This season, Waste Management, the company tasked with rubbish removal, offers tips on ways to save money and the environment by thinking green on Halloween.
“Think orange, but go green this season,” said Kristin Kinder, outreach and education coordinator for Waste Management of Puget Sound.
Kinder encourages customers to tweak a few traditional Halloween routines so that you can reduce waste but not compromise any of the fun. Kinder continues, “You might just find that the process of getting ready is more fun by doing things in an eco-friendly, homemade way.”
- Use the whole pumpkin: Most everyone buys a pumpkin to celebrate the holiday and ends up tossing it in the trash on Nov. 1. However, avoiding that waste is easy by using the pumpkin for both food and decoration. It is easy to bake the seeds; or, puree the freshly cutout pieces for recipes that call for fresh pumpkin – avoiding canned pumpkin. All other parts of the pumpkin can be added to your waste cart or your backyard compost pile.
- Skip the expensive plastic costumes: Put less stress on your wallet by opting for costumes made of reusable or recycled materials. Incite your family’s creativity by constructing a unique, exciting costume from scratch. Sites like Green Halloween (http://greenhalloween.org/index.php?page=home) offer great ideas for parents and kids.
- Use recyclable bags for your Trick-or-Treaters: A fun family activity is to create a unique Trick-or-Treat basket, or simply put a reusable bag to good use. Avoiding the plastic Jack-O-Lantern type containers will avoid clutter, save money, and add a dash of originality to your Trick-or-Treaters’ costume.
- Candy Options Are Out There: When stocking up for the Oct. 31, look for candy brands that donate part of their profits to environmental causes; or sweets made with pure cane sugar, fruit juice, and natural colors. If you are skipping candy for health reasons, try handing out, recycled items, pencils, or soy crayons. Additionally, buy in bulk to avoid the packaging waste.
- DIY Decorations: Making your own decorations with your kids provides yet another money-saving, green-going opportunity. Take a minute to visit Great Dad to find great ways to decorate your home for Halloween. (http://www.greatdad.com/tertiary/331/3171/do-it-yourself-halloween-decorations.html). Must-haves like plastic spiders, witches and ghosts can be a one-time purchase saved for use, year after year. When possible, look for reclaimed material; if you are buying things you know you cannot keep—like streamers or paper plates—be sure to look for brands that are both recycled and recyclable.
Information from Waste Management