Sustainability: Halloween costumes
My kids are in their mid-20s now, but when they were little we didn’t buy ready-made Halloween costumes. The whole costume adventure was really an excuse for immersion in the creative process. Deciding on a concept, then bringing it to fruition, was a rather amazing journey.
Luckily, I worked from home and had plenty of time to support my girls in this creative endeavor. Now, many of you don’t have the luxury of adequate time to start from scratch. Even so, there are many ways to jumpstart a green Halloween.
I indulged my new Facebook habit and posted a query for ideas conducive to a sustainable Halloween. I’ll share the two best responses I received.
Local sustainability queen Heidi Marquardt was full of great suggestions:
Use stuff you already have around the house for costumes. Repurpose items to make costumes, and then recycle them when you’re done.
Host a party with prizes for costumes made with the highest percentage of recycled content.
Bob for organic apples.
Instead of driving, stay in your own neighborhood to trick-or-treat and purchase carbon offsets if you must drive to a different neighborhood.
Distribute Fair Trade candy.
Craig McClure, my niece’s husband in Alabama, wrote, “Collect old jack-o’-lanterns and decorative hay bales from the neighborhood for the compost. Also, we buy Lillian’s candy from her to make a donation to a charity of her choice. That could also be green, depending on the charity.”
Can’t make your own costume? Try one of the many consignment and resale shops around the valley. Two newcomers on the scene are Bibs to Cribs and Animaloos.
Bibs to Cribs, 545 North Ave. in Grand Junction, is owned by Katie and Lindsay Schied. The shop opened a little over six weeks ago, but is already bursting with great stuff including a bunch of Halloween costumes. Call 242-2520 for store hours.
For the past year, Dawn O’Grady has owned Animaloos, formerly Doohickeys & Dinosaurs, 127 E. Aspen Ave. in Fruita. She started consigning costumes for the first time this year so parents would have a way to recycle old Halloween attire. You can reach her at 858-1766.
Now that you have several options for procuring a costume without purchasing a new one from a corporate giant, let’s look at the rest of the Halloween experience.
When you are carving your pumpkins, don’t throw away the seeds. They make great snacks when you roast washed and dried seeds briefly in a 350-degree oven with just a spritz of oil and some salt. If you don’t want to watch them so carefully, use a 250-degree oven instead and cook for about 45 minutes.
Send your little ones out trick-or-treating with durable bags to collect those goodies. Cloth shopping bags work great and are so roomy.
Think about handing out local apples or little cloth bags of dried local fruits instead of sweets. You can also buy more sustainable candy. Natural Grocers carries a variety of Fair Trade chocolate, but none are packaged specifically for Halloween.
If you move quickly, it is not too late to order healthy or Fair Trade treats for the holiday online. Find treats on the healthy end of the spectrum at http://www.thegreatergreen.com/halloween.html. Clif Bar also has a special organic Spooky S’mores bar you can order at http://www.clifbar.com/food/products_clif_kid_zbar/2449.
Divine Chocolate offers Fair Trade chocolate Halloween Milk Balls wrapped in appropriate foil wrappers. Go to http://www.buydivine.com/cart.php?m=product_list&c=4 to order.
Sweet Earth Organic Chocolates, another Fair Trade company, boasts a full line of Halloween products at http://www.sweetearthchocolates.com/level.itml/icOid/132. I love this company’s motto, “Linking the world through chocolate.”
When you flip your calendar to November, don’t forget Craig’s advice and compost those pumpkins. Have a safe, fun and green Halloween.