I LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR. I love it so much, and it provides me with a distraction from the really scary thoughts about climate change. There is so much garbage and waste generated on Halloween, that is the real scary part. Think of all the single use plastic black and orange décor that just is used for a few days at most and then is thrown out and sent to the land fill where it takes 400 years to break down. And that’s if it doesn’t end up in the water supply as micro plastics… (that’s genuinely dark and scary) Darn it! I was doing so well about not being depressing in these emails. What can you do to lessen the plastic use and environmental impact? Well, here is a list of things you can do.
- f you or your children plan on Trick-or-Treating, be sure to send children out with reusable buckets, pillow cases, or canvas bags. No Plastic! Back in my day (I’m so old) Mom sent me and my sister out with 2 pillowcases. And a red wagon. The wagon came in handy, because of all the houses who were super green (in the 80’s!) and gave out cans of soda. Which brings up my next point.
- Things you hand out is something you can control and is pretty easy to do to reduce plastic and waste in your neighborhood.
a. Canned Drinks – Aluminum is one of the most recyclable metals, so why not hand out soda or another type of canned beverage? I would probably hand out seasonal Polar seltzer or Lacroix. But if you want to be the cool house, totally go full sugar root beer, or Mountain dew code red.
b. Boxed candies A surprising number of candies come in paper boxes, e.g. Smarties, M&Ms, Nerds, Dots, Milk Duds, Glossette chocolate-covered raisins or peanuts, Junior Mints, Popeye Candy Sticks, Chewy Lemonhead, Whoppers, and more. Costco has Full Sized Hersey bars, that are paper and foil wrapped in a 32 box for 16 dollars. You know, if you want to be the FULL SIZED AWESOME HOUSE.
c. A unique offering to hand out that doesn’t involve individual plastic wrappers. Stop by your bank on the morning of the 31st and pick up some ȼ.50 pieces or $2 bills – which the majority of kids will not have ever seen before!
- Decorating, generates SO MUCH PLASTIC TRASH. But don’t fall into the trap of buying cheap, disposable decorations that will only last you one season. Save money and the environment by investing in sturdy, reusable items that you can store and use every year. Stay away from flimsy, paper-based products that will tear and avoid high-energy usage decorations such as inflatables or ones powering a lot of lights. Carve you a bunch of jack-o-lanterns. Make a ghost by stuffing a towel in a white sheet, tying with twine, and hanging in a tree or near a door. Paint your own creepy message on a wooden board. “Turn back now! You’ve entered the Land of the Walking Dead!” The more rustic, the better! Cut out black fabric bats and hang upside down on a clothesline. Natural Twine to make spiderwebs! All of these can be reused year after year or composted!
This would be a good time to mention that anyone can buy teracycle boxes to recycle candy wrappers. (here) I know it’s a bit extra for just one household of goblins and ghosts, but maybe chip in for your school or community center post Halloween? (psst. Boston, totes bring in the wrappers office and use the office teracycle. I won’t tell anyone as long as I’m bribed with a mini-snickers)
These are just some ideas to consider when looking to reduce impact on the environment. In the meantime, bring in your empty floss containers, toothpaste tubes, tooth brushes, razors, protein bar wrappers, single use food pouches, Padded envelops, fedex plastic, pens, markers, highlighters and makeup tubes! We will make sure to divert them from landfill!