Friday, October 9, 2009

Green Living by Janet Marchant: Scaring Up a Green Halloween

All Hallows' Eve is fast approaching, and my mailbox is brimming with letters from parents concerned about the environmental impact of all those plastic-and-vinyl store-bought costumes that wind up in our landfills every November 1. Like it or not, store-bought Halloween costumes are a fact of life, much like the weather, or the need to drive to the grocery store in a vehicle designed for off-road or military use. After all, everyone knows that homemade costumes are lame, and only the loser kids wear them!

It's common knowledge that purchasing a hybrid S.U.V. makes it okay to drive it to the corner store to pick up a quart of milk…if only there were a similar way to completely eliminate the harmful environmental impacts of Halloween. Well, after a good deal of thought and experimentation in my own household, I am pleased to announce that I have come up with a solution: instead of just throwing those old costumes away, now you can recycle them!

It turns out that with a little care, you can actually store your Halloween costumes and use them again next year. The key is spritz them with plenty of disinfectant, give them a once-over with hand sanitizer, spray them with Raid® Green, and store them in a closet with a box or two of mothballs. With the twin dangers of germs and insects eliminated, there is nothing to stop you from recycling the same costumes year after year. Imagine the possibilities!

What kid today wouldn't love to wear this timeless classic?

For those who want to show their softer, less cubical side, there are the ever-popular Care Bears:

With proper cleaning and storage, perennial favorites like this one will stay as fresh and relevant as the day you bought them:

Of course, it's possible that your little ones might grow tired of the same costume after five or six years. Never fear…simply arrange a swap with the neighbor kids, and everyone can enjoy the recycled Halloween fun all over again. As the kids today would say, "I pity the fool" who says you can't green your Halloween!

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