It's that time of year when ghost and goblins and scary things go bump in the night and money drains out of your pocket for a costume for yourself, your kids or your cat ... yes, he does go trick or treating but I get the treats.
The thing is, so much of the stuff we purchase is made of plastic and shipped all the way from China only to end up tossed into the bottom of the closet never to see the light of day again. Why not go green this year and try creating your own or maybe go secondhand from a thrift shop?
Don't fear, there is a web site for just for this most frightening of eves. Green Halloween is a program of the EcoMom Alliance, a global network of mothers, working towards a greener future for all children. Both these sites are worth a look but for today let's head for the amazing amount of great ideas at Green Halloween.
Easy to navigate and full of ideas, Green Halloween has a separate section for parents, kids, schools and even a toolkit that gives you a list of simple steps you can take head towards making your holiday greener. On the tool page you get a nice set of tips and a series of download-able PDFs that run from a neighborhood action kit to a postcard that suggests you "think outside the candybox." Of course if you're still in the candybox you may want to check out the "Halloween and healthy teeth page."
The section on costumes includes a warning on the toxic dyes off-the-shelf costumes may contain and possible alternatives. You'll find a list of websites that sell great costumes made from organic materials like cotton or silk and even some from cardboard boxes.
One section I found especially interesting was the National Costume Swap. Unfortunately I didn't find an event listed for Pittsburgh ... maybe next year. Green Halloween, a grassroots group, needs support through both donations and participation so you moms and dads out there, take note.
Additional sites you may want to check out for costume ideas are the daily green, care2 and Celebrate Green. For face paint, Celebrate Green's blog has a quick and easy recipe that even moisturizes while it adds a lovely green cast to your cheeks.
Plus think about all those candy wrappers that head to the trash! What about handing out recycled crayons, comic books or cool sea shells? Or try making your own goodies from nutritious ingredients. The PG's Gretchen McKay made the glorious Halloween Eyeballs shown above and they're safe for those with braces too!