Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Change the World Wednesday - A Green Halloween


It's Change the World Wednesday time again! This week, the challenge was to celebrate a greener Halloween:

Halloween is coming up so ... this week consider the environmental impact of the treats we give out and offer suggestions for better alternatives. Let's expand on the idea and include parties, costumes, etc.

OR ...
If you don't celebrate Halloween, please offer us some ideas for eco-friendly snacks and entertaining.

Well, we do celebrate Halloween and enjoy getting creative with Halloween costumes, decorations, and party ideas. But reading Mrs. Green's post about Hallowgreen and how the true meaning of Halloween has become so warped over the centuries got me thinking.

Why do I celebrate Halloween? Because I'm a big old follower. Yup, because it's a Hallmark (or Mars Bar) holiday and I succumb to it just like so many other people in the country. And now that I have kids, it's fun to come up with creative ideas for what they can  be for Halloween.

I called Liz.

Gaby: So this week's Change the World Wednesday is about how to make Halloween a little greener. I really want to come up with some good ideas that haven't been brought up before. I mean, I know you can use old clothing for costumes and stuff like that, but what about the meaning of Halloween?
Liz: Do you know the history behind the holiday?
Gaby: Not really. But I think it has to do with celebrating the dead and nature. (**I have since Googled it, and found a good explanation about the history of Halloween on http://www.halloweenhistory.org/. Imagine that.**)
Liz: You could write a blog post about how to have a green Halloween party.
Gaby: I know, but I want it to be more than that. I want to figure out how to instill a sense of meaning about the holiday in my kids. I feel like it's a holiday about nature and imagination, not about begging for candy at your neighbor's house.
Liz: What about holding a neighborhood Halloween party? Kind of like a block party, so the neighbors are still involved, but instead of trick or treating, you're just treating each other. Everyone can wear costumes, bring some kind of food, and contribute to the decorations, so everyone doesn't have to go out and buy tons of candy or spend a lot of money on their own separate decorations.
Gaby: That's a good idea. 
Liz: You could have a table with a nature craft for the kids, and that could use repurposed items, items from nature, and could be used for decorations.
Gaby: Yeah, and if everyone brought baked goods instead of candy, it would save a lot of people a lot of money and keep people from buying loads of candy they don't need. The problem is, you aren't supposed to give baked goods out to trick or treaters, but if you're having a neighborhood party, it would be welcomed.
Liz: I know. What is this world coming to that you can't accept baked goods from your neighbors anymore? But that's a great way to get around it. And you can do things like bob for apples and eat donuts off of strings.
Gaby: I remember eating donuts off of strings at Halloween parties too. How is that related to the holiday, I wonder?
Liz: I don't know, but you could also have a "Create your Own Costume" bin at the party. Everyone brings old costumes or funky clothes and puts it in a trunk or a tub, and whoever is not wearing a costume can pick through it and make their own costume.
Gaby: Smart! Repurposing is where you can really go green on Halloween. 

So there you have it. A green Halloween involves repurposing instead of just buying a bunch of new decorations, costumes, and candy that will only be used once. And if you get the neighbors involved, you'll all benefit from having a green Halloween. Stay tuned later this week for a fun Halloween craft that you can do with the kids!


  1. Hi Gaby,

    Thanks for visiting. I am interested to know you are having cloth diapers. I was told in USA, nobody uses cloth diapers any more.

    I have 3 surviving kids, my first is 27. Few people used disposables then. She used cloth nappies all the time. She also woke up a lot.

    baby 2 aged 23, called Gaby , we used disposables at night. She slept well.

    Baby 3, aged 15, we used disposables. My heart used to ache when I see so much waste, but my health wasn't good, so my husband said disposable was the way to go. He slept well too.

    Now I see cloth diapers making a come back. I got no more babies, but if I have, I would go baby 2 route.

    With your new diapers, do babies sleep through the night?

  2. Ann--our business is based on the fact that people do still use cloth diapers. In fact, it's addicting. Cloth diapers have changed. There are so many different kinds that are made of different materials. Many materials wick moisture away from the baby so baby doesn't feel the wetness, even at night.

    I guess it depends on the baby. My first didn't mind being in a wet diaper--whether it was cloth or disposable. My second hated it. Even a disposable (which is hard to feel wet in). Both of them were bad sleepers, no matter what kind of diaper they wore :)

  3. Wonderful ideas ... I really like the idea of a nature craft table for the kids and a "build your own costume" bin would be such fun ... especially if everyone brought items to put into the barrel. And turning Halloween into a party for the young and old alike, rather than a commercial endeavor with tons of waste, is brilliant! I want to organize one in my area. Thanks for such creative ideas! :-)