Tuesday, October 16, 2012

5 Eco-Friendly Ways to Reuse for Halloween

Halloween is one holiday that offers loads of opportunity to reuse items you already have or invest in items that encourage reuse. Take advantage of these opportunities and not only will you save money, but you'll reduce your footprint and demonstrate to your kids that with a few planet-friendly choices, an 'eek-o' friendly Halloween is easier than 1–2–3 green!

Here are five ways to make reusing part of your Halloween celebration this year.

1. Swap a costume - Save money and reduce your carbon footprint by trading costumes with family and friends. Alternatively, go to National Costume Swap Day Canada and find a costume swap event near you. Using what you already have around the house also works great for costumes. Make a jet pack out of pop bottles for your little rocket man/girl or transform an old t-shirt into a scary skull for an easy adult costume.

2. Use quality face paints that last - In its 'Pretty Scary' report on heavy metals in face paints, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found an alarming 10 out of 10 face paints tested contained lead, a neurotoxin. Instead of gravitating towards a pack of face paint or make up from the likes of the dollar store that may or may not contain lead or other nasties, invest in a set of quality non-toxic lead-free face paints with wood casing that will last well beyond Halloween and are ideal for birthday parties, play dates and rainy days. Another great option is to wear a reusable mask.

3. Hand out non-food Halloween treats - Choose Halloween goodies that last too. A great alternative to sugar-laden candy and snacks that disappear with one bite are non-food treats like recycled newspaper pencils, recycled crayon sticks, colourful soy rock crayons and if you want to really lead by example, compostable toothbrushes – Halloween treats kids can use for a while.

4. Use PVC-Free treat bags again and again - PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and the poisonous chemicals it can leach or off-gass into the air is bad news. For Halloween, avoid PVC's potentially nasty hormone disruption, respiratory issues and more and instead go for a PVC-free treat bag for your kids like this Envirosax pirates bag or this pretty pink sweet treats bag. Alternatively, check out this pumpkin orange, super fun Sesame Street Envirosax bag. Each of these bags can hold up to 44lbs of goodies - and is great for use year round for everything from sports gear to library books!

5.  Decorate without buying new - Consider ways to decorate without buying new and you'll not only save money but help teach your kids about the value of reusing. Here's a great idea for making spooky eyes in the bushes with toilet paper rolls and for these clever ghost lights use old bleach bottles. Take care of and try to repair the decorations you pull out year after year, rather than replacing them. After the 31st, be sure to reuse your pumpkin for pie, muffins, scones or any of these 23 Ways to Use Pumpkin Puree. For the more adventurous, try a pumpkin hair mask or pinata from these 10 Fun Things to Do with Pumpkin.

With just a little thought and planning, it's easy to reuse and enjoy a ghoulishly green Halloween!

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