How-To Have A Green Holloween

Halloween “Costume Swaps”

I think Halloween is one of the funnest celebrations of the year.  What’s not to like? We wear costumes, act silly and eat lots of sweets.  It allows the adults to act like kids again and the kids to get really creative with their costumes and let their imaginations take over.  Costumes these days can get quite elaborate AND expensive.

When I was growing up, an indeterminate number of years ago, there were basically two choices; plastic costumes or something home-made. There just wasn’t the array of choices there are now.  For homemade costumes my mamá, like most other mamás at that time, used items we already had around the house to make our costumes. My favorites were the gitana/gypsie and the novia/bride.  Today you can buy these at a store…at an often steep price.

Halloween can get surprising pricey if you have to buy a couple of children’s costume, candy and decorations for the home.  The amount spent on Halloween in America is actually startling.  It’s in the billions!! According to a Jordan Weissmann, an associate editor at The Atlantic,”Consumers are ready to spend around $6.86 billion dollars this Halloween (2011), according to an annual survey commissioned by the National Retail Federation. That comes out to an average of about $72 per American….”

But there are options.  This weekend hundreds of communities across the country will gather to “swap” old costumes for new as a way to celebrate Halloween in an environmentally friendly and affordable way.  So why not get the familia together  this weekend this, visit your nearest location and see what you can SCARE up!


WHO: Families, neighborhoods, schools and libraries holding free Halloween “Costume Swaps” in their communities.

WHAT: National Costume Swap Day – October 13, 2012.

WHEN: Most events are on October 13th at various times, though swaps are happening throughout October.

WHERE: Nationwide. For specific events please visit

WHY: Green America’s Green Halloween® program has helped to organize more than 150 costume swaps in 37+ states around the country. Costume Swaps save money and resources, build community, and help families to celebrate in a more eco-friendly way!


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