Green Halloween

Halloween kicks off the first of the holiday hustles in our house. Costumes can seem like an impossible DIY project, but I try to fight the urge to make a quick stop at the big box store for something brand new. I also need to step away of the family-sized bag of mini candy bars. Although it is truly the best part of Halloween, all those little wrappers really clutter up our holiday. This year, I’m hoping Halloween will be a little more Hallowgreen!

First mission, costumes. I try to spend a few minutes scrounging for costume elements in our closet to help me get ideas. If I can’t find anything ready-made, I look for old sheets, curtains and table cloths. If I can get out early enough, resale shops are a great option for gently used costumes. Paper and cardboard have also been magically transformed into hats, belts, swords, and shields. Older kids can even get in on the fun with paint and glitter. Check out WLSSD’s Product Reuse Center for FREE paint, before buying anything new.

Next up, it’s time to trick out the old treat selection. I typically choose treats without packaging so that we’re not littering the neighborhood with shiny wrappers. Here are a few candy alternatives: pencils, crayons, notepads, decks of cards, seashells, friendship bracelets, tops, whistles, or coins. These items can all be purchased in bulk to avoid the trash that goes along with most treats.

If I’m hosting or participating in a Halloween gathering, I try to make green a theme. I provide or volunteer to bring waste-free treats, reusable or compostable plates, utensils and cups, and avoid disposable decorations and table coverings.

This year, instead of waking up in a pile candy bar wrappers and broken dreams, I’ll be packing up a tidy box of left over giveaways and decorations to pull out next year.

By AJ Axtell, WLSSD Environmental Program Coordinator