Friday, September 30, 2011
Cape Cod Chronicle Column September 29, 2011
It's Not Too Soon to Plan a Green Halloween!
Halloween is spooky by nature, but it doesn't have to be a scary time for the environment too.
A few simple tips...
1) Cloth shopping bags, or even pillowcases, make terrific alternatives to paper or plastic bags to collect treats.
Americans use more than 380 million plastic bags and 10 million paper bags every year. Plastic ends up as litter, kills thousands of marine mammals annually, and breaks down slowly into small particles that continue to pollute soil and water. During production, plastic bags require millions of gallons of fossil fuels; and paper bag production consumes more than 14 million trees annually in the U.S.
2) Instead of buying a costume that might be worn once, make your own costumes from old clothes and other items around the house. Or find inexpensive costume materials from thrift stores and yard sales. Your children might even enjoy trading Halloween costumes with friends to have something “new” and different to wear.
3) Give your visiting ghouls treats that treat the environment gently. There is a growing variety of eco-friendly candy. Choose treats with little or no non-recyclable packaging. Buy locally if possible to support the local economy and reduce fuel consumption and pollution associated with transportation. Or avoid candy altogether and give small gifts like colored pencils, crayons, small toys, stickers or other inexpensive items.
4) Instead of throwing organic Halloween decorations -- pumpkins, corn stalks, gourds, hale bays, etc. -- into the trash, remove non-organic trim and deposit in the compost area at the Transfer Station.
5) Living an eco-friendly lifestyle and reducing waste and pollution should be a daily event, not a special occasion. With a little thought, you can apply the strategies you use to have a green Halloween to the way you live every day!
Oh, and one last thing - what's a ghost's favorite fruit?
Happy Safe Green Halloween!
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