Spooky decorations, creative costumes, and loads and loads of sweet treats make Halloween a favorite holiday for both kids and adults. But, while we immerse ourselves in the festivities, it’s crucial to remember the impact our celebrations can have on the environment. Here are 10 tricks to treat yourself to a more sustainable celebration:
- DIY Decorations: Instead of buying new decorations, consider making your own from recycled materials. Cardboard, old costumes, and scrap paper can be transformed into spooky and creative decorations. Check out this Learning Tree article for some fun decoration ideas: Halloween Activities with Natural and Recycled Materials.
- Reusable Trick-or-Treat Bags: Encourage the use of reusable bags for trick-or-treating. Fabric bags or pillowcases can be both fun and eco-friendly alternatives to disposable plastic bags or plastic jack-o-lantern buckets.
- Treats. Buy locally-produced foods, candies, and treats. Look for candy with minimal packaging and/or those packaged with recycled materials. Unfortunately, the packaging on most individually wrapped candies is not recyclable.
- Transportation: Trick-or-treat in our own neighborhood or neighborhoods that are within walking distance. You’ll become closer to your community while conserving fossil fuels.
- Host a Green Halloween Event: If you’re involved in organizing Halloween events, consider implementing green practices, such as providing recycling bins, encouraging reusable items, and minimizing single-use plastics.
- Eco-Friendly Partyware: If you are hosting a Halloween party, opt for reusable plates, cups, and utensils instead of disposable ones. This reduces the amount of single-use plastics generated. If you need to use disposable, look for the BPI logo on certified products. Only items with this logo are accepted in most Twin Cities composting programs.
- Donate Costumes: After Halloween, consider donating costumes to local charities, schools, community centers, or organizations that can reuse them for future events.
- Costume Swap: Organize a costume swap with friends or neighbors. This way, costumes get a second life, reducing the need for new ones and reducing waste.
- Upcycled Pumpkins: Instead of letting your carved pumpkins go to waste after Halloween, compost them. And don’t forget, the seeds from most pumpkins can be salted and roasted for a snack, and some pumpkins can even be whipped into a puree for Thanksgiving pies!
- Clean-up: Do a post-Halloween clean-up by taking a walk around the neighborhood and picking up discarded candy wrappers and other trash. Recycle anything that can be recycled… Remember, any materials left on our sidewalks and streets inevitably make their way to our lakes and rivers.
Bonus Tip! Use Halloween as an opportunity to educate others about recycling. Share this post on social media. Create fun and informative displays as a part of your holiday decorations, or at games or events, to raise awareness about the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling.
Happy Halloween from Eureka Recycling. Please enjoy a safe, fun, and sustainable Halloween with your families and friends!
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One thing Eureka visitors always ask is: what do we do with plastic bottle caps on PET water and soda