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Have a Green Halloween


Green jack o' lantern

Each year, candy wrappers, disposable decorations and costumes end up haunting landfills after Halloween. When the celebrations are over, only 8% of the 4.6 million tons of plastic bags and wrappers that are disposed are recycled, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

There are a number of things you can do to make this Halloween environmentally friendly:

  • Make your costumes. Instead of purchasing ready-made costumes, get creative! Make them using old clothing and other items you have around the house. This is a great way to recycle and save money. It also encourages you to spend quality time with family and friends.
  • Use reusable trick-or-treat bags. Have children carry reusable canvas bags or pillow cases instead of plastic bags that will end up in a landfill.
  • Trick-or-treat close to home. Walking door-to-door with your children will save gas and reduce carbon emissions.
  • Give away organic treats. Organic candies sold at local health food stores and organic grocers make excellent treats. Buying from local vendors will reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Recycle and reuse. If you are hosting a Halloween party, avoid using disposable paper plates and plastic utensils. Purchase candy and other food items in bulk to limit the amount of packaging that must be discarded. If you are buying party favors or prizes, make sure they can be reused or recycled.
  • Make your own decorations. Make jack-o'-lanterns using pumpkins from a local farm market. Transform old bed sheets into ghosts and hang them from your porch.
  • Turn your jack-o'-lantern into food. When you carve your pumpkin, use the pulp to make pumpkin pie or muffins and roast the seeds for a fun holiday snack. After Halloween, cut up your carved pumpkin before it spoils and compost it.
  • Choose green lighting. Light your jack-o'-lanterns with candles made from 100% beeswax or soy, and use ENERGY STAR®-certified LED lights for decorating.

Halloween is a special time of year, but living sustainably requires a year-round effort. Look for ways to save energy all year long and always reduce, reuse and recycle.


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