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Go Green Instead of Orange this Halloween

Updated: Dec 9, 2019

As you’re decorating the house, making costumes and buying candy, don’t forget to go green this Halloween. Whether you trick or whether you treat, it’s important to know if those candy wrappers and decorations should end up in the trash or in the recycling bin.

“Sometimes we get wrapped up in the busyness of party planning, and we forget about the importance of recycling and sustainability,” said Mark Walter, Business Manager of Brown County Resource Recovery. “But it’s actually simple to keep the party-planning creativity flowing as you find ways to reduce, reuse and Recycle Right. Halloween especially is a great time to teach kids about the fun ways they can go green.”

Here are a few do’s and don’ts to enjoy a more sustainable Halloween this year:

DON’T recycle your candy wrappers. As the sweet treats pour in, don’t put candy wrappers in your recycling bin. These wrappers are often made out of several types of plastic, paper and sometimes aluminum, which makes them non-recyclable.

DON’T use plastic pumpkins as candy buckets. Anytime you can avoid single-use plastics, you should. Either use the same candy bucket as last year, or find a way to reuse something around the house. A wicker basket painted orange can be used year after year.

DON’T go to the store for a costume without thinking about DIY options. If you think the only way to get a cool and creative Halloween costume is to buy one from the store, then you haven’t tried making a costume out of recycled materials. It’s easy to make costumes like cowboys and crocodiles out of cardboard and other recyclable materials.

DO go natural when decorating. There are the obvious pumpkins you can decorate with, but don’t forget about gourds, branches and fall-colored leaves. These are all better options than the plastic versions you buy in a store; not to mention, they’re free!

DO compost your pumpkin. Once you’re done using pumpkins as decorations, throw them into your compost pile. If you used them as jack-o’-lanterns, they’re ready to compost. Just make sure to remove candles and any parts that you painted, as the paint will not break down in your compost pile and can leech into the compost and nearby soil and water. Be sure to remove the pumpkin seeds and bake them for a tasty snack!

DO donate your old costumes (or hold a costume swap). If you end up going the store-bought route for your costume, don’t instantly throw it in the trash come November 1. You can donate your costume to a thrift shop (and buy one from there) or host a costume swap with friends.

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