Tag Archives: halloween

Going for a Greener Halloween?

Every major holiday is a good time to think about how you can go a little greener. You just have to look at all the consumption encouraged at such times. Just think about how much simpler Halloween was in the past.

Now stores are selling more and more elaborate decorations for Halloween, lights and so forth. It’s quite a switch from the decorations we used when I was growing up.

I’m still prone to buying the usual candies to hand out… it’s once a year, and my budget really doesn’t allow for organic treats.

But as I’ve posted in the past, I’m a fan of homemade and/or reusable costumes. If I can make it, especially with supplies on hand or minimal purchases, I’d rather do that than buy a costume at the store knowing that several other kids will doubtless be wearing the same thing as mine in that case.

One of my other favorite tips is to just use a pillowcase to hold treats, rather than buying a bucket or bag for them, no matter how reusable. Certainly you can get some great themed ones if you buy a bucket or bag, but it makes so much more sense to me to just grab a pillowcase.

When I was a kid, my mom cut bats out of black construction paper. Those decorations lasted for years! She also made gravestones out of some styrofoam she had gotten someplace or other. I think it was from something shipped to her work. They’re still in her garage and get reused most years.

My husband and I do have some decorations we’ve bought in the store. Not a lot; we don’t go all out in Halloween decorations. But we don’t go buying new often, or really even over the past couple years. Saves a lot of money that way, not to mention waste.

For costumes, homemade is my own favorite, but thrift stores can be good too… if they aren’t sold out already. That’s also a nice way to get dressup clothes for kids into that.

As with many things, I think the simplest way to go green is to just go simple. Make do with what you have. There’s a reason why reduce and reuse are so very important!

Starting Halloween Costume Planning

I’m just loving how my planning for the kids’ Halloween costumes is going this year. Looks like it’s almost all going to be reused!

dragon halloween costume

In the case of my son, I’m really delighted, because I spent many hours working on that dragon costume, and hardly anyone saw him in it. He’s started to play in it a little now for dress up, and says he wants it to be his Halloween costume.

The sleeves and pants legs are too short, but he’s 3 and doesn’t care. At least this year the waistband is tight enough that the tail shouldn’t make the pants fall down every few minutes.

My daughter wants to be a butterfly again. That was her costume about 3 years ago. We still have the homemade wings, though. I’ve promised to add a little glow in the dark paint to the wings like her brother’s dragon costume has. Considering how dark the costume is otherwise, it’s a very welcome request.

Both need their wings strengthened so they can lie flat on their backs a bit longer. The wings have been used for dress up by both of them all this time, and so they’re rather floppy. That’s fine for dress up, but not so cute for trick or treating.

And of course my daughter needs appropriate clothes for the body of the butterfly, and maybe some antenna. We just dressed her in black the last time. I don’t think she has any black pants, much less a plain black shirt, so that will have to be a thrift store run.

I don’t think she has a headband that would support antenna, so that will probably mean buying something new. Still, not a bad deal for Halloween costumes.

Can You Green Your Halloween?

Halloween is coming pretty soon, and I’m thinking on the costumes my kids will wear. I’ve long had the habit of making their costumes at home; it’s fun and it makes for more creative costumes.

homemade halloween costume

Last year was something of an exception, but not in a particularly bad way. My mother made a Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz costume for my daughter from fabric her mother had been storing for years and years, so all we had to buy was “ruby” slippers. My son wore a lion costume we had been given as a hand-me-down about two years before. It just so happened to fit, and obviously was perfect as a companion to Dorothy.

This year my daughter so far wants to be Rapunzel. That’s easy since she already has a costume for that. Little girls and dressup, what can I say?

But dressing my son up is going to require some inspiration. He doesn’t understand about costumes yet, so won’t give an opinion. I’m just going to have to figure out what I want to do for him, I suppose.

Keeping things green for Halloween can be a bit tricky, as it is for most holidays. But Halloween has been getting more and more commercial in recent years. It amazes me seeing the sheer range of decorations in my neighborhood. It used to be that having a couple faux tombstones on the lawn was plenty. Not anymore.

I must confess that Halloween is a favorite holiday of mine. It’s just fun. No major family obligations. It’s about having a little fun for my family, and seeing how cute the kids can dress up around the neighborhood.

And of course the candy. Not very green, but there it is.

Halloween Costumes

Making costumes at home just requires a little creativity. Look around at what you have and think about the costumes you would like to make. There are plenty of websites that have tips on making homemade halloween costumes.

Halloween Decorations

One of the fun things we did this year was to take some seeds from last year’s pumpkins, and grow our own pumpkins for this year. We got two good ones this year, oddly enough from the pumpkin plant that grew in a random part of the yard, nowhere near where we had planted the original seeds. The ones we did plant came up with a single good plant, and its pumpkin looks like bugs are getting it already. We doubt it will make it.

But growing your own pumpkins from year to year is still a fun way to do it.

You can also make your own decorations. For pretty much my entire childhood, one of my mother’s primary Halloween decorations for the inside of the house was a huge stack of bats she had cut out of construction paper. They’re very easy to make, and I really wish I had a template to post. But if you can draw a rough bat shape, that’s all you really need.

You can also download some Halloween music and play it to set the right atmosphere, if you like.

Halloween Treats

Finding organic Halloween candy can be quite a challenge, and you have to expect that if you have a child out trick or treating that they will bring back all kinds of candy. There’s nothing to do for it, and my own philosophy is to let the kids enjoy it.

If organic candy is hard to find in your local area, you may be able to search Amazon and other websites to see what you can get. You may not have the selection that you would get just by heading out to your local stores, but it might be a bit better for the kids. Probably not much, since it is still candy.

If you want to add to the fun, try playing little jokes on the trick or treaters. Nothing serious, but do things like offer rocks from your garden, onions and so forth instead of candy. This is something my mother is notorious for in her neighborhood, even though she really does give out candy. It’s just fun seeing the look on the kids’ faces at first.

There’s a lot you can do to enjoy Halloween while keeping it relatively green and budget friendly. Perhaps the key tip is to simply keep it simple.