Upcycle Your Halloween

eco-friendly Halloween

Being creative with Halloween costumes can be eco-friendly.

There aren’t too many kids these days who would be thrilled with a ghost costume made by cutting two holes out of an old bed sheet. Not to worry, there are still plenty of simple things you can do to give your kids a unique costume for Halloween this year. Whether your little ones want to make people scream or giggle, the choice to upcycle and repurpose materials this Halloween is sure to be wallet-friendly.

Not only are repurposed costumes and recycled materials good for your wallet, it’s also great for the earth. According to Hearts.com, over 41 million pounds of waste is created on Halloween alone every year. Halloween is also a great time to teach your kids about the environmental impact and significance of their actions.

How to make your Halloween greener than your Frankenstein décor?

Of course the best option is to make your children’s costumes from scratch using materials you already own. However, this isn’t always possible:

Twist on Traditional. You might think that it’s counterproductive to buy the main part of your child’s upcycled costume from a store, but unless you’re secretly a master seamstress, buying simple costume like a plain witch dress or wizard’s robe will save you a lot of time, and allow you to customize the outfit to your child’s specific needs. Make creative props and accessories to change the theme of a traditional costume. Princess costume? Upcycle one of your pumpkins with a few wheels and your princess is now Cinderella!

upcycled halloween costumes

Your pumpkin can enjoy new life as a costume prop.

Children’s Department. An even better option is getting them something from a traditional clothing section, which likely will not have the same price increase as the seasonal Halloween products. With a few extra accessories and stitching, and a little help with some added details (an activity your kids could get involved in) your little ones could end up with a memorable costume. See a formal girl’s gown on clearance? Take an old deck of cards and paste them on for an Alice in Wonderland Queen costume.

Costume Swap. Where’s your little one’s costume from last year? If it is collecting dust, take it out and let another child enjoy it for Halloween. Hosting a party at home this fall? Ask guests to bring an old costume. Let them swap it for another, or simply donate leftover outfits to GoodWill. Did you find a skeleton costume in the swap? Upcycle it by dying white parts green, create “bloody” hanging “flesh” with painted paper towels, and the skeleton costume is now a zombie!

You can even have your kids save some of the candy wrappers that they (and you!) will go through this season, and give them to TerraCycle, an organization that recycles specialty items that your local government organizations might consider trash, such as candy wrappers or snack pouches. At a time where kids (and let’s be honest, adults too) are ingesting more processed, sugary treats than ever, it’s nice to know that there’s some part of the holiday that you can still feel good about!

Here’s wishing you all a happy, safe, and eco-friendly Halloween that you and your loved ones will remember for years to come!

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