Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Halloween Goes Green

When I look back on my childhood, I can remember several of my costumes - giraffe, robot,

Halloween iconImage via Wikipedia

clown, gypsy, and Smurf. I also remember what they were made of--cardboard boxes and tubes (giraffe and robot), an old bedspread (clown), my mom's old jewelry and scarves (gypsy) and my own clothes (Smurf). The one thing I don't ever remember having is a store-bought costume.

I will confess that I have bought many costumes from the store for my own children, but this year we're going a little more environmentally friendly and using mostly items we already have to assemble the costumes. My older son is going as a rock star complements of his Dad's old rock T-shirt collection and leftover talents for making very cool ripped jeans. My younger son is going as Harry Potter which happens to be a costume his older brother wore a few years ago. Don't get me wrong - they still gaze longingly at the costume catalogs delivered to our house. That reminds me - I need to go to Green Dimes and add those to my list of "Don't deliver to me anymore" catalogs.

In the end, though, we've made some compromises and they're happy. Stephen wants a stuffed Hedwig to sit on his shoulder which I'm going to order and Ryan wants spiked hair to go with his costume - easy enough! I've saved the $59.99 that the favored costumes seem to cost and we haven't wasted many resources in getting the costumes together.

That's my contribution to the greening of the traditional orange-and-black Halloween, but costumes is just one area where you can go green. What about you??

Some other areas to consider - treats, decorations, and parties. For some great tips on celebrating green, check out Green Halloween. You can also plan ahead for next year by growing your own pumpkins and squash for decorations.


  1. Great ideas. I always dread getting store-bought costumes. They are expensive for a one-time (possibley two events during the season) use. This year, I got lucky. My youngest, Wylie, decided on a store-bought one for 19.99. It's not reuse, but I was excited on the price. My oldest, Logan, decided that he didn't want a new costume. Last spring, he used his money and bought a zipper hoody. The zipper goes all the way up over the face. It has a fun (could be scary) mask built in. Great idea and we can't beat the cost. I too decided to recycle my costume for this year by using one that I used two years ago. If that doesn't work, I'll find something around the house to reuse.

  2. I've seen Logan's hoodie - he'll be great and it's perfect for a scary costume!I do find that some of the much-loved storebought costumes (e.g. Star Wars) have found longer lives in our house so that's another way to get more use out of them - use them all year for dress-up and role-playing.

  3. This does bring me back to past Halloweens. And it was always raining...and we didn't even live in the Seattle Area! Spent much time plasticising the cardboard boxes. We did grow our own pumpkins this year and have given many to the neighborhood children + grandchildren. Tonight we are decorating with the cornstalks from our garden. Wish us well! Karen Parker(Mom/Grandma)