Have A 'Green' Halloween, Says Environmental Defense

October 21, 2002
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(21 October, 2002 - New York) As Halloween approaches, Environmental Defense reminds ghosts and goblins not to say "boo" to wise environmental choices.  Following are several ideas for trick-or-treaters and treat-givers to add more green to the orange and black holiday.

"Whether they are dressed as Harry Potter or SpongeBob SquarePants, children should carry canvas bags or pillow cases to tote treats instead of disposable bags.  Using durable bags is a great idea any time of year, especially at Halloween when disposable bags can tear and lead to unhappy trick-or-treaters," said Fred Krupp, Environmental Defense executive director.

"Another idea to protect the environment is to make a costume from old clothes at home, instead of buying a disposable one from a store.  This way you can scare your neighbors without spooking Mother Nature," said Krupp.

"When planning a Halloween monster bash, use reusable utensils, plates, napkins and tablecloths instead of disposable ones.  Also, when you are shopping for Halloween goodies, buy candy that uses the least amount of packaging.  Kids may clamor for chocolate and candy corn, but after Halloween's over, wrappers may be as common as tummy aches   look for the recycled content in items you buy and carry reusable bags to put your groceries in," Krupp said.

Environmental Defense recommends walking, riding a bike, or using public transportation for Halloween parties or trick-or-treating.  If you have to drive, carpool to help reduce traffic and air pollution.

"Fall is a great time to start backyard composting ? it's a great way to recycle organic materials such as food scraps, leaves, yard clippings and jack o' lanterns.  A backyard bin is a lot more convenient than bagging leaves for collection.  You get great soil for gardening, and you can compost all winter long   even in cold climates," said Krupp.  "Check with your town or local hardware store or garden center for help getting started."    

"Try to re-use Halloween decorations in the same way that Christmas ornaments are used from year-to-year, instead of throwing them away each November first.  Most of all, use this holiday to think about your everyday habits and actions to reduce waste 365 days a year.  The scariest aspect of Halloween may not be the ghosts in the attic, but the waste on the floor.  Individual actions can make a huge difference for our future," said Krupp.