Go Green On Halloween

One year for Halloween, my wife and I both wore denim jeans and blue shirts. I wore a name tag that read "Gene," and she wore one that read "Jean." We were a pair of blue jeans! It was our most clever homemade costume and, by far, still my favorite.

What will you dress up as this year? Will you be a classic pirate? Or will you DIY a group Ghostbusters costume with your friends? Not sure? Try the do-it-yourself costume generator to help with a variety of ideas as you #SuitUp4Halloween.

Another important question for you to consider: Where will you shop for your costume? Total Halloween spending is projected to peak around $8.4 billion this year. Think that's a scary number? According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 85 percent of unwanted clothes in the United States in 2013 went into either a landfill or an incinerator. But there is some good news! This year, do-it-yourself costumes are preferred (57 percent) over packaged costumes, according to Goodwill's National Halloween Poll. That's a 6 percent increase from the previous year. The trend of making Halloween costumes demonstrates just one way we can divert clothes from landfills and create a more sustainable world.

Sustainable fashion and eco-conscious fashion processes are becoming more popular, even beyond Halloween costumes. Innovative clothing brands are responding to the "fast fashion crisis," - the cycle of overconsumption and disposability of clothes. Although I think we went shopping in our closets for those Gene/Jean costumes, we could have easily purchased used jeans from our local Goodwill store.

Goodwill organizations have been reusing and repurposing clothing long before it was trendy. In particular, October is the biggest sales month for Goodwill, as customers have been shopping for accessories and trendy, unique and vintage pieces for costumes for decades. Goodwill allows you to be more creative than using a pre-packaged costume.

Shopping for overalls and a leather jacket to complete your Ghostbusters Dr. Jillian Holtzmann look at your local Goodwill store isn't only an eco-friendly option, but a charitable one. By shopping at Goodwill, you are supporting job training opportunities and support services, such as credentials, financial education, tax income assistance, resume preparation and transportation, for members of your community. Every 23 seconds of every business day, a person served by Goodwill earns a good job. Every second of every day, another person accesses Goodwill opportunities to build careers and strong families.

So, as you consider what you'll be for Halloween this year, keep Goodwill in mind. Goodwill stores get new inventory every day, so check back regularly to find your perfect one-of-a-kind costume pieces. When you're done with those jeans or proton pack, you can continue the cycle of sustainability and give that costume another run by donating what you no longer need to your local Goodwill store so someone else can find inspiration next year.

Whether you're dressing up as Slimer from Ghostbusters or upcycling your costume, go green for Halloween!