Calling All Green Goblins

I am not talking about the kind you see in Marvel comics, or ones who live on mars, or even Oscar the Grouch. This post is all about Halloween and what all of us little monsters can do to make it a more planet-friendly occasion.  Halloween is such a fun, spirit-filled time full of creativity and the one day of the year when it is socially acceptable to dress up a character of your choice (human or non). But like all holidays, there tends to be a lot of waste associated with the festivities.

What are your plans for Halloween? Will you be throwing a party or dressing up your little ones to go trick-or-treating? The University is featuring Scare Fare in Rush Rhees Library from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm. There will be food, entertainment, and costume prizes. Whatever you are doing, costumes are pretty much essential when it comes to Halloween. But consider the resources that go into manufacturing and transporting brand new costumes that are all too often sent to the landfill after only being worn once. Buying brand new is not the best option in terms of resource consumption and can be hard on the wallet too.  Instead consider reuse options. One of the easiest places to start is at your local Goodwill or consignment shops. This time of year, you can usually find ready-to-go costumes or pieces you can make your own costume from. Once Upon a Child in Henrietta has some great gently used options for kids. Consider getting a group of friends together for a costume swap party or see what swap options are available through the internet. But Halloween is also a time to get creative so think of ways to make costumes out of reused materials. If you need some inspiration, just take a look at UR group GreenSpace’s Recycle the Runway program where students model fashions made out of newspapers, cans, and even CD’s.

But if you prefer to buy a brand new costume, consider the opportunity to give back to URMC’s Golisano Children’s Hospital with the Spirit of Children fundraiser. Through this program not only will you be helping a child in need, but you will receive 10% your purchase at Spirit Halloween stores. Then, be sure to pass the costume along to someone else when you are done.

Looking for ideas on decorations? Check out this link for some great eco-friendly ideas:

Who doesn’t love getting a bag full of candy on Halloween? But if you are having a party consider preparing some fresh, organic dishes and even going vegetarian. See these ideas on how to make fresh dishes with the colors of Halloween. Dunking for apples? Well if you live in upstate New York you had better be buying those apples locally! It’s extra fun to go pick them yourself this time of year. Remember you can compost food scraps and pumpkins too!

For more fun ideas visit

We’d love to hear what you are doing to have a green Halloween!

Written By Amy Kadrie, Recycling Coordinator

3 Replies to “Calling All Green Goblins”

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  2. “Buying brand new is not the best option in terms of resource consumption and can be hard on the wallet too.”

    This may be true if the only resources we are considering are, for example, nylon and rayon fabrics. Even if that were true, it is not clear how using lots of fabric and tossing it out is causing too much of a problem. Are clothes polluting our waterways and airways? Is landfill space that much of a problem? Furthermore, there are more resources involved in the buying, selling, shipping, storing, using of clothes than just the fabrics. Isn’t there even a theoretical possibility that buying brand new is once in a while a better option?

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