Green Your Halloween
Move some green into your Halloween. Here are a few environmental tips...
- Instead of sending paper invitations and cards, try sending spooky E-Cards to your loved ones! You can send an E-Card up to five recipients (or more if you're a My E-Cards member!) Check out our Halloween cards here: Halloween Cards!
- Visit a local farmer's market or nearby farm to purchase pumpkins and other produce items. Buying local is a great green choice. Transporting produce can take tons of fuel -- by supporting nearby farms, you not only guarantee fresh tasty food, but you cut down on pollution. Many farms offer family-oriented Halloween activities like hayrides, crop picking, and scarecrow building. It's a great way to help kids become more aware of the world around them.
- Start a compost pile! Dead leaves and rotting jack-o-lanterns make for excellent compost starters. If composting is not an option, you can also check out compost collection programs in your community. Get started now: Environmental Defense Fund
- Instead of buying a new Halloween costume, create your own using second-hand clothes. Some of the best costumes are discovered in old closets and thrift stores -- a great alternative to an over-piced one from the store. Plus, some plastic costumes may be coated in toxic dyes and chemicals that eventually wind up in waterways.
- Avoid PVC or vinyl-based make-up. These products contain phthalates, which can pose potential risks to humans as well as other creatures. Instead, try making your own with household items like cornstarch, food coloring, and shortening.
- For trick-or-treating, skip the plastic bags. Each year, plastic bag production requires gallons of fuel. Then, many of the bags wind up in our oceans, decomposing into dangerous particles and killing thousands of marine animals. Instead, try a pillow-case or other reusable tote. For extra green points, bring an extra sack to collect litter and trash you find along the way!
- Pass out environmentally conscious candy. Large candy companies often use chocolate from crops blasted with pesticides and fertilizer. Plus, much of it contains high-fructose corn syrup and other questionable ingredients. A few alternatives to research: Endangered Species Chocolate, Global Exchange, or homemade candies or cakes.
- Reuse your Halloween decorations from year to year. Also, try naturally decomposing centerpieces like corn and gourds instead of those cheap plastic ones that often end up in the garbage.
- Nothing says spooky like turning out the lights and relying on moonlight! If you light candles, try to avoid petroleum-based ones. Instead, stick to beeswax and soy-based candles.
- Ghost and witches are not nearly as scary as environmental ignorance. Halloween is a great time to talk with family and friends about wildlife and environmental conservation.