As promised, today’s tip is for those of us who may not have a pumpkin patch nearby, have no time to carve a pumpkin or may be saying, “I’ve carved enough pumpkins in my life!” Well, this post will share some other non-plastic, quick purchase ways to decorate for Halloween.
Make a ghost:
Simple-grab a sheet, draw a face, put some stuffing in the head, tie a string around the neck and hang it on your porch or a tree.
Feeling a little more motivated? Make a field of ghosts.
Take a piece of wood or cut it into a shape. Paint it in Halloween style and stick it in the ground or on top of a piece of hay.
Make your own out of clay or buy one made of clay. You can still add a light inside and reuse it for years to come without adding plastic to our environment.
Gourds make great Halloween decorations! Buy them plain or already decorated.
Share your ideas to unplastic Halloween below!
Which do you think is more fun for a child-convenience or creativity? Many of us are busy; in fact it has become somewhat of a badge of honor.
“How are you?” you ask a friend.
“I am SO BUSY…..”, she answers and she is off to the races listing all the things occupying and preoccupying her time. She is so busy; she doesn’t even stop to ask how you are. “Oh, I’ve got to go!”
How are we left feeling?
Now imagine you’re a kid. The choice is to pick a plastic pumpkin off the shelf, while also shopping for groceries, or other home essentials. The child goes home and puts it on the front step. Done. Decorated for Halloween.
What if that child were offered a different choice? Maybe grow their own pumpkin or pick one from a farmer’s field? Maybe after school or in lieu of television one night, the family gathers around the kitchen table and the child is encouraged to delve into their imagination to come up with a face or design to carve into their pumpkin. The table is covered with newspapers and the pumpkin is placed on top. A circle is carved around the stem and a lid is formed. The lid is lifted and the child gazes into the unknown with curiosity.
“Go ahead, pull those seeds out and put them in a pile on the newspaper,” the child is told.
The child looks up, just to be sure she heard correctly. Slowly she puts her hand in, and then quickly pulls it out. “Ewe, it’s gooey!”
She sees a smile and watches as your hand goes in and grabs the first fistful of slimy seeds caught in a web of fibrous strands. The child peaks again inside, leans closer this time, reaches in with both hands and pulls out a clump of the pumpkins guts proudly.
“We are going to separate the seeds and bake them in the oven. Would you like to flavor them with cinnamon and sugar?” You ask.
Her heads nods yes as she reaches in for the next handful. The stove is lit; the pumpkin seeds are spread across a greased cookie sheet, seasoned, and slid into the warmth to bake into crunchy snacks.
The child decides she is going to make her pumpkin smile, have round eyes and a triangle nose. She outlines the face on the bright orange skin and you cut the irregular shapes out. A flashlight or small candle is placed inside and the pumpkins roof is replaced. The lights are turned out. The happy glow illuminates the child’s own smile. A warmth wells up inside you. Instantly, you reach for your phone to capture this precious moment and share it with all your friends.
This Halloween, which option will we offer children? Still not buying it, you don’t want to or don’t have time to carve a pumpkin? Fear not, my next Unplastic Halloween post is for you! For those who will be carving pumpkins, however, please share your creations by tagging me @thenaturenurse on social media. I will be sharing ideas on my platforms too.
The National Retail Federation estimated that in 2015, more than 157 million Americans planned to celebrate Halloween. Total spending in 2015 was estimated to be $6.9 billion, with the average American celebrating spending $74 on decorations, candy, costumes and more. Estimates for 2016 spending is 8.4 billion dollars. That’s a lot of stuff. If you go into any retail store, you will quickly see a lot of those sales items are made from plastic.
Helping to clean up our environment can seem overwhelming. However, when each of us pitches in, even a little it can add up to a BIG difference. Let’s take a look, for example, at what the trick-or-treaters will use to collect their goods.
I don’t know about you, but when we were kids we used pillowcases and so did most of our friends. What about a small basket?
If every child used a non-plastic collection device, just think how many plastic pumpkin buckets could be avoided. If we don’t buy them, guess what? Retailers won’t order them. Just think of the millions of plastic treat collection containers that could be eliminated! An added benefit-you can save a few dollars using something you already own. A win-win.
What tips do you have to unplastic Halloween? Please share in the comments below.
Okay, so now we know two REALLY scary things about Halloween, right? Ready to make them a little less scary, more fun, and healthy? Let's start with idea number one; make a scarecrow as a Halloween decoration rather than store bought plastic decorations.
Kids LOVE to make scarecrows! It is pretty easy to do, gets them outside and keeps them entertained for quite a while. Gather some old clothing-theirs, yours, other family members. Do you have some old hats or caps you could use? A pillowcase or swath of cloth, like burlap to make a head? Maybe you would rather use a pumpkin or gourd for a head? if you have access to straw, great, if not newspaper or anything else you can come up with for stuffing will work. You can be as creative as your mind and resources allow. The best part about scarecrows is that they not only make great Halloween decorations, they also serve as harvest accents right through Thanksgiving.
Looking for more inspiration or more detailed instructions? Google “How To Make A Scarecrow”, there are plenty of great examples.
What ideas do you have to unplastic this Halloween? Have you decorated without plastic? We would love to see what you come up with!