According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), Americans spend nearly $7 billion on Halloween candy, costumes, and decorations. Once a holiday just for kids, adults are scaring up their share of fun these days. Even their pets dress to impress on Halloween. In fact, the NRF estimates that people will spend up to $350 million on costumes for their four-legged friends.
As fun as Halloween is, though, it can have a frightening effect on our wallets, waistlines, and the environment. Here are five tips for making this year’s Halloween decorations a little less black and orange and a whole lot more green.
- Got milk…jugs? Save your milk jugs and other plastic and glass containers and turn them into hauntingly good works of art. While you’re at it, add a battery-operated light, glow sticks, or a candle and light up your house on Halloween night. This is a great craft for teachers, parents, and kids, or just because it’s fun. Plus, the price is right. Check out these designs courtesy of Upcycled Wonders.
- Dress up a dress shirt. Grab a blouse or dress shirt, hang it up, and spray it with fabric starch or stiffener. Let it dry, fill it with lights and hang it in your yard. So much fun! Post Scriptum on Flickr calls these Haunted Spirits.
- Light the way with BOO Lanterns. Save those coffee cans and use a hammer and nail to create spooky scenes, or use three cans to spell BOO! Courtesy of com, here’s how it’s done:
- 3 tin cans, cleaned and with the labels removed
- hammer and nail
- scrap paper – junk mail would work well for this
- 6 rubber bands
- 3 tea lights
- Fill up your cans with water, and stick them in the freezer. The ice inside will keep your cans from denting while you’re hammering them. They may need to freeze overnight, depending on the size of your cans, so plan ahead!
- Meanwhile, sort out your artwork. Cut your paper to size, so the art will fit on your cans, then draw the design you want onto your scrap paper.
- When your cans are completely frozen, pull out the first one, and use the rubber bands to attach the art to the cans.
- Hammer away! It takes 3-5 whacks with the hammer to make each hole, so be patient as you work your way around. The idea here is to “trace” your design with somewhat equally-spaced holes. If things are a bit uneven, don’t sweat it!
- Repeat with the other two cans.
- Place the hammered cans into a bowl or bucket, so that you can collect the water when the ice melts. You can use it to water some plants, instead of letting it go to waste.
- Place one tea light into each luminary, turn off the lights, and bask in the glow of your crafty creations!
- Casper up your front lawn. Halloween simply wouldn’t be complete without a ghost or two. Another creation by CraftingGreenWorld.com, these ghost guys are fun and easy to make and put materials you already have at home to good use. Here’s what you will need:
- Cheese Cloth – about 1 1/2 Yards
- Starch: 3 C Cold water and 3 tablespoons of corn starch boiled and cooled. The consistency should be like gravy.
- Coated Wire Hanger – if wire is exposed, it will rust and stain the ghost.
- Tall bottle of any kind.
- 4-5 River Rocks
- Two circle cut outs for the eyes.
- Bowl (Not pictured)
- Shape the hanger to form two ghost arms and the bottom part to go inside the bottle.
- Add the rocks inside the bottle to make it stable. Insert the wire hanger in the bottle, and tape the balloon on top of the bottle, over the wire hanger. You can secure the wire hanger with tape, if you need to. Place it on the towel because it will get messy.
- Coat the cheesecloth with starch thoroughly in a bowl and squeeze out excess starch. Then, drape it over the balloon, leaving enough cheesecloth on the floor, front and back. This extra will help your ghost stand.
- Let it dry completely and then glue on the eyes!
- Creep out your lamp. Everybody knows that x-rays are cool to look at, but they border on creepy when used in this eco-friendly Halloween craft. Gather up those old x-rays, or see if your friends or family members have any laying around. This idea comes from funinthemaking.net. Simply find an old lamp and use the shade as a model for making a new one out of an x-ray. Use black electrical or duct tape to cover the seams. Put it back on the lamp and light it up.
Be green every day – including Halloween
With the help of the sun, you can be green, every day – including Halloween. You can dramatically reduce your carbon footprint and your monthly residential or business electric bill with a solar energy system. Find out more about the possibilities for cost savings and making a positive impact on the environment by reaching out to the experts at TerraSol Energies, Inc. We are a family-run business that has served the Tri-State area of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware since 2009. We recently announced its expansion into the commercial solar market by signing on as an official Commercial Dealer for SunPower Corporation – serving small- and medium-sized businesses, large commercial businesses, schools, government buildings, and more. Whether you’re just starting your research, or are ready to make the move to solar, TerraSol can help. Contact us today for a free consultation: 888.873.9995.