Green your HalloweenHalloween revelers can make a commitment to celebrate a Green Halloween this year by reducing their impact on the environment, according to state environmental officials.
MADISON – Halloween revelers can make a commitment to celebrate a Green Halloween this year by reducing their impact on the environment, according to state environmental officials.
“The celebrations traditionally associated with the holiday can create extra waste and pollution,” says Elisabeth Olson, a natural resources educator with the Department of Natural Resources. “Alternatives can make for a more creative and family-friendly event.”
Olson recommends these tips to reduce, reuse and recycle this Halloween:
Get creative with decorations – Use natural Halloween decorations like gourds, pumpkins, and cornstalks, or get together with family and friends to create your own. Use recycled paper to make window decorations like spiders, pumpkins or witches’ hats. Paint grocery bags into Halloween white for ghostly effects. Make a graveyard scene with paper tombstones and spooky trees. After Halloween, send your decorations on for another round of recycling.
Do it yourself or thrift your costume – Instead of buying a Halloween costume that you or your children will wear once and throw away, test your creativity and create a costume from items you already have around the house. You can also find inexpensive costumes and supplies from thrift stores or yard sales. Some parents organize costume trades, where kids choose from available, reused costumes. Once your kids are done with this year’s disguise, pass the favor on and donate their old costumes for someone else to enjoy.
Trick-or-treat with a reusable bag -- When your family goes trick-or-treating this Halloween, carry reusable bags or containers that don’t need to be thrown out after use. Cloth or canvas bags -- or even pillowcases -- are terrific eco-friendly choices to paper or plastic bags, or molded plastic jack-o-lanterns.
Walk, don’t drive – To reduce your fuel use and air pollution, stick close to home this Halloween and walk from house to house instead of driving.
Compost – If you don’t already compost, Halloween is a great time to start. You can add post-Halloween jack-o-lanterns to your compost bin, along with fallen leaves, food scraps and other organic yard and household waste. See the home composting page of the DNR website for more tips on how to begin composting.