Halloween is just a scrumptious, joyous time of the year. Who doesn’t love the cool, spooky time of ghosts and goblins? Naturally, there must a few who don’t love it but it’s a favorite time for kids and those of us who are kids in spite of our age. I love to curl up in front of the big screen and watch “Halloween Town” part 1 and 2. It’s a Disney movie starring Debbie Reynolds and I love and adore it.
Still, it can be a wasteful time with all the throw-away from candy wrappers and boxes, pumpkins and (sometimes) costumes. With a little planning that isn’t necessary, though.
Consider Eco Friendly Decorations
I have a much-loved and very large ceramic pumpkin that is at least 10 years old. Confession: I actually use it year-round because it has a perfect spot for a candle and the spooky light glowing through its mean eyes and scary mouth is delightful. My baby granddaughter can’t take her eyes off it! :-) Since I use it year after year, it’s definitely earth-friendly.
Use the bounty in your yard – like leaves, pine cones apples and candles. If you use a real pumpkin, put it in your compost pile rather than simply throwing it away. And whatever goodies you’re serving, remember to use ‘real’ plates and cutlery, rather than plastic or paper throwaways.
What Treats Will You Hand Out?
I like to give out organic candy but there’s no doubt it’s expensive. Still, healthier goodies are more available at ‘regular’ grocery stores these days. At the least, limit the chemicals and artificial ingredients and remember dark chocolate because it’s relatively healthy. Gum is certainly better than calorie-laden empty calorie junk.
Lots of people recommend homemade treats, but that’s only a good idea for family and close friends. We all know that few parents will allow their kids to eat treats from strangers so that isn’t practical advice, IMO.
Reusable Halloween Bags
This is a tough one. Yes, plastic clogs landfills and takes a long time to degrade. However, recent research has indicated that canvas bags used for food can develop viruses and other nasties. Food bits invade crevices and spoil, becoming unsanitary. If you choose a canvas Halloween bag for wrapped candy that isn’t used and reused for ‘regular’ groceries, it will probably be fine. Another option is hard plastic pumpkins, ghosts and other Halloween favorites that can be used for many years.
What About Your Costume?
Eco friendly tips almost always revolve around reusing or recycling so you don’t have to buy new, and Halloween is no different. By renting a costume, making your own from old costumes or reusing costumes you’ve bought in previous years, you’ll be doing your bit to reduce waste this Halloween. Try making your costumes out of old clothes that would have otherwise been thrown away, or buy second hand clothing at low prices to use for fabric.
Try to use or re-use everything. For instance, a pumpkin has absolutely wonderful seeds and you can use the tired shell for compost. If your kids have outgrown their costumes, pass them on to someone else or recyle through a church or charity. And if you have some cool decorations, store them carefully and use them next year. We always put up Halloween lights and they can be stored just like Christmas lights.
Eco-friendly tips apply to Halloween just like they do every day of the year. If being environmentally friendly is important to you, carefully consider this spooky, wonderful time of the year and figure out how you and your family can help.