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Costuming with a Conscience for Halloween

When you’ve got a pre-schooler at home and it’s “Baby’s First Halloween,” there are plenty of decisions that are taking our time. With Hallow’s Eve approaching, our big decision means what to be for Halloween!

Costuming with a Conscience for Halloween

Last year, around this time we talked about options for a Greener Halloween. I was overwhelmed and enthused with all the responses and suggestions for greener trick-or-treating. We ended up passing out fruit leather, glow-sticks and apples picked from a friend’s farm. It was kind of a made-in=China-meets-local motif, though I’m happy to report we ran out of apples. Three cheers for healthy choices from our next generation!

This year we’re definitely keeping the apples, but as I mentioned, we’re more focused on costumes. Holden (our pre-schooler) changes his mind about his Halloween clothes like lyrics from Katy Perry. Is it a punkin-ghostie [sic], or Captain Spears – a superhero he made up. Last year he had been through three costume changes (starting as a ball-player) before taking everything off at 5 pm deciding he wanted to trick-or-treat in sweatpants. My point is that costuming for us is going to have to be functional – and thrifty. The good news being what’s good for the pocketbook in this case is blessed for the Earth. We call it costuming with a conscience!

Costuming with a Conscience

Our friends at Green Halloween estimate that we could reduce the nation’s annual landfill waste by 6,250 tons if half the kids in the U.S. who celebrate Halloween swapped costumes, rather than buying new ones. To put it in perspective, that’s about the weight of 2,500 mid-size cars!

National Costume Swap Day was just held on Saturday, October 13; but you can still check out the website for events held through month’s end. As for the Mangums: we’re raiding cousin’s toy boxes, visiting thrift stores galore and repurposing things from home to get our dress up On-like-Donkey-Kong October 31st.

Make your costume choices for Halloween a little more green!

photo via Julia Raasch


  1. My silly kiddos seem to keep wanting to wear the same costumes from past years… thank goodness I bought them big!
    Great to see your mention of the Green Halloween folks. We go to their Issaquah event every year.
    This year it is on Saturday, October 27th, 2012, noon – 4pm in the Issaquah Highlands. Info from their website:
    “There will be a kid MONSTER MASH MOB opening dance, Thriller Flash Mob performances, Reptile Man petting zoo, carnival rides, games, pony rides, inflatables, great food, and lots of giveaways! Plan to come in costume (adults too!) and bring a trick or treat bag for all the giveaway goodies. Exact location: 2550 NE Park Drive, Issaquah WA 98029, FREE to attend, some activities require ticket purchase”

  2. There’s a local swap around my neighborhood as well. It’s a great idea. And for my son, he’s re-purposing our cardboard to make himself a robot!!

  3. My kids want to be Aang and Katara from the cartoon Avatar series. Instead of buying fabric, I bought men’s blue and orange t-shirts at a thrift store to cut down a bit to fit as a child’s cloak and dress, respectively. The only new thing I had to buy was a spool of white ribbon for the dress trim. Easy and cheap and made from recycled materials!

  4. We are dressing up as our favorite man/woman in the Bible this year. We are going to goodwill and getting sheets! Yes sheets and we’re going to make dresses and tunics and whatever else we can out of them! It’s more fun this way! We get to spend time together making the costume and we don’t spend 50+ buying new ones. Also, since we don’t plan on cutting them up, we can reuse them as craft blankets, picnic blankets, or the most fun.. BLANKET FORTS!

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