Make Halloween Less Scary for the Planet! by Gia Machlin, October 03 2011, 1 Comment

Halloween is such a fun holiday for kids and adults alike - who doesn't like dressing up in a costume and eating candy?  Unfortunately, it's one of our more wasteful days: Halloween costumes alone account for at least 6250 tons of landfill waste a year, or the weight of 2500 midsize cars, according to the folks at greenhalloween.org. Whoa!  I have to admit, when my kids were little, I couldn't wait to go out and buy them a brand new adorable Halloween costume every year, not even thinking about the fact that the costume would be worn once, and then thrown away.  It didn't even occur to me that there were millions of other costumes out there that other kids had worn once last year, that were also getting thrown away, and that would make perfectly good costumes for my kids this year.  Turns out, there is a national movement of costume swapping going on, and it's not too late to get involved for this Halloween!

This Saturday, October 8th, is National Costume Swap Day.  It also happens to be Yom Kippur, so those of us celebrating the Jewish Holy Day will be starving in Temple on Saturday - BUT - the great thing is - the swap doesn't have to happen on THAT particular day.  You can check out all the swaps happening in your neck of the woods (see, a lot in the NY area are NOT on Saturday), or you can plan and register your own swap event!  I am so excited about this because - well - I am a pack rat and I still have some of my kids' adorable costumes up in storage.  Now I can finally get rid of them and know they are being used to make another kid's Halloween fun and green.

Talia's First Halloween - Moo!

Even without an actual swap event, you can participate in this easy way to green your Halloween (and save money too!)  For example, my daughter Talia wants to be a Zombie Cheerleeder this year.  Turns out, her friend Allison was a Zombie Cheerleeder last year, happens to be a little bigger than Talia, and she still has her costume.  Voila!  We are all set for Zombie Cheerleading!  And Allison is getting her costume from another friend.  And so on, and so on...

Another important thing to remember this Halloween is that face paints and some kinds of make up can be pretty damn toxic and you should think twice about putting that stuff on your kid's skin.  Check out these great tips from our friends at Zosimos Botanicals on using Vegan make up for Halloween .

So go ahead, find or register for a costume swap day event near you, and please tell us all about it when it's over - and send photos too!  Happy GREEN Halloween!

Related Articles on EcoPlum:

Have One's Pumpkin and Eat it Too

Tricks for a Green Halloween

A Responsible Sugar Fix