Orange and black are typically designated as Halloween colors, but we want to help you make the holiday more green. By being more earth-friendly this October 31 you can also save money. Wondering how to make your carbon footprint less scary this Halloween? Get some great ideas on reducing waste while still having a freakish amount of fun.
Did you know that National Costume Swap Day is October 8, 2011? It's a great nationwide event founded by Green Halloween and Swap.com helping Americans to swap princess gowns and super hero capes for new creative costumes in an effort to save money and reduce waste. "Swapping the costumes of only half of the children who celebrate Halloween would reduce annual landfill waste by 6,250 tons—equivalent to the weight of 2,500 midsize cars," says Jennifer Dziubeck of Kel & Partners. "Not to mention, it can help families save a bit on one of the biggest expenditures from the holiday." Find a 2011 swap in your area by visiting Costumeswapday.com.
While kids may be more concerned with collecting the best candy on the block, it's a great time to teach them about sustainability, according to Seth Evans of Envirosax LLC. "With Halloween just around the corner, you and your little ones are busy planning costumes and stocking up on treats for the neighborhood kids," says Evans, who suggests using an Envirosax MiniSax. "They are the perfect size for a Halloween trick or treat bag, and they are made from 40% recycled materials." Designed as a reusable lunch bag, this nifty little sack has life well beyond Halloween since it has a life span of more than five years.
Decorate on Consignment
Consignment shops can be a great source for holiday decorations and costumes. The slightly used items are typically in great shape and cost a fraction of what they would brand new, according to Katie Lennon of ConsignmentMommies.com. "Right now, there are tons of consignment sales and stores throughout the nation that are well stocked with "nearly new" Halloween costumes priced at 50 to 90 percent below retail," says Lennon. "Resale definitely beats out retail as the ultimate win-win—you can go green and save some green at the same time." Head to ConsignmentMommies.com to find a nationwide consignment sale directory and locate stores in your area.
Make To-Die-For DIY Decorations
Carolyn Scott-Hamilton, also known as The Healthy Voyager, celebrates each holiday the green way. When it comes to Halloween decorations she loves making her own. "It’s cost effective when using materials you have at home, as well as eco-friendly, since you’re reusing items that would normally end up in the land fill," says Scott-Hamilton. She suggests making headstones from cardboard boxes that you collect from things you’ve received in the mail, building a scarecrow or ghosts out of old sheets and clothes, and decorating with lots of gourds and fall vegetables as they can be planted or composted after the holiday. In addition, she says to opt for LED lights and eco bulbs for your outdoor decor.
Choose Green Candy
Yes, even candy can go green. Scott-Hamilton shared some of her favorite earth-friendly sweets perfect for serving up this Halloween. She suggests checking out vegan licorice at TheVegetarianSite.com as well as the all-natural, dairy-free and vegan versions of the old-timey favorites found at GoMaxFoods.com. Then you may not feel so bad when you over-indulge on sweets this Halloween.
Carving pumpkins is a fun tradition, but if you're looking for a way to avoid racking up the mileage on your SUV, save yourself a trip to the pumpkin farm and go virtual with the help of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. The website offers a fun way to carve your own virtual pumpkin. The free online program features easy drag-and-drop eyes, noses, mouths, and even entire pumpkin faces. No messy seeds to dig out and mistakes can be cleared up with a couple of clicks.