Greening up your Halloween festivities

By KBJR News 1

Credit: MGN Online

Greening up your Halloween festivities

October 23, 2013 Updated Oct 23, 2013 at 11:53 AM CDT

Madison, WI (NNCNOW.com) --- The color orange is typically associated with Halloween, but the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is hoping you'll add a little green to your festivities as well.

Halloween revelers can celebrate a “green” Halloween this year while reducing their impact on the environment and saving money, says Elisabeth Olson, a natural resources educator with the DNR.

"Green your Halloween and save money and the environment," Olson says. "These tips can help you do both and make for a more creative and family-friendly event.”

Olson recommends these tips to reduce, reuse and recycle this Halloween:

Get creative with decorations. Use natural Halloween decorations like gourds, pumpkins and cornstalks. Turn recycled paper into window decorations like spiders, pumpkins or witches’ hats. Paint grocery bags into Halloween white for ghostly effects, or make a graveyard scene with paper tombstones and spooky trees. After Halloween, send your decorations on for another round of recycling.

DIY or buy thrift-store costumes. Test your creativity this year and create a costume from items from around the house. Or find inexpensive costumes and supplies from thrift stores or yard sales. Some parents organize costume trades, where kids choose from available, reused costumes. Kids done with this year’s disguise can pass the favor on and donate their old costumes for someone else to enjoy.

Trick-or-treat with a reusable bag. Carry reusable bags or containers that don’t need to be thrown out after use. Cloth or canvas bags -- or even pillowcases -- are terrific eco-friendly choices to paper, plastic bags or molded plastic jack-o-lanterns.

Stay local and walk instead of drive. Stick close to home this Halloween and walk to help reduce air pollution and fuel use. It's a great way to connect with the neighbors and get some exercise as well.

After Halloween, compost that jack-o-lantern. If you don’t already compost, Halloween is a great time to start. Add post-Halloween jack-o-lanterns to the compost bin, along with fallen leaves, food scraps and other organic yard and household waste. See the home composting page of the DNR website for more tips on how to begin composting.