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#Green Tip Tuesday – Getting Ready for Halloween!

Note from April: I want to thank and welcome Laura, my new guest Green Tip Tuesday writer! I have been totally slacking on this feature and wanted to continue it and Laura has kindly offered up some tips! Please leave a comment to welcome Laura and leave your thoughts on her post! Enjoy!
Halloween is fast approaching (I’m doing my best to ignore the Christmas displays in stores) and can sometimes seem difficult to “green” up, but a little creativity can go a long way!  First, let’s look at the biggest sources of waste: individually wrapped candies, plastic treat bags and party favors, and cheaply manufactured costumes that never get worn again.  

Due to health and contamination concerns, there isn’t much we can do about offering little trick or treat-ers individually wrapped candy. For parties and celebrations with folks you know, buy candy (or think outside the wrapper: dried fruit, trail mix, granola, fruit leather, etc) in bulk and place in a bowl, or go to a craft store’s party or wedding area for small, drawstring fabric bags.  
Skip the plastic trinkets (parents hate them and kids are over them in 5 minutes) and offer Halloween party-goers crafts instead. Anything from simple coloring pages printed off the web (google image search Halloween coloring page) to painting or decorating mini pumpkins. Or, make the food into a craft: offer up fresh apples on sticks with a heated bowl of caramel, and bowls of nuts, chocolate chips, sprinkles, etc for make-your-own candy apples!
For costumes, I will admit that I’ve always admired the crafty, diy ones that use repurposed household materials the best. It is amazing seeing how imaginative older kids can get, and many parents have more fun making something original for their littler ones. It is recycling at its best and sets a great example for using what we already have the rest of the year. One of the most versatile materials is, of course, the trusty cardboard box. I have seen them painted up to look like robots, trains, even a wearable washing machine!  There are literally, a gazillion blogs and web pages with diy costume ideas, or look through the October issues of parenting magazines (previous years’ issues are available in many libraries) or the flyer of your local craft store. You could also make a physical inventory of materials and supplies you already own (your recycle bin is a great place to start since you can put those items right back in after Halloween is over) and see what you can come up with.  Don’t forget to look through the dark recesses of closets as well, for an old dress, hats, scarves, coats that while out of style the rest of the year, might be the perfect thing for a night of dress up.
For those parents who really don’t have the time or inclination to diy a costume, look for, or start a costume swap.  If you’re a member of a mom’s group or other social club, start there. Also scour craigslist’s free section or join freecycle.org.  Local consignment and thrift stores typically offer a wide selection for very little out of pocket.  Remember, the greenest thing you can buy is nothing at all!

About the author:  Laura currently works as a domestic goddess, raising one son, a handful of chickens, an ever expanding garden, and selling handmade crafts and beauty items, locally and online. She is passionate about real food, food rights, composting, non-toxic living, and learning lost arts, such as baking, soapmaking, and spinning.  She likes to spend her free time crocheting, reading, or entertaining friends–with food 🙂  She is prone to obsessing over new interests, and is appreciative of her understanding (and handy!) husband.
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