Halloween isn’t one of the holidays that comes to mind when I think “wasteful” — anything that involves the wearing of costumes and eating of delicious candy is not a waste to me. But it could be a lot more green. Authors and mother-daughter team Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson have written a book about greening your holidays called “Celebrate Green” and went on NPR show “Tell me More” to talk about ideas for a green Halloween.
Halloween is definitely a bigger deal now than it was when I was a kid. The actual celebration goes on for at least a week and Halloween costumes were in the stores right after the back-to-school stuff was cleared out. And that can mean more consumerism — the race to have the most decorated house, pricey costumes, and oodles upon oodles of candy given out and brought home.
The authors suggest making costumes instead of buying them (which usually involves a trip to the fabric store, so I don’t see how that’s less pricey or uses fewer resources — but hey, I cobbled together my kids’ costumes with a mix of Salvation Army and homemade items so I get to be smug, I guess), and actually composting your candy and pumpkins after the holiday. Wrappers can be put up on Craigslist or Freecycle because apparently crafters are actually making stuff out of them. And keeping your decor in good repair so it can be used year after year is a simple way to be greener. I’d add in fair trade chocolate, too, if you can find it.
Even simple things like putting a beeswax candle versus a paraffin one in your jack-o-lantern can make a difference. More info is available at Colwell-Lipson’s Green Halloween website here.