Go HallowGreen this Halloween

Green is a staple Halloween color -- think of green pumpkin leaves, green slime and green monsters -- but it never really occurred to me that Halloween isn't a very green holiday. Green, as in, good for the environment. With all the plastic skeletons and fake spiderwebs and candy wrappers floating around this time of year, all this trick or treating can actually have quite a negative impact on the environment. (I'm guilty of buying lots of plastic decorations as well, but I do keep the decorations and use them year after year. Needless to say, my Halloween decor collection is turning into its own monster).

Fortunately for the environment, there are people like Jodi Helmer, co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Careers and creator of the website www.green-year.com, who put a lot of effort into coming up with eco-friendly suggestions for Halloween celebrations that won't cramp your style. I received some of her tips and I thought they'd be great to share with everyone. Here are some of Jodi's suggestions for putting the green back in Halloween:

1) Green the goodies: Think of all the candy wrappers that one little goblin throws in the trash – then multiply that number by the millions of trick-or-treaters who are happily gobbling up their stash. Offer organic apples from the farmers market or buy treats in bulk to minimize packaging waste.

2) Come up with a new costume: Skip the racks of colorful costumes at the mall (most of them are made of non-renewable materials like plastic) and come up with a creative idea for a homemade costume. Add a bandana to a pair of jeans and a denim shirt for an instant cowboy costume or put on your wedding dress and go as the Bride of Frankenstein. Or, host a costume swap with the neighbors. The costumes their kids have outgrown might be the perfect fit for your little one.

3) Choose natural decorations: Bails of straw, colorful mums and a handful of gourds are great seasonal decorations that can be composted on November 1st. If scary witches hanging from the oak tree and plastic pumpkins on the front step are a must-have, scour secondhand stores.

You can find more tips like this for Halloween and every other day of the year in Jodi's book, The Green Year: 365 Small Things You Can Do to Make a Big Difference (from Alpha Books). I'll be receiving a review copy soon, and I can't wait to read all of her tips for making small changes to our lifestyle.

I received a sample in order to review this product, but no monetary compensation. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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