Emails from out-of-state public relations firms working on behalf of a variety of organizations and event sponsors arrive daily and, as a rule, I quickly scan them to see whether there is anything that would apply to us here in Maine.

The majority do not, but this one really grabbed my attention.

Have you ever heard of National Costume Swap Day?

I hadn’t, but what a great idea this is.

Anyone who has been in any store lately and looked at the prices of costumes for kids surely must agree that swapping far and away beats purchasing, especially in these difficult economic times.

Here’s the information I was provided.

National Costume Swap Day was established in 2010 by and the nonprofit Green Halloween.

On this day, we are asked to go green for Halloween by organizing local costume swap events where the opportunity is offered to swap princess gowns and superhero capes, perhaps, for something newer, which not only will help parents and guardians save money but will help reduce waste at the same time.

According to the release promoting this event, swapping the costumes of only half of the children who celebrate Halloween would reduce annual landfill waste by 6,250 tons, which is equivalent to the waste of 2,500 midsize cars.

I learned that in its first year, 77 events were registered at and that more than 100 are registered this year throughout the country, with three in Maine: Brewer, Turner and Durham.

I searched the website for National Costume Swap Day, scanned down to Maine and clicked on all three information sites.

Here’s what I found out about the Brewer Swap.

It is planned for noon-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, at SNAP Fitness on State Street. This swap is open to everyone up to 21 and will be held no matter what the weather.

The most information, however, was available on the sites for Turner and Durham.

The Turner Swap is 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, at Boofy Quimby Memorial Hall, Howes Corner Road, which is Route 219.

The contact site for that event is and it helps if you add “costume swap” to your search terms.

The Durham information is available by contacting Sarah at

This event is 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, at the Durham Eureka Center on the corner of routes 9 and 136.

According to the site, this is how this site works: You bring your clean, gently worn costumes to a drop-off site during scheduled days and times. For each costume you drop off, you receive a ticket to use on SWAP Day. On SWAP Day, you trade your tickets for new-to-you costumes. One ticket equals one costume.

At the end of this event, any leftover costumes will be donated to Goodwill.

As of Oct. 5, the only remaining drop-off time for this swap is 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, at Durham Community School.

If you can’t make it to the drop site, email If you’d like to help collect costumes or volunteer on the day of the event, email her.

According to information about its origins provided on its website, started as a passion project to help connect people interested in swapping everything from books and movies to music and video games.

Today, the site has widely expanded its user opportunities.

“Whether you want to swap, online, with people across the world, through your mobile phone, in your neighborhood or at one of our local swap events, we make it easy for you to connect with your friends to swap,” the site states.

“And the best part is, the only cost is for shipping your item to your swap partner, if applicable.

“No catch. We truly believe swapping should be free. So it is.”

You can learn more at

So, if you’re not into swapping movies or music, think about swapping costumes for your kids this Halloween. It sounds like it would be a lot of fun for everyone.

I understand, from the PR person I spoke with who provided the initial information, would like folks to register their swaps for National Costume Swap Day, but that’s not necessary and you are certainly welcome just to organize one for your friends, your neighborhood or your community.

So gather up all those costumes the kids (and you) have outgrown and start swapping.

Save a little green, in the form of cash, and go green, environmentally, this Halloween.