Go Green For Halloween

by Kathy Pape – September 20, 2010

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle & SAVE!

It’s frightening how much money we spend on decorating for the holidays, and most of us don’t even realize it!  When Christmas decorations line the shelves just one week after Halloween, it’s way too easy to mindlessly pick up something way too cute each trip to the store.  Before you know it, it’s all added up to much more than you ever planned to spend!

Halloween is the mother load of decorating budget pitfalls in my house.   My kids have been running through the Halloween aisles of Target for the last two weeks asking to buy everything in sight.  From spider webs to electronic groaning mummies, to costumes and candy, the ready made allure of no fuss stuff is completely overwhelming!  And while it all looks cool and easy, I remember the good old days when we would make our own decorations, and my mom would sew my costumes rather than choose something from the rows and rows of ready-to-wear outfits.  The whole family used their imagination to decorate the house, and figure out what we should dress up as… We all had so much fun making our costumes together!

Waste Less with Originality

Back in the day, it was much less common for all of the trick or treaters in town to be wearing EXACTLY the same plastic costume!  Even if kids went as the same Star Wars character, each costume had it’s own flare and style.  The costumes of my youth were MUCH more creative, MUCH less wasteful, and certainly MUCH less expensive than the costumes I buy my kids today.

So as we begin to prepare our house for Halloween this season, I’ve decided to practice some of these old Halloween family traditions with my own children!

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Besides creating fun quality family time, getting back to the basics of Halloween originality will reduce your carbon footprint while saving you a scary amount of money!

I Want Candy!

When we were kids, we didn’t grab fistfuls of candy.  We stood semi politely at the doorstep while the adults chatted with us and admired our costumes before placing one piece of candy in our bags. However, these days children grab fistfuls of candy and run off  before you can even say boo!  Instead of perpetuating this new order of mannerless gluttony, try buying less candy and interacting with your trick or treaters more.   Added bonus: you might actually enjoy Halloween instead of watching it pass by in a blur!

Ask the children why they chose their particular costume and have a conversation with them before giving them their one treat.  Limiting the amount of candy you pass out is healthier for the kids, saves you money, and cuts down on waste – especially if you’re like me and throw out most of the candy anyway!  –We love organic candy like Yummy Earth because it doesn’t have dye or pesticides.  And remember, it doesn’t have to be candy to be a treat – kids love stickers and temporary tattoos.  My son is just as thrilled to get a tattoo as he is to get a Snickers bar.

Scare Up Your Own Decor!

Halloween is so perfect for reusing old things.  You can celebrate almost every part of the holiday without buying one single new piece of festive decor!  Half the fun of Halloween is making decorations, and it’s a great time to visit your local Goodwill and use your imagination to make your own costume.  I’m always amazed at how much people spend on paper witches and plastic Draculas at the store when we used to make our own.  –Kleenex ghosts still look so cool and kids love to make them! This year decorate a tree with ghosts and follow the directions below to make egg carton bats!

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One Response to “Go Green For Halloween”

  1. Lynn says:

    LOVE the cassette tape cobwebs. What a terrific idea! Just wanted to add that in addition to all the other ideas on Green Halloween, this year we have started National Costume Swap Day. Anyone can register a swap or find one in person or online at http://www.CostumeSwapDay.com

    Thanks for a GREAT job!

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