October 30, 2020

5 simple ways to have a greener Halloween


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1277333.largeBy Judi Gerber From Care2

Halloween kicks off the holiday season. Aside from the excess of food and gifts that we all face this time of year, there’s also an excess of trash and environmentally unfriendly products and habits. If you are like me, and want to reduce this waste, try one of these easy ways to make a difference in your carbon footprint, while still enjoying the fun of Halloween.

Instead of buying more plastic and disposable decorations, use items from your garden or other natural items to decorate. Mini-pumpkins make great planters. Gather leaves and branches, evergreens, berries, hay bales, mums and other flowers or even fruit from your trees to add to centerpieces or decorations around the house.

Recycle, rent or swap costumes. Use old items, materials, or use the gear and assorted equipment from your favorite hobby as your costume. Are you a cyclist? Wear your bike “costume” to the party. Are you a painter? Use your old smock or paint shirt, your brushes or an unfinished canvas (or one you don’t like that much) as part of your costume. Use your imagination. I am a gardener and urban farmer; I can go as my favorite farmer without having to buy new items. And while National Costume Swap Day has already passed, there’s no reason that you can’t have an informal swap with your friends. Check out the site to get ideas on setting up your own swap.

Candles are one of the most popular items used on Halloween. Try to avoid using paraffin based candles since they are petroleum based. Instead, use soy or 100% beeswax candles, which are not only more environmentally friendly, but they burn cleaner too.

If you just can’t give up on the tradition of passing out candy, consider going organic and/or fair trade. Organic treats can sometimes cost more, and if you get lots of trick-or-treaters this can really add up. Try Yummy Earth, which has organic candy including lollipops that don’t contain GMOs like corn syrup or artificial dyes.

Reuse that Halloween pumpkin. If you carved your pumpkin and don’t think you want to keep it up for the rest of the fall season, use it in your compost, roast those pumpkin seeds, and use the innards to make tasty treats like pumpkin puree for your Thanksgiving pies, pumpkin bread, and even save yourself some money by using that puree for your own pumpkin lattes. If you haven’t already carved it, you can keep using it to decorate for the rest of the autumn season right through Thanksgiving.

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