Peters costume swap an eco-friendly option
For a kid, there are few decisions more crucial, more life-altering or more exciting than choosing what you want to be for Halloween. For one night, you can reinvent yourself as a pirate. No, a princess. Maybe Spiderman. It’s a tough decision for kids and an often frustrating conundrum for parents.
Peters Township Public Library’s Go Green Club held its yearly costume swap Oct. 7 to help parents and trick-or-treaters find their perfect costume without having to create a new one from scratch or comb the local stores, only to be disappointed when it’s sold out.
“I think it’s a great idea,” said Melissa Germain, who was shopping the swap with her two small children. “There’s so much consumerism in the world, I love being able to reuse things.”
Germain and roughly 35 other families from the Peters Township area participated in the costume swap. Families donated their lightly used Halloween costumes in exchange for tokens they could use the Saturday to shop the swap.
Roughly 100 costumes or costume parts were donated this year, said Jennifer Garrett, president of the Go Green Club. In its fifth year, she said the event continues to grow and garner more attention from the community.
“They’re waiting when we open our doors,” Garret said. “Everybody seems to like it.”
Costumes range from little lions and dragons for infants and toddlers all the way to Star Trek suits for grown trick-or-treaters. Many are store bought, even some with tags still attached. But tucked among the plastic Ninja Turtle masks and fluffy green synthetic wigs are a few expertly crafted homemade costumes – like the cavegirl costume 6-year-old Abigail Roberts chose for herself.
“It’s not something I think she’d normally pick,” Laura Roberts, Abigail’s mother, said.
The head-to-toe cheetah print ensemble, complete with bone necklace and earrings, was only one homemade creation to come through the swap. Garrett’s favorite, a “complicated, but really cute” bug costume, was also handcrafted.
The swap seems to have a little something for everyone. M&Ms, princesses and the swinging ’60s were all represented. “We had a lot of Snow Whites this year for some reason,” Garrett said.
“I’ll take more than one, depending on what he wants to wear that day,” said Shannon Pauley as she showed her 2-year-old son Lucas a monkey costume. He picked up a dragon costume earlier in the morning.
Shoppers sifted through piles of costumes arranged by size on tables in a room of the Peters Township Public Library while “Monster Mash” and “Werewolves of London” set the mood. They are able to peruse unusual costumes, unload a few of their own and save some money and the environment in the process.
According to the National Retail Federation, Americans are predicted to spend roughly $3.4 billion on Halloween costumes in 2017, many of which will end up in the trash or collecting dust after the festivities.
The Go Green Club orchestrates these swaps to minimize that impact on the environment.
But in helping families go green, they’re also helping to answer the age-old question on every kid’s mind: “What should I be for Halloween?”