Do-it-yourself projects and plans for anyone who can swing a hammer.

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Orange and Black and Green - 5 Tips for an Eco-friendly Halloween

10/15/2007 12:00:00 AM


1. Green Sweets.   Give out organic candies and fair trade chocolate. There's no reason sweets can't be healthy, too!

2. Run, don't walk. Or walk, but don't drive. You can save fuel and enjoy the crisp autumn evening by leaving the family car at home. Plus, it can't hurt trick or treaters to get a little pre-candy workout.

3. Local Pumpkins. Head over to the Local Harvest site and search by ZIP code for pumpkin patches near you. And when you're done carving those magnificent beasts, share your photos with us and the world at the new Mother Earth News photo-sharing site. You can enter into any of the following categories: Goofiest Faces, Scariest Faces and Cleverest Use of Jack-o'-Lantern.

4. Solar Pumpkins. Check out this great DIY solar-powered jack-o'-lantern.  The instructions are clear and simple, and the materials won't cost much at all.

5. DIY Costumes. You don't have to spend a fortune on costumes for your kids. Most of the Halloween costumes you can buy readymade are not built to last, so they won't be around to pass on to younger kids. Plus, they're often made of petroleum-based plastic and toxic vinyl—materials that definitely frighten the environment. Instead, opt for the homemade variety. In addition to being able to use materials you may already have lying around the house, you'll probably have a blast with your kids while you're at it! Check out these sites for plenty of costume ideas and instructions:

·  The Dollar Stretcher

· Woman's Day

· Family Crafts

· Costume Idea Zone

And if you've put together something truly spectacular, don't be afraid to enter it in this DIY Halloween 2007 contest. Sponsored by several crafty groups (InstructablesMAKEPopSci, CraftAmerican Science & Surplus and Cool Neon), winners in four different categories will receive great prizes.

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