7 Tips On Making Your Halloween Green
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on October 28, 2009 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Here are 7 great tips on making your Halloween green:
1. Ditch the Candy
It is estimated that trick-or-treaters collect about 5 to 10lbs of candy on Halloween. Instead of giving them sugar filled candy covered in wrappers that quickly fill up landfills, opt instead for healthy alternatives made with organic ingredients. Look for goodies that have been locally grown as well!
Whether you decide on candy or on something more nutritious, make sure that the wrapping is made of biodegradable or recyclable paper. If you are planning on making your own Halloween treats, you can use wax paper to cover them with.
Another option is to hand out treats that are non-edible but made from eco-friendly materials, such as crayons and coloring books made with recycled paper.
2. Wear an Eco-Friendly Costume
Instead of splurging all your money on fancy new costumes, you can visit a second hand shop to find pre-worn Halloween costumes. Remember that most of these costumes have only been worn once before! Don’t forget to donate your costumes back to thrift store after Halloween so someone else can use it next year.
Make your own costumes using eco-fabrics such as organic cotton, silk, hemp or bamboo. Recycle old prom dresses and suits.
Old boxes, plastic bags, and bottles found in your recycling bin can all be used one more time in the creation of Halloween costumes.
3. Save Gas
Each year nearly 36 million children in the USA go out trick or treating on Halloween, with the parents following behind them in their slowly moving car! All those emission fumes can do a great deal of damage to the quality of air, not to mention the money wasted on gas: for every 2 minutes that your car sits idling, it consumes the same amount of gas that is needed to drive 1 mile.
You could dress up alongside your child and walk with them from house to house to gather their treats. Not only does this give you some great quality bonding time with your child, but it also gives you an opportunity to meet your neighbors.
4. Reusable Halloween Bags
Give your children Halloween bags that are reusable that you have either made or bought from the store. You and your child can make a reusable Halloween bag by using a pillow case, old clothes, used paper bags and other eco-friendly items that you can find around your house.
You can get creative an add glitter and sticks to add charm to the Halloween bag.
5. Make A Haunted Eco-House
Nearly $5 billion is spent every year by Americans for their Halloween decorations. Save some money, and save the planet, by creating your own frightening decor by using recycled materials that you have lying around your home.
A few great ideas are to use soy or beeswax candles or LED lights, place them inside a paper bag that has a Halloween design cut out of the front and use them as lanterns. Old cereal boxes that have been painted can make great gravestones!
You can also use pumpkins, gourds and apples to decorate your home with. These are great because you will be able to eat them after Halloween is over.
6. Chose An Organic Pumpkin
This Halloween outdo yourself by choosing a locally grown organic pumpkin rather than a store bought one. Approximately 90% of pumpkins in the US, that are sold in stores, come from a 90 mile radius near Peoria, Illinois; which means that the pumpkins so readily available in your local grocery store actually travelled a very long distance to get there, burning fuel along the way.
In 2007, approximately 43,000 acres of land were used for pumpkin production in the US. However, these pumpkins were grown using chemical pesticides and fertilizers that hurt the earth and our health.
The sales of organic pumpkins have grown by 60% over the past three years. Support your local farmer this Halloween by buying one of his organically grown
7. Compost Your Pumpkin
No matter where you obtain your Halloween pumpkin from, compost it after it has served its Jack-O-Lantern purpose. If you already have a compost pile in your garden then you can just throw your pumpkin into the pile and forget about it. If not, then start by cutting the pumpkin into smaller pieces and place them in an unnoticeable area of your garden. Add fallen leaves, egg shells, coffee grounds and vegetable peels on top of the pumpkin pieces. When a dark, crumbly soil appears, your compost will be ready.
Photo Credit: Joe Shlabotnik
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan