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Halloween: Save Money and Live Greener on National Costume Swap Day

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Halloween—If you're a little green around the edges (i.e., trying to be environmentally-conscious) then you may want to consider having your kids swap Halloween costumes with other kids this year. Because these costumes are only worn once a year and generally change from year to year, they lend themselves well to an exchange that ensures participants:

  • Get something new each year.
  • Don't have to spend a lot of money, if any.
  • Help keep costumes out of landfills.

Halloween Costume Swap Ideas

There are, in fact, many options for you if you'd like to have your kids swap costumes with anyone besides your immediate family or neighbors. Preschool Rock's costume exchange is one. Here are a couple of other large-scale options to consider:

National Costume Swap Day: On Saturday October 8th, you can either host your own exchange or participate in someone else's. This year will be the second annual, following a very successful first year in which 75 swaps were hosted across North America and national TV coverage was garnered. The essentials of an official swap are these:

  • The host decides on a time and location, then lists their swap on the National Costume Swap Day website.
  • He or she host stages an event, big or small, public or private, in a pavilion or in their garage. He or she provides a few tables or racks on which to hang costumes, invites people, and provides refreshments, if desired.
  • Costumes are either obtained before-hand from Goodwill or friends, or on the day of. Participants may bring them as they arrive, put them on tables by size, and receive a token for each costume brought to exchange for a different, new-to-them costume of their choosing.

Another option is thredUp's costume exchange, done anytime between now and Halloween by

  • going to, clicking on the "Browse Boxes" tab, and entering "costumes" in the search criteria,
  • picking the desired costume box(es) for $5 + shipping per box, and having it sent to you,
  • posting your costume box(es) and, once it's selected, sending it to the recipient free of charge.

If you've ever bought a costume off-the-rack, you know that they can get pricey, especially if you're buying for more than one child. Swapping costumes can not only save money, it can save landfill waste. It is estimated that swapping half the nation's kids' Halloween costumes would reduce annual landfill waste by 6,250 tons, equal to the weight of 2,500 midsize cars.*

I'm excited to pursue these options this year, and involve my kids in the process so that I can raise their awareness in a concrete way of our impact on our planet. If you know of any other swap options, or if you participate in a swap, let us know how it goes!

Have you ever participated in a Halloween costume swap? How do you save money on Halloween costumes year after year?

*Statistic credit Bob Lilienfeld based on data from U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Transportation. Assumes costume weight of 1 pound.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

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