Here’s a great article with tips for going green this Halloween!
Halloween is meant to be enjoyed, but somewhere in between “planning” and “cleanup,” many parents find themselves feeling overwhelmed. It might seem that attempting to consider the Earth while planning a great ghoulish party is just too much work, not to mention way too expensive. Some fear it might even zap the fun right out of the day. But creating an eco-savvy Halloween doesn‘t have to be scary, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg when you follow these pointers:
1. Consider your costumes
The truth is many store-bought costumes and accessories contain toxic chemicals that not only are a potential hazard to your child, but also to the environment and the people who helped to make them. Choose fabrics such as cotton, wool, and silk or make costumes yourself from materials you know to be safe.
2. Go au natural
When decorating your home for Halloween, skip the plastic black cats and paper skeleton streamers made in China. Instead, use décor inspired by Mother Earth — fallen leaves, gourds or pumpkins, and all-natural beeswax candles.
3. Trim your trick-or-treats
Hand out less ________ (fill in the blank). Preferably your goodies of choice are healthy and/or earth-friendly, but even if they’re not, handing out just one (rather than the conventional handful) of something is better for kids, better for the planet, and better for your bank account.
4. Reduce, reuse, recycle
Apply the 3 R’s to all of your holiday choices: costumes, décor, goodies, etc. Of the 3 R‘s, reducing is the best for the earth, our wallets, and, with regard to food, our waistlines. Rent, borrow, swap, make or acquire used, when possible, to avoid buying new — especially disposables.
5. Choose eek-o-décor
Say “no” to disposables and instead reuse or repurpose items you already own. Look also for items from nature and don’t forget to decorate with food (consumable décor). If you must use disposables, look for products that are compostable and then be sure to compost them. Or, choose recycled, reusable, and recyclable items.
6. Go kid-powered
Give your child a shakable or hand-crank flashlight to light his way.
7. Love LEDs
Use decorative Halloween LED and/or solar lights for trees, outside of your home, and for lighting the path for trick-or-treaters. They come in every shape, theme, and color imaginable!
8. Bag it, green-style
Instead of buying, make your child’s goody bag from a pillow case or anything else you already own that goes with the theme of the costume. Or, purchase a keepsake, reusable Green Halloween trick-or-treat bag.
9. Get creative!
Turn costume-making into a creative and fun experience for your child. Hunt through the house, at neighborhood garage sales, or a thrift store for costume-worthy items. Enjoy the process and the finished product!
Instead of allowing your child to eat all the candy he collects, ask him to select a limited, agreed-upon amount and then leave the rest out for the Halloween Fairy/Witch/Great Pumpkin, who will, while your child is sleeping that night, swap the candy for goodies such as books, games, or “pumpkin points” redeemable for outings.
11. Green the YUM
Make the party meal using foods that are mostly orange, black, and green. Create spooky names for the food, if you can. Shop locally (in support of local farmers) and choose organic, whenever possible.
12. Recycle the unexpected
Compost all leftovers, jack-o-lanterns, natural décor, and unconsumed candy — remove wrappers unless they’re compostable. In some places of the country, you can add compostables to your yard-waste bin.
13. Celebrate others
Host your Halloween party at a retirement home, children’s hospital, organic farm, or similar venue.
14. Say “no” to toxic chemicals
Make your own face paints, or purchase mineral-based, lead-free paints.
15. Choose eco sweets
If buying candy, choose organic – you’ll be surprised at how affordable some brands are! If buying chocolate, look for triple-certified: organic, shade grown, Fair Trade.