Make it a Green Halloween
With COVID-19 still impacting communities, Halloween will look a little different this year, but we can all find ways to celebrate while also keeping our environment in mind. From costumes to spooky snacks, there are many ways to make Halloween “green” and spooky this year.
With pumpkins, corn stalks and hay easily available at local stores, you can make your front door step the perfect fall spot. After the season is over, these materials can be used in your garden/lawn, composted or given to the backyard animals for shelter or food.
If trick-or-treating is not on your Halloween schedule this year, consider activities that are festive, yet kind on the environment. Consider having a Halloween egg hunt. Paint or draw on leftover plastic eggs from Easter to make them look like friendly Halloween monsters. Fill the eggs with small, reusable toys or candy and
hide them around the yard for the kiddos to find. Consider using candy that does not come individually wrapped to cut down on waste; save your Halloween eggs along with your Halloween decorations to reuse next year.
Cut a large face out of an old plastic pumpkin (or a fresh one waiting to be carved!) and use a golf club and balls to play a little Halloween golf. For another yard game, use pool rings or mason jar lid rings to play Halloween ring toss with the stems of your pumpkin(s).
If you are dressing up for a virtual Halloween costume contest, save yourself some money and see what you can transform into a home-made costume. Look at what you’ve worn in the past or ask friends/family if they have something you can use. Thrift stores have plenty of options to choose from, and you can donate costumes there when you are done.
Halloween’s biggest staple is candy. According to the National Retail Federation Americans are expected to spend a whopping $2.4 billion to purchase nearly 600 million pounds of candy this year for Halloween. That is a lot of potential wrappers and waste generated from candy along! Instead of buying bags of candy with wrappers that cannot be recycled, consider making home-made treats instead. Gather the family together and spend some time making Halloween cookies, treats and spooky snacks to give to family and friends in single serve, reusable containers. Not only will your friends, family and neighbors be delighted at the thought you have put into the special gift, but they will be able to reuse the containers for years to come. If you have already purchased individually wrapped candy, consider the TerraCycle program as an alternative way to recycle your candy wrappers.
So, while Halloween may be a bit different than past years, it can still be a lot of fun. Together we can recycle right and make it a safe and “green” Halloween.