Halloween is right around the corner. Have you seen the shelves at your local shopping center? They are stocked full of miniature candies and goodies with ingredients that you can't pronounce and packaged in plastic. How about the Halloween costumes and decorations for your home and yard that are not sustainable? All of these Halloween treats, quickly start to look like tricks. How can you be Eco friendly and still have fun during Halloween? Here are five simple steps to green your Halloween that will leave you smiling like a jack o'lantern.
- Create a Haunted House:: It is amazing how simple it is to transform your home into a house of terrors without spending a lot of money or sacrificing the environment. You can find almost all of the materials you will need in your garage, linen closet, neighborhood thrift or resource store. Plain white sheets are easily transformed into flying ghosts, or you can drape them over your current front porch furniture for a spooky setting. You can make tombstones, coffins or a spooky fence with leftover wood and no VOC paint, found at our local resource center. You can light the way for Trick or Treater's by making your own mason jar jack o'lanterns.
- Costume Party:: Skip the plastic Halloween costume aisle at your local store and go green with a Halloween costume that you made yourself. You can find tons of fabric and supplies at your local thrift or vintage store. If you aren't feeling crafty, check the Halloween costume section of your local thrift and vintage stores and give a costume another chance to go trick or treating. Another great idea would be having a costume swap party with your friends and family.
- Pick a Pumpkin:: Hopefully you planted your pumpkins and gourds last spring and have a bounty of organic pumpkins waiting to be carved. If not, consider purchasing your pumpkins from a local organic farm, if you need help finding one, visit Local Harvest. Don't forget to take advantage of the seeds to make yummy spiced seed treats and when Halloween is over, you can use the pumpkins to bake up some delicious goodies or you can compost them.
- Tricks and Treats:: The Halloween candy industry is a virtual wasteland of plastic. You can find some candies that are wrapped in paper (making the wrapper easy to recylce) at your local bulk food section. Other treat options, would include Eco friendly pencils, organic fair trade chocolates, fruit rolls or snack bars. Since a lot of houses won't be giving out organic and Eco friendly goodies this Halloween, you can arrange with your child to donate their Halloween loot in exchange for a goody bag full of Eco friendly goodies and organic candy that you have prepared.
- Night of the Living Dead:: If you live in a walkable neighborhood, let the kids Trick or Treat on foot. If you don't live in a walkable neighborhood, skip driving from house to house and go trick or treating with friends who do live in a neighborhood. Before you send the kids out, arm each one of them with a solar powered flashlight for safety and forgo the plastic pumpkin treat carrier and let your child pick a pillowcase or one of your reusable bags to collect the night's bounty in.
Making these few simple changes will guarantee a Happy Halloween for you, the kids and the Earth.
How do you green your Halloween?
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