By: Lynne Hart
Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. The night air is cool, the leaves dance in the wind as they fall from the trees, and the kitchen fills with the wonderful smells of chili on the stove, apple pies in the oven, and at my house pots of chicken soup simmering.
It is also the time when we prepare for fall festivals and celebrations. I really do wish the Christmas decorations would stay in the stock rooms at least until after Halloween.
Here are some tips to add some creativity to your earth-friendly celebrations:
- Choose high-quality decorations that will hold up to many years of use rather than disposable decorations. Better yet, use fall’s bounty. Decorate with fall leaves, pumpkins, and gourds.
- Choose to decorate an uncarved pumpkin. It will hold up much longer and, after washing it thoroughly, you can use it to make baked pumpkin seeds and pumpkin pie. Check out the recipe for Pumpkin Seed Brittle compliments of Martha Stewart!
- Use your uncarved pumpkin to celebrate two holidays by using removable decorations! Decorate your pumpkin as a ghost with a piece of a white sheet and draw a face with black marker, then switch to a Thanksgiving theme. Let the kids use their imagination.
- Create costumes with items you already have. Purchasing costumes can be very expensive and they rarely hold up for reuse.
- Let your children walk from door to door, and consider walking with them if you can. Driving behind your children wastes gas. Walking is the best exercise and you will be right with your children to enjoy their fun!
- Hand out healthy, but fun treats, or forget the candy altogether. Kids love fun-colored pencils, boxes of crayons, and other useful times that can be found at your local stores.
- Use Halloween as a teaching moment by instructing your children to keep their candy wrappers off the ground. Take an extra bag with you to hold trash until you return home.
- Provide reusable plates and utensils at your holiday parties. Disposable plates cannot be recycled and end up in the landfill.
- Remember to recycle your cooking fats, oils and grease. Pick up a free collection container from the cages located at the Athens Utilities building, the KALB office, or the Recycling Center. Fill the container, return to the bottom shelf of any cage, and take another empty.
Most importantly, enjoy the holidays with your children. The best way to keep your children safe is to be with them as they enjoy fall festivals and trick-or-treating.
Have fun and create memories that will last longer than the candy in their bags.
By: Lynne Hart