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Going Green this Halloween

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Being "green," or reducing our impact on the environment, is so important. So, this Halloween, let's join the national, grass roots GreenHalloween® movement. What is GreenHalloween® you ask? It's a non-profit community initiative to make our holidays more eco-friendly, starting with Halloween. The initiative encourages businesses and individuals to lesson their carbon footprint, by focusing particularly on the ways we celebrate the holidays.

Being "green is easier than you think, truly. It's all about making smarter choices that will help make this holiday a "green" holiday. (By the way, being "green" is often a LOT easier on your pocket-book too! Another reason to hop on board.) So, let's do our part by exploring some green Halloween options...

First things first, repurpose items you already have for Halloween crafts. That will mean fewer materials in the dump & will save you a trip to the store. You know that "junk drawer" you have stuffed full of everything imaginable - paper clips, rubber bands, spare buttons, pens, old business cards, pennies, googly-eyes from a previous project, weird pieces off toys you no longer recognize...etc? Put these items to good use! You know you'll never do anything else with them, so why not create a spooky, crazy project?! The great thing about Halloween is that it emphasizes the kooky and absurd, so the project is free to take random forms. You and your kids just need a little imagination. Mix in some traditional crafty items like markers, paint, or glitter glue (that you probably already own as a parent) and you can make a home-made Halloween masterpiece.

If you don't have a junk drawer, tap into other items around your home, those every-day items we may not think of as being craft material - sponges, Q-tips, Popsicle sticks, old tooth brushes, or the old stand-byes of dried pasta, paper plates, and cotton balls, etc. Reimagine things -kids are great at this...let them loose in the house, and see what they bring back to you. This adds another layer of fun too, as they partake in a craft treasure hunt.

If you don't have enough left-over items in your own home to recycle, there is a great local resource: The Repurpose Project. This creative, reuse center collects all kinds of things (salvaged art materials, cork, beads, etc), making it an ideal location for constructing Halloween crafts, or finding accessories for your kids Halloween costume.

Costumes are THE element for this holiday, as we know, and many of us will get sucked into purchasing store costumes - expensive, cheaply made things (calling them clothing would be a stretch). Plus, your kids will never wear it again. Why bother? There's no need to buy an expensive, cheap looking, store costume. Think outside the box - and inside the recycle bin. As part of their "Green Halloween" contribution, The Repurpose Project is hosting costume making events nearly every evening until October 31. There is no cost per se, only a request to make a donation. So, go make your kids' Halloween Costumes at the Repurpose Project - save the earth & have fun too!

If you can't make it to the Repurpose Project, again do some digging in your own home. Inspiration is everywhere! Do your kids have a dress-up box? If so, there will be loads of items in there for costume inspiration. If not, your own closet can become the source - old t-shirts can be cut into ghost costumes, dirtied & belted to become a pirate's shirt, or "bloodied" for a zombie costume. OR, Moms, that old dress or robe you keep in the back, that you'll never wear, can become a princess costume, hippie-inspired outfit, geisha sarong, etc. The options are endless. What's great about making costumes this way is that it also encourages imagination! Your children have to work to MAKE their outfit - a fun, bonding experience for everyone. This is how my family ALWAYS celebrated Halloween, and it was a blast. I didn't even realize then that we were also helping the environment by recycling old garments. It was all about imagination, and family togetherness (& a little bit out saving money - hey we can all appreciate that!)

The final element of Halloween, is of course Halloween night & Trick-or-Treating. There are many places around town to partake in this "treating" tradition. However, most are not focusing on health or eco-friendly living. But, Santa Fe College's Boo at the Zoo has been such an event, charging only a can of food as admission to this trick-or-treating, gaming, theatrical fun fest (food is donated to local food banks.) Now, Sante Fe Zoo, has teamed up with GreenHalloween® to provide more healthy, family Halloween fun that also informs the community about local businesses committed to sustainable living. An event everyone can benefit from.

So, there we go...easy, fun, eco-friendly options for his spooky holiday.
Will you commit to going green this Halloween?

Resources:

Partnering with /Sponsoring GreenHalloween®

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