Tis’ the season to be scary again! And nothing is as scary as hearing about another way to go green! Oh the horror…but seriously, going green for Halloween doesn’t have to be labor intensive or expensive. As you prepare for a fright filled party or just a substantial candy haul from trick or treating, here are a few tips to keep it eco-friendly.
Create your own décor
Got some old sheets? Turn it into a simple ghost or get all crafty and make a scarecrow. Use colored poster board for large (and quick) cut-out window displays. If you have kids, include them in the creative process. I already know what you’re thinking…it’s too time consuming. In the end, you can save some cash and make memories with your family.
Make your own costume
You can rummage through your own closet or check out your local thrift store. They occasionally have premade costumes cheaper than most other places. You can also easily mix and match vintage pieces that can make a good costume. Hate candy corn? String it on some thread and you got a great costume accessory.
Make your own face paint
It may sound like a daunting task, but with a few kitchen items, it’s really very easy. Basically you need cornstarch, cold cream (or lite corn syrup and flour as a substitute), water, food coloring, and a jar to store it in. And if you have allergies to food coloring, you can try swapping it for natural dyes found in blueberries or spices like turmeric, just remember to test a small area first! For complete recipes, check out ehow.com and search for “making face paint”.
Surprisingly you can find solar flashlights pretty cheap. Amazon sells SolarLite solar flashlights, by HybridLite, which received good reviews for under $20, or you can opt for a solar powered LED keychain light, by Delk, for under $2. But if you prefer to use your old trusty flashlight, look into getting rechargeable batteries.
Don’t use glowsticks!
Even though glowsticks are plastic on the outside, according to GreenGTA, they contain the chemical phenol (when the stick is bent and shaken to start the “glow”) which can’t be easily recycled. As a result, many of them are left to sit indefinitely at your local dump, so it would be best to not use them at all.
Walk, don’t drive
This may seem like a “duh” moment, but it is a healthy activity since you are going out for the sake of candy. I do recall being driven around with my siblings one Halloween when the weather was less than stellar. It took the joy out of trick or treating because it felt like we were jumping back into the getaway car after a robbery!
Host an “electricity-free” party (for little kids)
Keep the indoor lights on low (or off) and use your flashlights. You could set up a mini trick or treat village on the main floor of your home with simple cardboard boxes. If you have an apartment (or if the previous suggestion is too much work), you could do a “ghoul” egg hunt, shadow puppet theatre, or bob for apples (adult supervision required).
Make your own treats
Can’t you just smell the chocolate wafting from a beautiful plate of bat-shaped brownies? If you are a good baker, homemade treats are always appreciated. Just be sure to include what ingredients were used for those with food allergies.
Say NO to TP and Egging
All fun and games? Think again. It could count as an act of vandalism, you could get fined or get jail time (or both), and the incident could go on your permanent record. Ultimately, it’s not a good idea and it’s just plain wasteful.
Donate your leftover candy
If you can part with your sweet stash, many local soup kitchens and even women’s shelters would be glad to take your extra candy (just call ahead and check first). You could also support our troops by donating your goods to Operation Shoebox or Operation Gratitude, and share the Halloween spirit.
Hopefully none of these suggestions are new to you, but if they are it should help ease you into the green movement. Remember candy comes and goes, and may cause upset stomachs, but the earth is what we depend on the most.
Sources: Sonia Nelson, “How to Make Green Face Paint”, ehow.com; Krystal Wascher, “Homemade Face Paint Without Food Coloring”, ehow.com; “Glowsticks and the Environment this Halloween”, greengta.ca/green-tips/glow-sticks-and-environment-Halloween; amazon.com, operationshoebox.com, and operationgratitude.com