So it’s Halloween again and people are loading up on candy and getting ready for some serious low-level adventure, while others prepare for one of the most debaucherous nights they will have this year -- maybe even ever. But what about us die-hard environmentalist who can't help but see all the waste around us when the festivities explode. What was once a celebration of the harvest has turned into something quite scary altogether. Indeed, for us environmentalist Halloween is a stew of insanity. This year, and for future years, I say we take it back!
Here are a few tips on how to have a green Halloween that is filled with a deeper meaning, is affecting, and fun to boot.
Halloween costumes can be a great opportunity to express a point of view -- not just explore how many nouns you can put “sexy” in front of.
By simply mixing and matching a bunch of items and clothes from past Halloweens then adding a sign that says “recycled” you can make a pretty entertaining green statement. Other fun ideas I’ve seen was a man who pinned a fake chicken to his shirt and called himself a chick magnet. Or you can get a giant box and decorate it like a washing machine.
Are you an earthy person? Then why not go as a big pile of leaves. This is considered a sustainable costume for beginners. It’s easy, cute and colorful. All you do is gather a few bags of leaves from outside, the more the better, and tape them onto your clothes -- fall colored clothes that is. And viola! You have transformed yourself into beautiful fall foliage. To take this costume a step further you can add a few sticks and become a tree. Use the leaves on your shirt and above the waist while taping the sticks around the legs.
Other favorites are Static Cling (pinning socks, dryer sheets, lint and fabrics to your clothes--for full effect spray hair up in all directions); Landfill is a variation on Static Cling (pin garbage instead of fabrics and such); Nickelback (tape a nickle to your back); and the ultimate sustainable costume: Nudist!
More and more people are using some sort of social media to invite friends to Holiday parties, but just as a reminder: emailing invites online is a preferred green method. Try to use renewable sources throughout the party, like compostable plates -- or better yet use your own plates! You should also try to use cloth tablecloths and napkins! If you are headed to someone's party bring treats in reusable dishes (try not to forget about them when you leave). It may be a little more work, but that’s why you make brownies for your guests and then they help you clean up. Feed your creepy crowd locally purchased and organic food, and make it easy for them to recycle. And the end of the shenanigans pack and store any decorations to use for next year.
First thing you can do is not dump the pumpkin seeds after carving -- clem them, roast them and salt them! Yum. Also, to light your pumpkin consider beeswax candles. When you’re ready to toss the pumpkin, do so in the compost pile. Some places even have local pumpkin recycling locations. Next year you can try to take it up a step by growing your own in the backyard!
An estimated 14 million trick-or-treaters take to the streets every Halloween in the U.S. If you are participating try to walk, ride a bike, or carpool to the hot spots. Don’t throw candy wrappers into the streets. For parents, a good idea is to bring an extra bag for garbage -- you’ll find it’ll come in very handy once you tune into your duty as wrapper police.
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That’s it everyone! Now go have a safe, green, happy Halloween!