What probably originated as a Celtic harvest festival, Halloween is now the second-most commercially successful holiday after Christmas. According to CNN, the average household spent $21.05 on trick-or-treat candy in 2011, and consumers spent over $2.5 billion on costumes!
That is a whole lot of green for a holiday that isn’t really so... green. According to a 2008 article in Slate Magazine about the environmental impact of Halloween, around 3.45 grams of CO2 are released for every gram of chocolate produced, and cocoa cultivation has been a divisive environmental debate. Factoring in those Jack-O-Lanterns carved and subsequently trashed, and the costumes manufactured, bought and worn for only a few hours, Halloween can be one wasteful day.
When it comes to greening your Halloween garb, you can actually save money by being less wasteful. Make your own clever costume with materials around your home, or clothes that you wear on a daily basis. Below are some of our favorite do-it-yourself costumes that are not only easy to throw together, but will make even the most sour skeleton crack a smile.
Do you have an easy, free Halloween costume planned for this year or that you've worn in years past? Submit your photo to the slideshow below, or tweet your idea with the hashtag #DIYcostume.
For the ladies -- put on a dress slip and pin on a sign that says "Freud." Bringing back memories of Meg Ryan in D.O.A?
Center Of The Universe
Fancy yourself to be a pretty big deal? Why not show everyone just how big by dressing up as "the center of the universe." Just stick on a few pictures of planets to whatever you're wearing and let the costume speak for itself.
Got some extra "caution" tape lying around? Pin it to the back of your pants to become A Cautionary Tale.
Pay tribute to the revolutionary invention and commercial by painting yourself black and dancing around the streets. Don't forget your iPod (or pretty much any iPod-shaped object will do) and <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,225758,00.html" target="_hplink">Fox News</a> suggests wearing something reflective as this costume has the tendency to translate into "the invisible person" costume when wandering dark streets.
If you're really desperate or tight for time, pick up an iron and put on a couple of knee pads and voilà! Irony!
Isn't this what you pictured in you head when you first heard the name social networking site? Maybe not, but if you can get your hands on a children's book (that you don't mind cutting up) turn it into a headband and dress in all black -- or perhaps blue, you could probably get a few good Facebook photos for your Halloween '11 album. Featured on the Today show.
Put on a black outfit, string a cereal box around your neck carry around a fake knife and perhaps throw some sort of red coloring around (like nail polish or face paint) and you'll be sure to be scaring people off their breakfast.
What's better than drinking your favorite soda all night? Dressing up as it! Put on a white coat and pin on some chilis to become Dr. Pepper for Halloween.
@HuffingtonPost Katy perry inspired peppermint dress costume in the works #DIYcostume http://t.co/ftGyHM2i
Emulate this elusive character on Halloween and have some fun by popping up randomly in your friends photos. All you need are some blue jeans, a red and white stripy shirt, some glasses, (camera optional) and you're good to go.
If you would rather not dress in the full quarterback's outfit, try getting a little crafty and make your own oversized quarter and stick it on your back. It's pretty much the same thing.
Be a shameless gold digger on halloween! Dress in gold colors, sprinkle on some glitter and carry around a pail and shovel. Who knew it could be that easy?
Who knew being an angel could be this easy? <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/holidays/halloween/diy-halloween-costumes-00100000065971/index.html#7" target="_hplink">Real Simple suggests</a> throwing on all white clothes and a bit of DIY with some coffee filters and you have your self a quick and simple Halloween costume.
Take The Today Show's advice and pin a few sponges onto an all black outfit to be Self Absorbed all Halloween.
Perfect to throw together straight after work, just grab a picture of an anchor and stick it on your chest on top of your suit.
Take a safari through the Halloween festivities this year. <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/holidays/halloween/diy-halloween-costumes-00100000065971/index.html#2" target="_hplink">Real Simple gives some DIY ideas</a> on how to make a cute safari costume complete with hand-made binoculars. Great for spotting some "wild" mummies or ghouls while you hunt down some candy.
Pin Up Girl
This costume might not have as much sex appeal as its figurative meaning but it is definitely easier to throw together. Grab some black clothes and stick some safety pins on the front in the shape of an arrow pointing upwards, <a href="http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/27402278/ns/today-style/t/think-out-box-diy-halloween-costumes/#.TqBj2JwVKfY" target="_hplink">as featured on the Today Show. </a>
LOVED my Halloween costume last year!!! May have to bust it out again this year.... #DIYcostume #loofah http://t.co/UHdiZRYZ
"If it's a dark and stormy night, this is the way to go," <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,225758,00.html" target="_hplink">according to Fox News</a>. Grab an umbrella and whatever colorful object you own and stick it all together. You could even pair this with the scuba diver outfit!
Pin some animal paraphernalia to your clothes -- horseshoes, stuffed animals, and have some animal magnetism this halloween.
Featured on the <a href="http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/27402278/ns/today-style/t/think-out-box-diy-halloween-costumes/#.TqBj2JwVKfY" target="_hplink">Today Show</a>, it only takes a few purple balloons to create this quirky Halloween costume, (although you might want to stay away from anyone dressed as a cactus!).
A classic, the mummy. And <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,225758,00.html" target="_hplink">Fox News</a> has some pro tips on how to get it right. But no matter how tempting it is, stay away from toilet paper: "Remember, no matter how many plys you have, toilet paper is always a disaster," the site says.
Keeping with a scary Halloween theme, put on some devil horns and a tail, dress in all white with a yellow spot on the front to become a deviled egg!
All you need is a cardboard box and some butcher paper, and the guys at<a href="http://www.evilmadscientist.com/article.php?story=CardboardCroc&query=crocodile" target="_hplink"> Evil Mad Scientist</a> will show you how to do the rest. You'll be sure to snap up some candy this Halloween by stalking the streets in this scary costume.
Summer's over, but grab your swimsuit and dive into Halloween this year with a scuba diving costume. <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/holidays/halloween/diy-halloween-costumes-00100000065971/index.html#6" target="_hplink">Real Simple has the tips</a> on how to make the costume yourself out of a few household items, oxygen tank included!
If you're not worried about originality and need something quick and easy, go for blackening your eyes with some dark makeup and wearing green clothes -- make way for the black-eyed pea!
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/QueenDeleona"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/twitter_profile_img/3626319.png" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/QueenDeleona">QueenDeleona</a>:<br />Hand painted homemade t-shirt w/a hand sewn skirt made from a pair of baggy shorts. I did my own make-up and the wig and teeth cost me under $10... ;..;
My firefighter costume was $1!!! and it was adorable! ❤ #DIYcostume
I love a "halloween costume" I could wear again. Just add a couple feathers & you have the perfect peacock! #diycostume http://t.co/50sXOreU
💙 #Perry #DIYcostume #diy #lastminuteidea #wentwithit #halloween2012 http://t.co/A2L4xQWE
@kerrybarnes93 yeah why not might just get a black bag and cut a hole out for the head and use it as a cape! #OldSchool #DIYcostume
Halloween is coming! The crown is made out of tin foil lol. #diycostume #throwback http://t.co/WfImIT4M