October 9th is National Costume Swap Day in the United States. This green event is promoted by Kiwi Magazine, Green Halloween, and Swap.com. It is a simple idea to save money and the environment too. Children are encouraged to swap costumes and keep old ones out of the landfill.
Some children lose interest in dressing like Luke Skywalker or Cinderella. My kids are happy to reuse costumes but this year they have both outgrown their outfits. I am not handy with a sewing machine or a glue gun and have purchased costumes in the past. Instead of spending money or trying to create something in the wee hours of October 30th, simply trade/borrow costumes with fellow trick-or-treaters.
According to the National Costume Swap website, “swapping half the costumes kids wear on Halloween would reduce the annual landfill waste by 6,250 tons, equal to the weight of 2500 mid-sized cars”. In addition, swapping reduces packaging, transportation, and manufacturing impacts too.
A costume swap can be as simple as sending an email to friends/classmates, or organizing something larger at a brownie/cubs meeting, local library or recreation facility. I imagine that even folks with little interest in eco-friendly ideas might be keen to save a few dollars. It is a win/win idea.
Why limit it to children’s costumes? Adults attend Halloween parties and dress up to hand out treats at the door. I wonder if my pal Kelly is growing tired of her pink pig costume and would like to dress this year as a defeated Leafs fan? Perhaps our neighbour Steve wants to swap his vampire cape with my husband and dress as scary mask guy. Oh, the possibilities are endless.
Although it is not a national event in Canada, a costume swap puts a fresh spin on an old tradition. It is an opportunity to make a difference, save money and enjoy some holiday fun. Happy Halloween!
Laura is a wife and Mother to beautiful 8 and 10 year old girls. She describes herself as an eco-advocate and moderate neat freak with a recessive frugal gene. Laura provides light-hearted commentary for every day, practical green living on her blog the Mindful Merchant.