This year, Halloween doesn’t have to be only orange and black. With a little creativity, you can add a touch of green to the eerie holiday. Traditionally, Halloween is a holiday that conjures up spooky spells and tall tales. It’s when the children trick and treat to their hearts’ content. But kids and parents can do things this Halloween to help enrich their community and environment.
“We encourage our communities to be environmentally friendly at every occasion and holiday,” said Rachel Amar, community relations manager for Waste Management of New York. “Halloween offers a great opportunity to recycle, reduce waste, reuse materials, and encourage kids’ creative spirit.”
Here are a few tips from Waste Management to put a little green in your Halloween:
• Reuse and recycle old costumes. As your children dress up as their favorite cartoon characters, princesses and scary monsters, the price of costumes can be costly, but does not have to be. You can get bargains and inexpensive costumes from thrift stores and yard sales. These sources are cheap and kids can create their costumes without ruining their own clothing. Parents can reuse and recycle their clothes and tailor them into costumes for their kids.
• Pumpkins are a Halloween favorite. When making jack-o-lanterns, reduce waste by putting the seeds and pulp a compost bin or pile. After Halloween is over, the shell can be tossed in the bin, too. Composting is the controlled decomposition of biodegradable organic matter, producing compost, which is one of nature’s best mulches that can be used instead of commercial fertilizers.
• When decorating your haunted mansion, think green! Use recycled and recyclable materials to create your Halloween decorations. Bed sheets hung from the ceiling or tree branches make great ghosts, for example, and can be taken down, laundered, and returned to the linen closet when Halloween is over.
• Hosting a Halloween party? Consider using organic, locally grown pumpkins for carving, apples for bobbing, and other pesticide-free, locally grown foods appropriate to the holiday and the harvest season. Save money by using dishes, cutlery, napkins and tablecloths that can be washed and reused instead of disposable plastic and paper tableware.
• Trick or treating also can be green. You can walk instead of driving your car. Consider carpooling your trick or treaters if you can’t avoid driving. Use reusable bags instead of plastic disposable bags. Use rechargeable batteries for flashlights when making your ghostly rounds.
• Every kid loves candy. Conscientious consumers can find an increasing variety of environmentally friendly candy from organic chocolate to organic lollipops online and from local organic groceries and health food stores. Organic candies can satisfy a sweet tooth without compromising health, and they are produced using methods that don’t damage the environment. Want an alternative to candy? Consider giving out pencils, crayons, erasers or other supplies school kids can use, purchased inexpensively at the local dollar store.
Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Our subsidiaries provide collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery and disposal services. We are also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. Our customers include residential, commercial, industrial and municipal customers throughout North America.
©2008 Community News Group