Green Your Halloween

By Melanie Stewart

Did you know an estimated $7.4 billion was spent on Halloween last year with the average American  spending close to $80 on Halloween related stuff?  Unfortunately most Halloween costumes are intended to be single use items and are often made from cheap, non-recyclable materials and are made of flame resistant fabrics which have been treated with toxic chemicals.

To help reduce waste and to help keep your family safe, LiveGreen has some tips for you to ‘Green your Halloween”

  • Costumes: Use items from home or from thrift stores to make your own. Save them for future years.  Kids outgrowing costumes you already have?  Gather friends, family, and neighbors and organize your own ‘costume swap’.  Most costumes are still in good shape and classics can be used for future Halloweens or dress-up.
  • Make-Up: Most make up contains toxic chemicals. Consider making your own by following the instructions on this page .
  • Pumpkins: When carving, save the seeds for a fun and healthy snack. After decorating, place them in your compost pile or small pumpkins (non-carved) can be used for baking.
  • Bags: Use re-usable bags or go old school and use a pillow case for collecting treats. If you have purchased a plastic pail, reuse it for years to come…for treats and decorating.
  • Energy: Don’t be an Energy Vampire! Add to the scary effect by turning off the lights inside your home.  While you are at it, don’t forget to unplug those ‘vampire devices’ – items that suck energy from your home while not providing any function.  These are items that are plugged in but not turned on, yet still using energy, things like cell phone chargers, radios, small kitchen appliances, etc.  The average US household spends $100 a year on vampire loads!  Use powerstrips to make turning off appliances easier, unplug and store some items, or get rid of items you don’t use.
  • Trick-or-Treating: Stay local! Halloween can be a great community event, so stay in your community!  Leave the car at home, save yourself some gas, and enjoy the night by walking your kids to houses and talking to neighbors.
  • Decorating: Set the mood by using petroleum free candles (beeswax burns cleanest), put LED bulbs in any light-up displays, and turn items from your house into something new. The possibilities are endless, just ask Google.

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