade ones. From tiaras to top hats, a thrift store is a good place to start.
Decorations – Unless your community requires you to bundle your fall leaves in plastic bags anyway (which would be a real shame), why not just say “no” to those plastic leaf bag jack-o-lanterns this year? And while you’re at it, resist the urge to add all those plastic ghosts and tombstone decorations as well. Think natural – like scarecrows stuffed with straw and wearing toddler’s jeans and flannel shirts (also available at your local thrift store).
Goody Bags – Unless your kids already have their plastic pumpkins that they’re using from previous years, skip the plastic and go natural. You can buy plain natural cotton bags at most craft stores, and your kids will love decorating them themselves.
Candy and Treats – Let’s face it … Halloween just wouldn’t be the same without candy. Remember when we were kids and would get that occasional pencil or Chinese finger puzzle? What was up with that? But Halloween does provide a great opportunity to plant those green seeds and help reinforce the green living lifestyle to these young minds. If your Halloween budget allows, why not buy candy that has an ecological message, such as Endangered Species Chocolate. At $1.99 for a 1.4 oz bar, they may be a little pricey, but 10 percent of net profits go to support various conservation efforts. In addition, the inside of each wrapper educates about an at-risk species.
Clean Up – When Halloween is over, be sure to compost that pumpkin and all those corn stalks, straw bales and Indian corn. It will make great mulch to help protect all your tender plants from whatever freaky climate-changing weather this winter brings.
No matter what your budget, there are ways you can make this year’s Halloween greener and more environmentally sustainable. From prohibiting plastic to manufacturing mulch, Halloween offers many opportunities to teach our kids to be good stewards of our environment. Go Green!