Halloween Decorations: Personal, Not Plastic
It’s autumn – at least my calendar tells me it is. This week, the temperature has been in the eighties. But last week’s chillier weather gave me hope that we are on our way to Southern California’s slight fall season change. Very subtle. Nights will get a little cooler followed by cooler days, just enough to tell the leaves it is time to change colors and drift down. Time for the trees to prepare for their winter rest. And it is time for my Halloween decorations to come out.
I love decorations, but there is a mountain of crappy, poorly painted plastic that will spend a year or two “decorating” someone’s house or front yard, then end up in a landfill. Don’t get me wrong. Plastic is so much a part of my everyday world I couldn’t imagine life completely with out it, yet it’s one of the biggest evils when it comes to trash. There are only two types of plastic currently on the market that are biodegradable – all the other ones basically deteriorate through photodegradation: a process where sunlight breaks it down into smaller and smaller pieces until it is teeny tiny. But it never really goes away. Plastic that ends up in a landfill may never see sunlight as it is buried under other trash. The plastic that does get hit by UV rays are mostly in rivers and lakes and oceans. Those tiny little pieces end up in the stomachs of animals or washed up on our shores or floating out in the middle of the ocean creating a spinning vortex of toxic trash.
In our household, we try to limit the amount of plastic that we are using. This includes what we use to decorate our home for the holidays. Some of my favorite Halloween decorations are the ones that we made out of stuff that otherwise would have ended up as trash. Here they are…
Around Halloween one year, Mike had purchased a keyboard packaged with long sheets of styrofoam. Rather than throwing them out we decided to repurpose them as a row of gravestones. All it took was a jigsaw to round out the edges plus a little spray-paint and some black acrylic paint. These can’t be left out in the weather, but they decorate our yard on Halloween night and spend the rest of October haunting the inside of our home.
This sign we made out of scrap pieces of wood and hand painted.
Quite a few years ago, we took old sheets that were headed for the trash and repurposed them. We cut them to the size of our front windows and my husband drew on them. Now awesome pirate skeletons peek out of our house every October. Dyed pieces of cheesecloth add to the tattered pirate ship look. Bonus: they look even more spooky each year as they get worn from the elements. The dyed cheesecloth also can be hung inside to look like dilapidated curtains. Put white sheets over all the furniture. Instantly the living room takes on an abandoned feel.