We’re already halfway through October, and Halloween is practically around the corner. I haven’t gone trick-or-treating since I was an itty bitty girl, but I must say, I am excited for Halloween this year. My pledge to create an eco-friendly lifestyle for myself has indeed been challenging, but I’m excited to put my new knowledge of sustainability to use. Are you, too, working on staying green this Halloween? Here are a few guidelines to follow to make your trick-or-treating sweeter.
Those plastic jack-o-lanterns, which are a classic throwback, won’t work here. In 2012, about 32 million tons of plastic waste were generated in the U.S., and only 9 percent was recovered for recycling. Leering plastic pumpkins undoubtedly ended up in all that waste.
Instead, use a durable, reusable bag that you can carry past October 31. Have your little ghouls tote this Beetlejuice-reminiscent (Eco) Shopper by Blue Avocado (made from recycled plastic!). You can use it to haul groceries when it’s not hauling Halloween treats. You could also grab a tote from your local Goodwill or Salvation Army, and reuse, reuse, reuse!
Choose Your Treats Wisely
Treats that use minimal packaging are ideal, especially since most candy wrappers are not recyclable. Consider giving away organic chocolate as a treat; or throw the whole idea of candy out of the window, and offer your visitors simple and fun items, like toys made from recycled materials. The options are endless!
Stay Close to Home
Using your car to take your little ones (or yourself!) trick-or-treating will use up fuel and produce emissions. On average, a passenger car produces nearly 10,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually, and the driving behavior engaged in while trick-or-treating — like idling, and stopping and going — are particularly inefficient.
Reduce fuel emissions by staying in and around your neighborhood, or by using public transportation. Before you do all of that walking, don’t forget to bring some on-the-go snacks and stay hydrated with a reusable water bottle like the Daytripper from Full Circle Home.
Green the Pumpkins
Adorning your house, in and out, with pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns of various size? Try to buy your pumpkins locally and all at once to reduce fuel emissions. And while recovering from your organic candy hangover, don’t forget to compost those pumpkins instead of throwing them in the garbage. If you live in an urban area, like I do, consider researching a neighborhood composting program, or buy a compost bin for your kitchen waste. Avoid painting the pumpkin (the paint will prevent you from safely composting it) or carving it, and it can keep serve as a decoration for that other big upcoming holiday in November.