Photo via Smashing Magazine.
Each year Americans spend billions of dollars on Halloween candy, costumes and other Halloween related décor-type items (over $3 billion was spent in 2006 alone). They're shelling out $20-50 a piece on costumes and $10 and up on bags of candy.
But, this year more-so than in years past, people have enhanced awareness of health issues like cancer, obesity, and diabetes rates, of environmental health, and this year less people have the luxury of spending their hard earned dollars on store-bought costumes so they're being forced to look elsewhere for their ghost and goblin attire.
All of that brings us to my five tips for throwing a greener Halloween...in ways you may not have thought of.
(1) Think outside the store-bought box.
Forget the costly, typical, polyester costumes that you find at those pop-up Halloween superstores. This year, recycle what's already in your house for a more eco and original approach.
Here are four ideas that I shared recently on CNN.com/LIVE
(2) Aluminum foil makes a costume and makes any costume better.
(3) Carry two bags: one for treats and a bag for trash
Your treat bag doesn't need to be some synthetic polyester pumpkin. Instead use a reusable grocery bag or a decorated old pillowcase.
In addition to your treat bag, carry a second bag for litter. Each November 1st, people wake to streets and sidewalks littered with candy wrappers and discarded costumes. This Halloween, walk with a trash bag in hand and help keep our streets clean.
(4) Choose a walking neighborhood
Forget about stop-and-go trick-or-treat driving, walking is the more carbon-neutral, eco-friendly choice. If you don't live in a "walking" neighborhood, try carpooling, picking a different neighborhood where you can walk, or trick-or-treating at the mall.
(5) When it's all over, donate!
Take this year's costume and host a swap party with neighbors or school friends so you'll all have something new to wear next year.
Or, better yet, donate your costumes to a local children's hospital. They're always so grateful for any donated books, toys, and costumes for dress up days.