Green your Halloween decorations

Photo: istockphoto.com/Ronnie Lebow
How can you get your spooks and goblins to have the lowest carbon foot print and not break the bank?

Halloween is shaping up to be almost as decorated a holiday as Christmas. So how can you get your spooks and goblins to have the lowest carbon foot print and not break the bank?

The trick is to use recyclable materials or buy decorations that will last from year to year. Those inflatable decorations are fun but they need a lot of energy to manufacture and then keep inflated. Besides, who needs a lot of plastic when a bit of imagination can turn simple household items into scary decorations that reflect your own style and express everything you love about Hallowe'en?

Simple ghosts
Any white or pale blue bed sheet can be easily transformed into ghost. Wrap up a small pillow in the head, tie it off with a string and hang it from the tree where it can blow in the wind. You can draw eyes, a scary mouth and nose on cardboard using a fluorescent or glow in the dark marker. Cut them out and glue them onto the head for a ghostly expression. Fasten a small flashlight or a solar patio lights under the sheet to give your ghost a spooky glow.

Take some black and orange construction paper and make small paper chains to hang around the ghosts. You can also use witch silhouettes or bats. These kinds of chains will look good hanging in your window with some orange LED lights.

Get carving
Pumpkins are the easiest way to spook up your yard. Some of the pumpkins carving kits have patterns of witches, cats, bats and goblins, which can make a nice addition to the traditional scary face pumpkins. You can find a wide assortment of patterns, both traditional and humorous from the Pumpkin Masters. They recommend using a flashing LED strobe light to really make things scary and sprinkle in some cinnamon and nutmeg on the bottom for a fresh, autumn scent. You can also hand paint your pumpkin, which will make it last longer.

Creative landscaping
Use your pumpkins as part as a display with seasonal flowers like orange and yellow chrysanthemum flowers. Add height to any flower arrangement by including some goldenrod or wild grasses. Their rustling in the wind will add to the mystery.

Stalks of corn, particularly the multi-coloured corn, can be tied to posts or fences. You can find them at any farmers markets for just pennies, especially if you're buying the corn used to feed stock animals. Tie the stalks up and peel away the casing for an autumn display. Place some LED or solar lights amongst the stalks so they will light up at night and cast some shadows.

Buried secrets
Fashion some graveyards out of recyclable material around the house. Take two sticks or boards and put them into a cross, hammer the middle and put them into the ground. Add handmade "rest in peace" signs for that extra touch. Don't worry is the cross sags -- it will just add to the general creepiness of your graveyard.

Large boxes can be painted black to look like a coffin or hiding place. Take an old sleeve from a shirt, stuff it and leave it hanging from the top. Cut tombstone shapes out of cardboard boxes and paint them white or grey. Add epitaphs and piles leaves in front for a freshly buried look.

And of course, never under estimate the garden scarecrow for some creepy fun. You can use old clothing, stuffed with newspaper and pinned up for various poses. Hold yours up with a post or garden stakes or hang it from a tree. Even better, have one posed on your doorstep. Tape some eerie music and put the recorder close to the scarecrow so when someone rings your doorbell you can activate the recording and startle them.

The key to a green Hallowe'en decorations is to have fun and let your imagination run wild and freaky.