From Halloween to Hallo-Green
by Sirena Rubinoff, Networx
In a world that is starting to shine more light on living an environmentally friendly lifestyle, Halloween is no time to leave the three R’s in the dark. You can still reduce, reuse and recycle during this holiday season by making eco-friendly choices about your Halloween costumes, decorations, and food. The great part is that going green for Halloween will also help save you some of your hard-earned green for other fun family activities.
Everyone wants to look their best (or worst) when it comes time to show off their Halloween costume, and often-times home-made costumes take the cake for creativity and realism. So, put away your wallet and head towards your closet to see what you already have in the house. Don’t be afraid to reuse costumes from past years or take some clothing out of the give-away pile to be turned into a Halloween horror. If you want to make a costume out of something other than clothing, use recyclable items like newspaper and cardboard boxes. If that still won’t cut it and you decide to purchase a few costume additions, look for items that can be saved and reused from year to year. And don’t forget about your kids’ trick-or-treating bags! Turn this into a fun family art project and let your kids make and decorate their own reusable bags. You can make bags out of fabric you have in the house or even an old pillowcase. Finally, when the Halloween fun comes to end, be sure to separate your costumes into three piles: trash, recycling, and storage. Each year, you can aim to have less and less in the trash pile and more in the other two so that your Halloween costume footprint is minimal.
Get creative with your outdoor Halloween décor and keep the three R’s in mind. Reduce the amount or money you spend on decorations by looking for reusable items and make sure to try to use only recyclable one-time use decorations. Halloween practically screams for the use of natural objects as outdoor decorations: You can be stylishly savvy with cornstalks, branches, colorful leaves, and of course the traditional Halloween pumpkin — all of which can be composted when you’re taking down your Halloween scene. And lastly, make sure to use eco-friendly LED light bulbs to keep your front yard lit without running up the electricity bill.
Fun and Fresh Food
You can use pumpkins not only as decorations, but also as savory snacks! Save the insides of your jack-o-lantern and use them to make delicious pumpkin soup or muffins. Pop the seeds into the oven for a tasty toasted snack and throw all pumpkin-related trash into your compost heap when you’re through with it. If you’re throwing a Halloween party or having a themed dinner, avoid using disposable plates and silverware and choose dishwasher-safe tableware that makes for easy, eco-friendly clean-up. If you’re having more guests than you can serve with your regular dishes, look for disposable goods made of recyclable materials. EcoProducts specializes in biodegradable plates, bowls, and utensils made from sugarcane that start at under $5 per package. Finally, try to buy candy that uses the least amount of non-recyclable packaging materials as trick-or-treating gifts. Or forego the candy entirely and hand out low fat home-made baked goods or warm apple cider.
A little bit of green planning can go a long way this Halloween. You’ll be keeping money in your pocket and unnecessary trash out of landfills by simply following the motto of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” Good luck and happy Halloween!