Have a Green Halloween!

Green Halloween

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 and your own closet 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. There are also many websites with ideas for DIY costumes, such as robinsfyi blog and Pinterest, which is also an inspiring resource for super creative ways to recycle candy wrappers.

Instead of a plastic or rubber face mask, try non-toxic face decorating products. Old eye shadows can create bruises, wrinkles and scars. Smart Mama’s recipe for fake blood is dead simple: light corn syrup, a dash of castile soap and red food coloring. Visit Smart Mama and The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics for eco-friendly ways to act out your Halloween fantasies.

Your house is filled with items that can double as Halloween decorations. Decorate an empty jug with ghoulish images and fill with LED lights. Turn old stockings into spider webbing. Transform cardboard boxes into tombstones. For instructions for these and other inventive ideas, visit Momtastic and All Free Crafts.

Halloween Parties
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.

Leftover Pumpkin
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 8am – 3:30pm.

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.

Halloween Candy
Choose organic candy – candy made with natural ingredients, free of artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. Consider Revolution Foods Yo’ Drops, Plum Kids Organic Fruit Straws, Honest Kids Organic Juice Boxes and Yummy Earth Organic Lollipops. Consider candy alternatives like pencils, coins, cups of healthy cider. Check the website Naturemoms.com for a list of healthy, ecofriendly treats. If you do buy bulk candy, buy local to support Park Slope businesses! Don’t forget to recycle the candy wrappers.

And don’t forget to march in the Park Slope Civic Council’s Halloween Parade on Friday, October 31 beginning at 6:30 pm and starting at 7th Avenue and 14th Street.