Tips for an Eek-O-Friendly Halloween
Back in the day, Halloween was different. It was a time to create, be imaginative, and it was a low-budget holiday. I still remember the countless decorations and costumes that were made out of old sheets and cardboard, not bought. The treats were homemade and trick or treating was done on foot. We used old pillowcases as candy bags! Back then, Halloween was green and it didn’t even phase us. It was fun.
Now, almost $6 billion a year is spent on costumes, candy, decor and other accessories, most of which are made from unhealthy, unsustainable materials, by people who may not be paid living wages or treated fairly. Most of the stuff – what isn’t consumed – winds up in landfills.
It is time to get back to basics – having good clean fun!
Environmentally minded businesses are increasingly finding one another to join together and strengthen the message. GreenHalloween is a non-profit, grassroots initiative striving to create healthier, eco-friendlier holidays – starting with Halloween. The mother and daughter team has come up with 25 Green Halloween tips to help with planning and reducing the cleanup.
Here are some of their tips (to read all of their great tips and ideas, go to www.greenhalloween.org): Apply the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) 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, in regard to food, our waistlines. Rent, borrow, make or acquire used, when possible, to avoid buying new, especially disposables.
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.
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.
Choose eek-o-décor. Say ‘no’ to disposables and instead, re-use or re-purpose 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 reusable and recyclable items like Kids Konserve Party Pak.
Invitations – use e-invitations or make your own from reused, recycled or tree-free sources. Start small and build your confidence.
Start simply by having (and using) a recycle bin at your party or by going bottled water-free. You can green up each of your next celebrations a little bit at a time until celebrating green-style becomes old hat.
Small things add up to big things. Don’t drive to trick or treat. Encourage your neighbors to go green and then go door-to-door near you. It’s good for you and the planet and builds community.