Halloween is on a Saturday this year. We’re working and you’re probably not. But we’re not bitter or anything. It gives us an excuse to eat large amounts of candy corn and chocolate to dull the pain. But enough about our sorrows. Halloween is still a few weeks away and now’s the time for you to plan ahead and green your spooky.
If you know your neighbors well enough to give out freshly baked goods or candy that isn’t individually wrapped without getting dirty looks from parents who think your slipping their kids needles and anthrax, then by all means, do. But if you don’t, try giving out candy wrapped in paper rather than non-recyclable plastic. Pixie sticks, taffy, candy buttons, fun dip, mini Junior Mints are all packaged in paper.
Silly String is, well, awesome. It’s used by soldiers to find nearly invisible trip wires around bombs. When sprayed, silly string lands gently on the wire, exposing it without causing it to explode. But it is made from plastic resin and isn’t biodegradable. It’s even been banned in some cities for clogging up sewer systems. Use it sparingly, and save it for the people who need it. If you would like to donate Silly String or money to help with shipping, you can send it to: Marcelle Shriver c/o St. Luke Catholic Church, 55 Warwick Road, Stratford, NJ 08084. You can also send your candy overseas. Check to see if your dentist participates in a Halloween candy drive. If not, send your treats directly to a soldier by visiting www.anysoldier.com or www.anymarine.com.
A pillowcase always did the job for us, but if you’re looking to get fancy, Chico Bags came out with a Halloween version of their reusable bag. Each bag holds 25 lbs of treats. To put that into perspective, one gallon of milk weighs around 7 lbs. Get one for $3.99 at www.olivebarn.com/chicobag-halloween.html.
FRIGHTS AND (SOLAR) LIGHTS
Solar-driven witches and monster heads charge up all day in the sun, then light up at night. Check out more solar-powered Halloween decorations and reviews at http://tinyurl.com/inventorspotspooky.
WRAP IT UP
If you’re feeling crafty, save all your candy wrappers and visit www.lauriesgifts.biz/candy_wrapper_purses.html for all kinds of designs and patterns to make one-of-a-kind candy wrapper handbags.
Take recycling to a whole new level this year. Learn how to make a bat costume out of an old umbrella and a hoodie here. And after Halloween, save any kids costumes you have for next year. LIParentSource.com and Clix Portrait Studios run an Annual Halloween Costume Exchange every October. Just bring your children’s outgrown Halloween costumes from newborn to youth size 10 and exchange them for other gently used costumes in a size that fits. Families without costumes to exchange can purchase one for $10, with the proceeds benefiting Hi-Hello Childcare Centers in Freeport, a daycare center providing child care for working parents.
Get a jump start on Halloween on Oct. 23 and Oct. 24 with a spooky walk through nature. Take the family to the Quogue Wildlife Refuge’s 16th Annual Spooky Walks. As you take a 40-minute guided walk down the refuge trails, don’t be surprised if you meet spooky ghosts and goblins. $10 per person. This event is for adults and families with children over the age of 7. Call 631-653-4771 in advance to reserve a time slot. The Quogue Wildlife Refuge is located at 3 Old Country Road, Quogue. On Oct. 24, climb up the Fire Island Lighthouse and hear the ghost stories and legends of Fire Island on the terrace. The free program begins at 7 p.m. Dress warmly and bring blankets and flashlights. For information call 631-661-4876.