by Christine Wied
The big Trick or Treat day will soon be here. Try for a “green” holiday with these few suggestions.
- Decorations – Use natural items such as cornstalks, branches, and leaves and of course pumpkins and other colorful and different shaped squash. These can be composted or eaten later. Old bed sheets hung from the ceiling or tree can be transformed into a ghost. Try making mummified lanterns by reusing glass jars.
- Costumes – Store bought costumes are not only expensive, some are made from vinyl and other plastics that may be toxic or at least not earth friendly. Use your creativity and reuse what you already have at home. If you need to buy something, check out thrift stores. Sometimes you can find ready made costumes or items that you can reuse to make your own. For children, cardboard boxes can be made into robots, train engines or other items limited only by your imagination. Check with friends and swap last year’s costumes.
- Cosmetics – Although face painting may be a good alternative to masks for increased visibility especially for children, be careful about what is used. There are some still available that contain mercury and lead. Use only those approved as cosmetics but still read the labels carefully. Better yet make your own face paint with the linked recipe. It’s less expensive and safer.
- Trick or Treat – Pillowcases or even an old tank top sewn at the bottom decorated or not, can be a good trick or treat bag. When giving out the treats, try to find those with the least packaging but still safe and sanitary. Remind children to wait until they get home to eat their goodies so they can be checked and wrappers don’t end up littering the street. What about fair trade chocolates or organic lollipops as an alternative give away? Some children are happy with stickers, pencils or fun-shaped erasers.
- Parties – Reduce trash by using pumpkins, squash and other vegetables as natural bowls for soups or dips. Instead of disposable, use reusable plates and utensils. Everything does not need to match. Stay away from expensive so-called biodegradable tableware. Many do not break down in home composting units and will not biodegrade in the landfill. Use pinking shears to cut fun holiday napkins from holiday themed or plain orange or black fabric. No sewing necessary and they are washable and reusable. If you have bottles or cans, be sure to put out a recycling container next to the trash for your guests convenience.
- Don’t be spooked. Visit a Green Halloween website for more ideas.
Contact: Christine Wied