~ Samantha Lewis
All Hallows Eve…
The night to scare and be scared by things that go bump in the night. Of course, on October 31st, we all want to have safety and fun for our kids and ourselves. This time around, however, we can also keep our thoughts on having a safe Halloween for the planet, itself. How, you ask? Well…it’s called imagination. Just as it is with the 40+ million kids’ plastic costumes that are bought in order for the spooks and ghouls to look their very best, there are also other things that negatively impact the world around us on Halloween. We can each do our part to stop that from happening, with everyone cutting the waste and working to make sure our homes and neighborhoods are not filled to the brim with plastic wrappers, old costumes, or non-recyclable decorations that truly do have frightening impacts on our environment.
So what would be the main idea for having a ‘green’ Halloween? Yup. It’s the costumes. Whether it be kids or adults, there are a gazillion of these prepackaged items in every store known to mankind at this time of year. Unfortunately, 95% of these costumes are made from non-recyclable plastic, as well as wrapped up in the same. BUT, you don’t have to be a magnificent seamstress in order to make a seriously killer costumer; make…not buy. In fact, you can most likely do it better than the costumers because you’ll be able to dress it up and reuse the items when Halloween says ‘so long’ until next year.
You can paint your own face with your regular make-up at home; you can use real gel and skip the toxic glitters and dyes and chemicals that could do harm to your skin and hair. If you don’t have them sitting on your countertop, look for the organic cosmetics, or head straight to the world of Google (something that used to be a scary proposition), and find all the recipes for healthy ways to dress up and accessorize.
Yes, true…zombies are ‘in’. A lot like it was with the blood-sucking vamps a few years back – ‘The Walking Dead’ has made sure that a ton of well…walking dead, will be around your neighborhood on Halloween this year. Let’s just hope they don’t stumble across your new flower beds, or scare the dog into having to go to therapy the next day. But you can make your own fake blood and gore, guys and gals. Use food colorings; use grape jelly (yuck), but don’t use all these products that have been shown to be harmful to your skin.
What to carry your goodies in? Well, no offense, but if you’re a zombie…why a Milky Way bar? (Not exactly your dietary favorite) Any who…the trick-or–treat packaging, from plastic pumpkins to plastic bags, end up clogging the alleys, the garbage cans, and cause a whole dump of waste on this planet every year. SO…make it yourself. You know very well there is a closet in your home that has canvas bags, shopping bags, even pillowcases that are not used anymore because Mom decided to change ‘colors’ in the bedroom and no longer wants the ‘old’ pillowcases. Take one and…imagination time! Decorate! If you want the gore, then the pillowcase can be decorated with a head. (Yuck). If you are going for sweet, take a pink pillowcase and draw the ultimate castle to go with your Cinderella scheme.
Candy, candy – that’s what it’s all about, right? The one night even the adults don’t have to feel guilty. But when it comes to individually-wrapped candies, try to make sure to buy in bulk. On the packaging you will note the bio-degradable methods used. And, I know this may cause a frown on some chocolate-lovers’ faces BUT, there are many out there who give out gifts that can actually be used. Fun toys, books, crayons – things that your kid will have fun with far longer than with a piece of candy.
Decorating the lawn is a whole lot of fun; I even used to have one woman in my town who made her own haunted house…from the zombie wreath on the door to the spider webs of fabric, panty hose and trash bags that, with the right lighting, looked very much like they were about to take a bite out of you. Again, imagination… Eco-friendly decorations are the way to go. Using arts and crafts, ‘green’ fabrics, glass ornaments – think BIG! THINK SCARY! and it will totally work. You’ll be the one house in the neighborhood that everyone wants to go to, (or everyone cowers with fear because of). Your choice, of course.
In the end, have fun. Have a scary, undead ball this year…and make sure you do your part to help out the world around you!