Each year, Halloween accoutrements account for a significant addition to national landfills.
This October, plan ahead to reuse spooky accessories and make informed decisions about what your child wears at Halloween.
We’ve got green Halloween tips, dead ahead!
Avoid Halloween health hazards
In recent years, the lead, heavy metal and chemical content of Halloween items such as face paint, fake teeth and even some costumes and Halloween baskets has come under fire.
This year, it might be a good idea to skip costumes that require your child to paint his or her face or wear a mouthpiece, unless you can confirm the safety of the supplier. Items such as masks, plastic swords, vinyl capes and costume jewelry have, in some cases, tested positive for unsafe ingredients such as lead and phthalates. As labeling is not always reliable, a rule of thumb, especially for young children, might be to avoid costumes involving soft plastics or jewelry, and opt instead for greener costume options made of cloth only. Using an earth-friendly pillowcase or a cloth bag for a candy-catcher is another great way to have a recycled Halloween and avoid unsafe ingredients that might be found in plastic containers.
Cut scary waste
Halloween trappings are often disposable, dollar-store fodder — costumes and decorations meant to be used for a night and then thrown away. Trick or treaters gobble it all up, while their moms and dads rush to get them through the prelude parties and the big night as quickly and cheaply as possible. The hurry all lends itself to last-minute purchases of things that really won’t last long.
This year, you might tap the brakes on all that by procuring second-hand costumes and decorations at consignment sales, thrift stores or costume swaps. Or, with enough preparation time, help your child make his or her costume, either out of clothing you have already or by sewing something new.
Creepy decor made from craft pumpkins can get reused year after year. You can also make use of everyday household items like cans, detergent bottles and paper towel rolls to make fun holiday crafts. For an earth-friendly switch, hand out recycled party favors for your Halloween festivities. You can substitute cool marbles, trading cards or bookmarks in small cloth bags, rather than plastic spiders and skulls in plastic treat bags that will soon end up on the sidewalk or in a garbage can.
Even before Halloween is in the air, start to plan ahead for the festivities. The extra time you take to prepare for the fun will make the experience healthier for your kids, their friends and the environment. Say goodbye to the truly scary waste and chemicals of years past, as you make your green Halloween resolution this year!
Photo credits: Shutterstock / Christopher Boswell, Poprotskiy Alexey