Green your Halloween

It seems holidays in this country are marked by conspicuous consumption.  There's always an endless supply of trinkets and baubles and disposables - and Halloween is no exception! So today I thought I'd put together a few tips on Greening your Halloween this year.

Here we Go!

1.  Don't buy cheap, disposable costumes.  Hit up your local Goodwill or thrift store and let your creativity and imagination run wild!  Kids will love the "treasure hunt" for their costume, and it's often cheaper than "store bought".  These sturdy items also lend themselves better for reuse.

2.  Reuse your costume.  Ok, so most kids won't want to have the same costume two years in a row, but if you have multiple kids, consider the hand-me-down option! (Toddlers and babies don't know the difference anyway.)  For bigger kids and grownups, consider a costume swap!  Get some friends together and "shop" eachother's closets.

3. Repurpose costume parts.  This works especially well for costume accessories.  That feather boa for this year's fairy princess?  It could be part of next year's baby duck costume!

4. Consider Candy Alternatives. All those individual Fun Size candy bars come with lots of extra packaging.  Plus, they're usually full of High Fructose Corn Syrup and tons of other chemical additives.  (Full disclosure: I've been sneaking into the basket of mini Snickers in my cabinet for a week now!)

If you live in a neighborhood where homemade treats are acceptable, try going that route.  There's always the mini-boxes of dried fruit (but none of the kids like the "raisin house").

Or how about a trinket this year?  Pencils, temporary tattoos (maybe earth-themed?), and stickers are always solid choices.  Be careful when choosing plastic trinkets, as these cheaply-made items may contain lead, cadmium, BPA, and a host of other nasty chemicals.

5. Pick Face Paint with Care.  While we're talking about nasty chemicals hidden in cheap products from overseas, consider the face paint kit.  Even regular cosmetics sold in the U.S. can contain lead, nickel, cobalt and chromium (among plenty of other scary stuff).  Halloween face paints are no exception.  Kids are more sensitive to these heavy metals (which act as neurotoxins) than adults.  What to do?  If you use safer cosmetics for yourself, raid your own makeup bag.  Consider not using facepaint at all (though be aware, plastic face masks can have their own set of concerns).  At very least, be sure to keep paints and makeup away from little mouths and hands to avoid accidental ingestion.

I'm off to the most sincere pumpkin patch to await the arrival of The Great Pumpkin.  Here's hoping your Halloween is spooky only in the good way!


  1. Great idea for passing out temporary tats or pencils! Too bad, most kids just want the candy. I wonder if any candy is packaged in a biodegradable plastic?

    Happy Halloween!

  2. I really enjoyed your post. I'd love to link to it for my lovelies at Goldiluxe! Would that be okay?