Having a green, healthier Halloween - Tucson Local Media: Health

Having a green, healthier Halloween

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Posted: Tuesday, October 27, 2009 11:00 pm | Updated: 1:35 pm, Mon Apr 18, 2011.

Special to The Explorer

From costumes to treats and transportation, it's easy to be green and healthy this Halloween, according to the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality.

There are many opportunities to go green and save money by reusing materials, reducing waste, recycling, using alternate modes of transportation, and rethinking the treats provided on Halloween, a release said.

By fighting the temptation of sparkly store-bought costumes and using materials found in your home or second-hand stores, you can reduce pollution, save resources, and tap unexplored creativity, the release said.

Some resource-saving ideas include renting from a costume store, borrowing or trading with friends or relatives, or using items from family members' hobbies (gardening, auto repair, scuba diving, etc.) to come up with interesting costumes.

A common phrase like "black-eyed peas" can become a costume when the skin around the wearer's eyes is darkened and an old T-shirt is covered with the letter "P" or a comparable outfit to depict an item such as "Green Tea."

Kids' costumes can include a surfer with a board made from cardboard with a cool design painted on it, a sports figure with items from the closet or neighbor's closet, a Hollywood diva using enhanced play dress-up items, a safari guide using camouflage or khaki clothes with hiking boots, a wide-brim hat and stuffed animals, or even a "1960s flower child" with painted T-shirts, bandanas, beads, and the obligatory flower behind the ear.

Green treats

Candy is dandy, but organic, fair trade fruit snacks, raisins, juice boxes, snack bars, trial size packs of veggie chips are a quicker way to sustainability. Young children also enjoy little trinkets like stickers, spinning tops, home made bean bags, or items from nature such as polished rocks and seashells.

Green party

Holding an environmentally friendly party to celebrate Halloween is a great way to reduce our impact on the planet. Send e-invitations or make them from recycled materials, avoid disposable items, and serve locally grown food to green up your party. And be sure to put out extra containers to collect plastic bottles and metal cans for recycling.

Green transportation

Driving can be scary and also emits pollution into the air and our lungs. Instead of driving to each house and idling while the children are trick or treating, consider parking your vehicle and walking door to door with your children. Or see if neighbors or family members might want to carpool. The fewer vehicles on our neighborhood streets, the safer our ghosts and goblins will be, the release concluded.

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