From the bean of Green Bean.
"What have we got in there?" I ask my youngest as he paws through a shoe box full of salvaged treasures. Bottle caps - metal and plastic, twist ties, string, molded plastic packaging, a scratched CD. Some of this is ours. Some was left behind by visitors to our home. And still other items were found on the street outside our home. Much of it is trash, not recyclable anywhere.
"This is super cool, like a shooter." He holds up the empty shell of his asthma inhaler and demonstrates how such a shooter might work. "Yup," I nod. "A shooter. Do you think that this guy needs a shooter?" I gesture, with my glue gun, to the box - glimmering silver with spray paint obtained from Freecycle.
We're building his Halloween costume - an amalgamation of trash with a few recyclables thrown in for effect. A robot. A super cool "trash eating robot" with, of course, "a shooter." I'm pretty sure every robot needs a shooter.
My six year old's costume is already complete. He's a Recycle-Bat. Okay, that's what I call it but my son calls it a vampire bat. It's made of an old hoodie sweatshirt and a broken black umbrella from Freecycle. (You really can get anything you want off of Freecycle!)
I suppose we could have trotted down to the local toy store and shelled out $40 for a new Halloween costume, neatly wrapped in plastic and guaranteed not to rip for a day or so. I suppose that could have been fun.
But not as much fun as poring through websites for ideas. As peeking in the recycle bin and emerging with the "O" of excitement when we'd found just the right robot eyes. As debating bat-ear placement. As sewing and glue-gunning together the treasures we'd collected. As inventing a recycle-bat or a trash eating robot with shooters.
No, not as much fun as that.
* PS: Upcycle your kids' candy wrappers into these uber cool robots after the big day.