Be Green for Halloween

Halloween Lollipop by CountryMunchkins on Etsy

When I was little my parents didn’t buy Halloween costumes, we created them; it was so fun.  Believe it or not, it wasn’t until I became a mother that I realized the overwhelming choices in commercialized costumes and decorations.

Driving through semi-rural, semi-suburban southern Rhode Island, I have noticed the abundance of gorgeously colored fallen leaves contrasted with plastic Halloween decorations. I have been in the checkout line at the discount store where many are purchasing stringy, plastic, scarecrows that will undoubtedly end up in a landfill in three weeks, if not torn apart and carried away by the wind.

I like a homemade Halloween; in second grade I was a tree. I took real leaves and pinned them on a brown outfit, it was remarkably fun to gather the leaves, and then decorate myself and I could do it (with a little guidance) by myself. In fifth grade I dressed as a skyscraper; I got a refrigerator box, cut holes for my face, arms and legs then painted on windows.  It was fun; though it rained and I was a little flimsy, I could take full credit for it. As a third grade teacher, I had my class dress up as Greek Gods and Goddesses (that was what we were studying at that time) and we had a feast of grapes and apples, cheese and crackers. This was both educational and fun.  The children HAD TO make their costumes because Wal-Mart didn’t have these kinds of items in stock.

 I have a Halloween secret I will share; each year I buy a few bags of candy corn and hide them, then late at night when no one is awake I devour the tasty morels.  Every year I vow to stay away from this unhealthy addiction but then there they are at the check out counter and I fall prey to my habits. Now that my son is old enough to understand candy comes at Halloween, I have a new problem… and a great solution. I am going to buy organic lollipops and carob earth ball candies this year. That’s what we’ll give out and it’s what he’ll get; and we all know what I’ll have hiding in the pantry.

 As for his costume, I am headed to the closet this weekend to mix and match and create.  I don’t sew, so making something is out of the question, and I won’t buy a new something or other, but I will enjoy co-creating and re-creating something spectacular, easy, recyclable, and fun with my little man.  Last year he was a green bean; I will try to do better this year.

 Be green for Halloween; find something old to reuse or learn about a historical time and mimic that type of dress; be a flower fairy, or a tree, or a gypsy. Make a scarecrow out of old clothes, a couple of sticks and some straw; use old sheets to make ghosts to hang in the trees.  Make a leaf pile, visit a corn maze, carve a pumpkin (bake the seeds for snacks), create lanterns for a candlelight walk, and read Edgar Allen Poe ghost stories around an open fire.

 Let the process be fun, safe, healthy… and green, we really don’t need scarecrows in our landfills.

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 Shannon Baer lives in semi-rural Rhode Island with her husband, son and a flock of chickens.  Through her writing shares her love for nature, children, and living in harmony with the universe. In her spare time she tends to children, studies rocks, and is learning to teach yoga.

2 Responses to Be Green for Halloween
  1. Jen
    October 22, 2009 | 11:02 pm

    Those lollipops look good!

  2. Green Earth Blue Sky
    October 29, 2009 | 5:18 pm

    […] recently contributed to 5 Minutes for Going Green. Check out my post on Halloween and another on […]