Halloween Costumes without Ecological Footprint
Every year around Halloween millions of costumes and accessories are bought to be used once or twice, then discarded. They fill our landfills, and empty our wallets. In our homes we can rewrite this tradition.
My family is thrifty, creative, and strive for small ecological footprints. My sister Rachel is no different. She transformed her son Aaron into a racecar driver this year using only things she already had, and secondhand items found at the DI, our local thrift store. This is what she had to say about it:
I got the idea for the racecar driver from thinking about how the red toy car [which she already had] is half a racecar driver costume in itself and it wouldn’t be hard to put the rest together. At the DI, we found a racecar driver helmet that was used for something other than putting on heads, apparently, but I don’t know what. [The helmet became his candy bucket.] That was $2, I think. We found the shirt and pants at the DI for another couple dollars. Then I just stapled/taped logos to it, added a baseball cap and tennis shoes, and he was ready to go!
At the end of the night Aaron now has a new outfit to wear, the logos from his shirt are recycled, and the car goes back into the garage. It all cost $4, and he looked adorable. The costume was simple enough, she had time to make some delicious pumpkin raisin bread.
Scotty and I have had the opportunity to travel to many different parts of the world. Over time we have acquired some amazing clothing from places we’ve been. A couple of our favorite outfits were given to us in Turkey. They are Kurdish and Turkish.
People often dress as those they admire for Halloween, from superheroes and princesses, to firemen and literary characters. We deeply love and admire the people who gave us their clothing, so we chose to dress as members like them. When done with love and respect, it is a fun way of introducing a different culture to your friends and family. Naturally it would be wrong to dress as a culture as a way of belittling or poking fun. It’s easy to tell the difference. I know many people who have collected kimonos, sarees, and other unique raiment during their travels, and would love an excuse to wear them. Let’s pull them out of our closets and have both a unique and sustainable costume.
Scotty and I had the honor of taking Air-Bear, my racecar buddy trick-or-treating door to door for the first time. We went to about 7 houses. I was impressed with his bravery. He had been well coached by his parents. “Trick-or-treat!… Thank you… Happy Halloween!” His lip trembled as he approached the first 2 house. The people at the door looked at me like I was a bad parent, forcing their young son to get candy. I asked him if he wanted to go back, telling him he didn’t need to if he didn’t want to. “Aaron, it’s just for fun.” He was determined to trick-or-treat. After house 3 he began to enjoy it. I let him choose how many more doors he wanted to go to and which ones. By the last house number 7 he was a pro.
Our three costumes cost a total of $4, and no added footprint.
Wholeness through sustainability, even during the holidays.
Love, “Whole Hannah” – inner i art