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7 Simple Ways To Green Your Halloween

Halloween is quickly creeping up on us and it’s time to start planning. It’s a good idea to start early to prevent any last minute trips to the store to buy Halloween stuff that has a high-impact on the environment and your health. The best part about Halloween is that you can use many things that you already have in your home – things that you can use to decorate, plan a party, and use as costumes. Let’s get started with my 7 favorite ways to green your Halloween.

1. Repurpose
In our new space, we have a large entry way on the main level that I wanted to decorate for Halloween. However, I didn’t want to purchase anything new – I took a look around my home for things that I could repurpose into Halloween decorations. For example: I took the large glass jars that usually hold flour and sugar in our kitchen and transformed them into apothecary jars full of scary items. The idea is to get creative and use what you already have on hand.

2. Reuse
Since Halloween is our favorite holiday we have a lot of decorations that we have been using for years. I like to find my Halloween decorations at our local thrift stores or we make them ourselves. Since these decorations are only used in October – I don’t feel the need to buy new decorations every year saving us money and saving the environment. Other ways to green your Halloween would include reusing costumes, swaping with a friend or using pieces from an old costume to make a new one.

3. Do It Yourself
A couple of years ago, the mister made a spooky picket fence and tombstones for our front yard. These were made using salvaged wood that we saved from a construction dumpster and no-VOC paint. He has also made two tombstones for our front yard – this time using a salvaged wooden palette that he found in a dumpster. Again, you want to get creative and find new uses for items that are no longer being utilized.

4. Treats
When it comes to Halloween candy – try to go organic and buying less is always better. Yummy Earth has a great selection of lollipops and gummies that fit the bill. If you are going the chocolate route, choose chocolates that are fair-trade and organic, if possible. And when it comes to candy packaging, you want to choose the candies that are minimally packaged.

5. Party Supplies
Almost every Halloween we have a party – some things that I do to keep the party as eco-friendly as possible are: using cloth tablecloths and napkins for the table, skipping the disposables and using our every day dinnerware and making the food ourselves, rather than purchasing pre-packaged items. When it comes to treats for the kiddos, we keep the goody bags minimal and try to choose the most eco-friendly items to go inside.

6. Pumpkins
Every year when we take our annual fall trip to North Carolina, we visit our favorite organic pumpkin patch to pick up pumpkins and gourds. We enjoy spending the entire day at the farm supporting the local farmer and community. The idea is to think local when it comes to picking your pumpkins, support a local farm rather than picking up the pumpkins at the big-box store. And don’t forget to bake the seeds for a yummy treat and use the pumpkin for baking when the holiday is over.

7. Bag It
There is no need to purchase a new Halloween trick or treat bucket for your child each year. I understand that your child wants the Star Wars bucket that matches their Halloween costume – believe me I have been there. If you do purchase one, it should be a one-time purchase, choose a bag that can grow with your child or use a reusable shopping bag or a pillowcase. Eben received a cool pillowcase-like Halloween bag many years ago from his Godparents – and he still uses it to this day!

What ways do you green your Halloween?

Teaching Your Green Kids to Love Gardening

Gardening with Children

Gardening has many advantages, and is known to benefit your children’s health and well-being. Teaching the kids to love gardening will get them outdoors, allow you to spend some family time together, and make them more rounded characters. Do some research or search online for gardening guides which will give you more information and tips. Here are five ways to help get the kids involved;

Give Them Garden Space of Their Own
A great way to get the kids out in the garden is to allow them to plan a section for themselves. Giving them the freedom to plan, build and enjoy their own space will not only leave them feeling invested in the garden, but will also allow you to spend time together, helping them create their space.

Create a Wildlife Garden
Building a garden to attract wildlife is a brilliant way to excite the kids. Wildflowers are great for attracting plenty of insects, which will encourage other wildlife such as birds and hedgehogs to your garden. Once the children have their first sighting, they’ll be invested in helping you improve the space to attract more animals! If you have enough space you could even build a pond which will almost certainly increase your sightings.

green kids gardening

Teach Them to Grow Their Own Food
Teaching your children how to grow their own produce will leave them with a skill for life. Let them pick the fruit and vegetables that they like, before helping them to build grow boxes and sow the seeds. The responsibility of nurturing their plants before harvest will teach them a valuable skill, and could be a precursor to a family pet!

Create an Indoor Garden During the Winter
Getting the kids interested in gardening during the winter months, will leave them excited and ready to hit the garden in spring. You can start small with a herb garden, before you start germinating your seeds in anticipation of planting.

Teach Them How to Compost
Although perhaps not the most exciting of topics, teaching your children how to make compost will give them a greater understanding of consumption, waste, and their effect on their natural surroundings. Start by educating them on the importance of recycling, before moving on to composting.

Hopefully the above tips will help you to get the children interested in gardening, not only will they reap the benefits; so will you.

Image via bass_nroll and theloushe used under the Creative Commons license
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