Eco-Rep Green Corner: Reduce, reuse, recycle your costumes

Costumes are the most important part of Halloween, but they always tend to be extremely overpriced for just one day of the year.

Most people have numerous amounts of old costumes that they don’t know what to do with. A new trend for this dilemma is to have a costume swapping party. You can bring in your old costumes and trade with friends. Not only is this the best way of reusing what you have, but it also gives you another reason to have a party. The costumes that are not swapped can be given to any consignment shop or donation center. This can also be applied to old Halloween decorations as well.

Another way to skip spending money on costumes is to make your own. Recycled materials are excellent for making all kinds of costumes. Cardboard can be used to make robots, transformers, cars and any other cut-out characters. Plastic and aluminum make great shields of armor and sci-fi creatures. Old clothing you don’t wear anymore can easily be resewn or reworked into a new costume. An original costume is much more interesting than one that everyone else has. The possibilities are endless as long as you use your imagination.

Trick-or-treating is essential to Halloween. You may be at the point in your life where you no longer go trick-or-treating, but you probably still enjoy eating candy. Why not bake up some homemade treats to give to your friends? Homemade candy tastes so much better than the hard candy given out door-to-door. Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, homemade suckers and baked pumpkin seeds are just a few delicious goodies that can be made at home to reduce the amount of packaging that comes from regular candy given out on Halloween. Instead of buying the typical, over-processed candy, try looking for anything produced locally. Local candy and chocolate are much tastier and environmentally friendly.

If you are not too old to go trick-or-treating or are taking someone else out, there are a few things to think about before you go. Stay in your neighborhood and do not drive.  You will be eco-friendly by saving yourself money on gas and you will get a little exercise out of it before you eat all of your candy. A trick-or-treat bag is essential and pillowcases make the best candy holders. There is no need to go buy a new plastic bag when you probably have many lying around. Any type of bag is workable and can be a fun way to add more character to your costume.

Halloween is one of the top holidays of the year; make this year even better by doing your part to keep it green.

– Gillian Eshleman

Westminster Eco-Rep

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