Posts tagged plastic

Green Your Halloween

“Think outside the conventional candy box.”Corey Colwell-Lipson

That magical, festive celebration is upon us. Halloween is full of ghost and goblins, but you don’t want to leave any skeletons in your closet when it comes to staying green this Halloween. Like many holidays, Halloween often becomes a consumer-driven day, fueled by creative costumes and candy cravings. But it’s important to remember that all the holiday hoopla can take a toll on the environment. Below are 3 simple tips for keeping the environment in mind during this holiday, and they might even save a you a buck or two, too.

1. Bag it

While those little orange pumpkin buckets are certainly cute, they’re also made out of plastic. According to the Environmental Literacy Council, plastic is “essentially a byproduct of petroleum refining” that “account(s) for 25 percent of all waste in landfills when buried.” Improper disposal of plastic is harmful to the environment because plastic does not biodegrade easily, meaning it sticks around for a long time and disrupts healthy ecosystems and oceans.

Instead of the buckets, use the old-fashioned pillowcase method for collecting goodies, or tote around a reusable grocery bag; the bags come in all kinds of colors, so you can certainly find one to match to your costume.

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2. Dare to re-wear

It’s always fun to go all-out and wear the funniest, scariest, or most elaborate costume. Unfortunately, extravagance comes at a price, and that price it typically the environment. Environmental Health Perspectives states that making clothes can make a mess of the natural world: “Conventionally grown cotton, one of the most popular clothing fibers, is also one of the most water- and pesticide-dependent crops.” So the more new clothing consumers purchase, the more potential hazards to the environment. But, there are other options.

Remember that costume from three years ago that you shoved to the back of your closet? Well, not many other people probably do, so drag it out and wear it again. If you can’t fight off the urge for something new, visit local second-hand or thrift stores for “new” costume pieces. A European study showed that for every 100 t-shirts that made it to thrift stores, 14 percent of the “environmental burden of the [t-shirts’]  life cycle is decreased for global warming.”

3. Let there be (more natural) light

Whether you need to light the driveway for trick-or-treaters or the path your own trick-or-treating may follow, you probably aren’t thinking about where that light is coming from. According to a community blog, strands of traditional lights use about “1 amp, which is roughly the same as a 100 watt light bulb.” Not only is this creating electrical pollution, but disposed traditional compact fluorescent light bulbs create 30,000 pounds of mercury each year when they sit in landfills. That’s a lot of potential ground, air, and water pollution.

This Halloween, consider switching to LED lights. MSNBC states that they “use 90 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and 75 percent less than the mini-lights used for holiday decorations.” Even if you don’t plan to decorate with lights, you may still need some shine to get you from the door-to-door, trick-or-treat candy excursion. For this, use battery-free flashlights that power up by shaking. No dead batteries to leak acid in landfills, plus it’s kind of fun to shake them up.

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For more tips about greening your Halloween, visit The Daily Green or Green Halloween Web sites.


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