If you are looking to turn over a new leaf and keep your Halloween celebrations a little greener and environmentally friendly, the following green Halloween costume ideas and make-up suggestions should point you in the right direction.
It is possible to maintain your stance on living a sustainable lifestyle while not feeling like you are missing out on all the fun of Halloween. Being that it is a celebration that involves things from times past, that means that the traditions and decorations have not been influenced by modern technology. It’s only the consumer side of things and big business that has made Halloween the wasteful and not so environmentally friendly occasion that it has become.
The Buck Stops Here!
Making a buck at Halloween means that companies have resorted to cheap plastics and other non-recyclable methods of mass producing cheap (and expensive) costumes. Now everybody believes they have to wow everyone with the next new Halloween costume, decoration, animated toy or eyeball candy variety rather than bringing it back to what it once was. A time when people lived with what they had.
There are options to create a fantastic atmosphere on Halloween, yet feel confident that your choices are still not having any unwelcome impacts on the environment and our future. You don’t have to look very far, and if you really don’t have the time or creativity there are still places to purchase Halloween costumes that if you are careful with your choice and read the descriptions, you can still find some that fit your needs.
Greening Up Your Costumes The DIY Way
Try out your creative talents and make your own costumes from the following ideas:
- Perhaps the first thing to consider is to make your own costume from recycled items of rubbish, by rubbish, I mean clean, usable rubbish. I’m sure you could come up with a pretty cool name for your character creation. How about Trash Man, or Garbage Guts, or The Creature from the Rubbish Pit, Tip Trouble? I know, these are probably more lame than cool but it’s an idea anyway.
- Old clothes in your wardrobe
- Old School uniforms
- Old sports gear
- You can get a box of remnants or buy some silk scarves and use them to make all manner of costumes that you can sew or tie together or hold on with pins etc.
- If you have siblings of the opposite sex, swap clothes. If you are male and have a sister, borrow her clothes dress up as a girl and vice versa. My own brother and one of his friends borrowed some dresses and high heeled shoes from me and dressed up as girls out on the town. Another time he borrowed my nightie. He always liked the attention so he didn’t feel embarrassed at all by this.
- Swap costumes with your friends that were used last year with your own allowing you to be eco-friendly by recycling old costumes. Store bought costumes, especially masks, are usually made from nasty non-biodegradable plastics or rubber and add to the land fill when discarded.
- Hold on to any costumes you have previously bought for fancy dress parties or special occasions. They can be reused or revamped.
- Scour the internet for ideas, suggestions and how-to’s in making your own costumes and see how you can use greener items to improve on it’s impact on sustainability. For example, I found this image of a giant doll that could be made with a little bit of creativity from scraps of material, long white gloves, and a white painted face with very heavy makeup, a red piece of remnant material or scarf could be use as the hair.
- You may find people online who are advertising to swap costumes, often these sites are free
- Search through garage sales and thrift stores for second hand store bought costumes to continue to recycle them.
- Thrift stores also sell old clothes that you can rip up, tear, dye or put holes in to make all kinds of costumes, the most common being a zombie.
- Use simple items from home such as a sheet that can easily be turned into a ghost, or possibly turn it into a toga to become a Greek God or Goddess
- If creating is not your style, there are places you can rent a costume, although they may not be as environmentally friendly as you are hoping to maintain.
- Bandages make great mummy costumes, stain them with coffee or tea for added aged effect.
- Hunting through the trash or starting early to hold on to items such as cans and bottles etc, can lead to the creation of some pretty fantastic costumes.
- Aluminum cans might be transformed into a suit of armor, but remember to cover the sharp edges.
- Try saving bubble wrap (although not a green product, you can and least reuse or recycle it and using it to make the giant marshmallow man from the original Ghostbusters movie.
- Likewise old flower pots can be turned into armor or a robot. You get the picture I’m sure.
- Helmets can make a pretty good base for a costume that you can build out into something crazy. A friend of mine used a bicycle helmet and built it out into a great head for a Jar Jar Binks costume from the movie Star Wars.
Not As Creative Or Too Time Constrained To Make Something? Try These Options!
- If you find you aren’t all that creative, you can still purchase some pretty cool costumes that are not always made from latex, rubber and plastics. I found this werewolf costume online and it is mainly materials that are environmentally friendly. There are many others at this online store, I have bought some myself, that are safe to use in terms of keeping your costumes as green as possible, such as this child’s bat costume and this adult male’s King Of Egypt. The less latex and plastic in a costume, the more planet safe it is. Choose material only for the best choices.
Costume Make Up Choices Can Be Natural Or At Least As Eco-Friendly As Possible
It’s a bit tricky when it comes to choices in terms of costume make-up. The usual brands claim to be non-toxic so if you need to, you can use those brands and hopefully they will not be a contributor to damage to the environment. You can also try making your own. Here are a few ideas.
- Using up all of those odds and ends of old make-up left at the bottom of your cosmetics case or bathroom drawers is a great way to come up with something spectacular, colorful and weird. This is a way to put them to good use without having to buy more. Less packaging and transportation impacts on the environment than buying brand new costume make up
- There are recipes you can find online to make your own face paint without the use of food coloring. This keeps the toxins out of your skin and also those same chemicals do not end up in the waterways once they are washed down the sink. It’s easy to search on Pinterest or Google. I found this one on ehow.com and made it into an image so you can follow it easily.
- You can buy natural face paints online and I will let you know once I find a company I feel I can recommend.
- In the meantime, if buying face or body paints online, be mindful of what is in them. Those that wash off easily are more likely to be better for the environment and yourself. The ones I am showing here are not natural paints.
I hope you have found some useful information for green Halloween costume ideas and how to keep costume make up to a minimal impact on the environment and your own skin. I would really love some feedback on what you thought of these ideas. Let me know if you tried any of them. Better yet, leave a comment and a photo if you are able to. I’m looking forward to seeing what you all do.
Have a fantastic Halloween and keep safe.