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A Very Green Halloween…by Emma Oswestry, Oct 2018
If we weren’t already, David Attenborough has made us all go ‘green’ crazy! Saving the planet and focusing on reusable materials and #BanningPlastic is a UK wide phenomenon. And what a wonderful phenomenon to have, we say! But let’s not forget our new found environmental morals just because it’s a holiday. Halloween can be green too! Here’s our top tips for making your Halloween a sustainable one:
- Decorations. Instead of buying materials for decorations, gather supplies, arts and crafts throughout the year. Examples include:
- Turn stockings with runs into spider-webbing
- Paint foam peanuts (packing materials) and turn them into worms
- Clean Styrofoam and make Halloween masks
- Turn cardboard boxes into tombstones
- Make other creative decorations from netting from bags of oranges, cotton balls, leaves and branches from the yard, etc
- Reuse your decorations from the previous year
- Costumes. Make your own!
- Keep old clothes that can be used as good pieces or parts of costumes, like worn t-shirts, black pants/shorts, etc.
- If necessary, shop at thrift shops, consignment stores and yard sales, instead of buying retail
- Let your kids’ imaginations run wild! Make a game of turning old clothes into costumes.
- Parties. When having a party, cut down on waste by avoiding disposable cups, plates and cutlery. Use regular dishes or buy biodegradable ones, and use a marker (or apply cute labels) to identify cups so party-goers can keep track of theirs.
- Treats. Buy locally produced foods, candies and treats. Look for goodies with minimal packaging and/or those made packaged in recycled materials.
- Check labels to see that chocolate and sugar are from sustainable sources.
- Trick-or-Treat Bags. Use (and decorate) household items to collect candy in. A bucket, pillowcase, or old even an old bag can be decorated inexpensively at home – and reused year after year.
- Pumpkins. Buy pumpkins from local farms or farmers’ markets. Better yet, grow your own — kids love to watch them grow!
- Jack-o-lanterns. Don’t throw away all the goodies from inside your pumpkin. Toast the seeds for tasty treats. Make pumpkin pie or muffins with the fruit – or compost it.
- Transportation. Trick or Treat by walking around your neighborhood instead of driving to another destination. Get to know your neighbours, reduce your carbon emissions and help keep the streets safe for other walkers.
- Compost and Recycle. From party food to treats to pumpkins, consider composting all organic matter and recycling other items.
- Reuse! Reuse as much as you can from year to year. Instead of throwing away an old box or bag, use it to gather all your decorations and keep for next year. Plus, you can surprise your family and friends by quickly pulling out your box and throwing an impromptu Halloween party any time of year!