It is October and time to prepare for fall festivities. Decorations, candy, costumes, and party supplies may be on your shopping list.
Before we all rush out to purchase these holiday supplies, let’s take a few minutes to think about doing some things a bit differently this year. There are so many things we have done for years not realizing the impact they have on our environment and sometimes even our health.
Here are some tips to help you celebrate more environmentally-friendly fall festivities:
• Be sure your trick-or-treaters carry reusable shopping bags or even pillowcases instead of plastic bags or containers that are discarded after they are used. Reusable bags are stronger and will hold lots more treats!
• Make your own costume from natural materials you have around the house, or swap costumes with other families. You can also find great deals on used costumes at resale shops. Leave the new, throw-away costumes on the rack.
• Know what is in your Halloween face paint. Some of these paints can contain metals and other toxic materials. Look for organic, non-toxic face paints or search the web to find recipes for making your own.
• Make fall or Halloween decorations for your yard from recycled materials. There are so many easy and fun ideas on the web. Make it a family project. Buying decorations from the store is easy, but making them with your children makes memories.
• Give treats that are healthier than standard candy, or avoid candy completely. That sounds ghoulish, but “better” can still be fun. Consider giving colorful pencils, boxes of crayons, or the Halloween coupons available at local restaurants.
• Walk the trick-or-treat trail with your children rather than follow them in your car. It is healthier for you and for the environment. If you are visiting another neighborhood, park your car and walk.
• Bake pies or roast pumpkin seeds using pumpkins after the holidays have passed.
• Keep Halloween clean by teaching your children to keep candy wrappers in their bags for proper disposal once they return home. Take an extra bag along and pick up litter along the way. You might want to reward your children with an extra treat if they find and pick up litter.
• Use reusable plates and utensils for your holiday parties to reduce waste.
Continue to think green throughout the year by taking reusable bags to the grocery store, walking whenever you can, avoiding “throw-away” items, recycling as much as possible, and keeping litter in its place.
Together, we can make our piece of the world a better place.
By: Lynne Hart