Have a Green Halloween!
Suggestions from the Sustainability Committee:
On Halloween, we all love to be a little spooked, but what’s really frightening is the estimated $5 billion dollars Americans spend on costumes, candy and decorations, much of which ends up in our landfills. So we’ve brewed up some tricks and links to help Park Slope residents put more green in their Halloween.
Instead of buying pre-made plastic or vinyl costumes, browse thrift shops, flea markets, stoop sales or your own closets for inspiration. That loud Hawaiian shirt, that poodle skirt, that tie-dyed tee, old bowling shirt or cowboy hat — they could all be the start of great costumes. Swapping costumes and passing them down to younger children are also options. There are many websites with ideas for homemade costumes — try www.robinsfyi.com/holidays/halloween/costumes.htm.
Instead of a plastic or rubber face mask, try non-toxic face decorating products. Old eye shadows can create bruises, wrinkles and scars. There are several recipes for edible fake blood on the internet.
Halloween Candy Containers
Instead of those plastic pumpkins, consider beach bags, old pillow cases, small wicker baskets or cloth totes; little girls can carry Mommy’s old purses.
Choose organic candy — candy made with natural ingredients, free of artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. You can find them at major retailers like Whole Foods. Also, Trader Joe’s offers a line of organic lollipops.
Alternatives to Halloween Candy
Consider giving alternatives to candy such as miniature toys, temporary tattoos, sugarless gum, boxes of raisins, stickers, mini crayon packs, hair bows and barrettes (for girls), plastic bugs, trail mix or whistles.
Halloween Candy Buy Back Programs
Help your child unload some of the Halloween candy that he/she collected. Google “Halloween Candy Buy Back Programs + Park Slope” for programs near you.
Send electronic invitations instead of paper ones. Rent or borrow glassware, plate ware and utensils rather than using the throw-away kind; or look for compostable utensils and plates. Patronize our wonderful farmers’ markets at Grand Army Plaza, Bartel-Pritchard Circle and JJ Byrne Playground. Food grown locally means less energy has gone into processing, packaging and transporting food to your table.
Now that Park Slope is composting, be sure to fill your brown bin with all organic matter – that includes pumpkins. Or, bring it to GrowNYC’s composting collection site at the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket on Saturdays from 8:00am – 3:30pm.