A Green Halloween

As a kid growing up, Halloween was always one of the most exciting times of the year.  Nothing beat dressing up as your favourite character, scaring the living daylights out of a few unsuspecting adults, and getting rewarded with candy!  It still brings out the seven year old boy in me.  Now that I have kids of my own, I can enjoy it all over again.

But wait.  I need to restrain my enthusiasm.  Before I get too carried away again this year, I should stop to think about the waste I’m generating. Yeah I know…party pooper.  But stay with me.  Let’s see if we can still make this fun.

1.  Let’s start with my favourite part of Halloween…the candy! Rockets, tootsie rolls, and if you’re really lucky, maybe a chocolate bar!  One problem with Halloween candy is that it’s all individually packaged.  If you get over 100 kids coming to your door like in my neighbourhood, that’s a lot of candy wrappers.  Homemade candy is not recommended for safety reasons, so consider candy that comes in packaging that can be recycled or composted.  Smarties boxes can go in your GreenCart or Blue Box and some brands of candy have waxed paper wrappers that can also go in the GreenCart, such as Tootsie Rolls!

2.  Try to convince your child that they don’t need the store bought cheaply made plastic/linen costumes.  I find they usually fall apart after one wear anyway, aren’t very original, and end up in the garbage.  The Avengers superhero costumes are going to be high on many kids’ lists this year, but if you put your mind to it, you could create a pretty awesome Thor or Captain America costume from reused items.  I also thought this Optimus Prime costume made of reclaimed cardboard was unbelievable!  Lego characters are much simpler and super cute!

Indiana Jones and Hans Solo. One costume was created from reused materials, the other was bought.

Check out the amazing Indiana Jones costume my coworker Walter came up with from reused items he purchased at thrift stores and found around the house.  That’s me in the Han Solo costume.  I have to admit, I ordered it online, and spent way too much on it…  but I figure it’s decent quality and Han Solo never goes out of style.  I’ve already had lots of use out of it!

3.  Finally what to do about my Halloween décor this year?  Consider items that can be composted, recycled, or reused next year.  Pumpkins, gourds, cornstalks and straw bails can all go in your yard waste.  Try making pumpkin carvings and turning seeds into baked treats and put the leftovers in the GreenCart.  If you’re into more detail, try a bowl of brain spaghetti, or grapes for eyeballs.  Some of the best haunted houses I remember as a kid used these kinds of gags.  Check out some of these fantastic creepy Green Halloween decoration ideas.

So happy trick or treat, enjoy the candy, be safe, and let me know if you have any green Halloween ideas to share.  Oh and be sure to let me know if you see Princess Leia on Halloween night!

About Ben Morris

Hi, I'm Ben. I have been working in Halton Region's Waste Management department for over 10 years. I am currently responsible for administering and supervising our waste collection, transfer, and processing contracts. I basically make sure your waste is collected each week. I have degree in Environmental Resource Science and a passion for the outdoors and spending time with my young family. I am always interested in hearing new and innovative ideas about waste management.
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4 Responses to A Green Halloween

  1. Pingback: A Green Halloween | HaltonRecycles | TrashQuote.com

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hey Ben. Great blog. Thanks for the tip regarding putting pumpkins in the yard waste bag. I was trying to think of how to cram four pumpkins into a little compost bin and Google led me to your site.

  3. Pingback: My Homepage

  4. Amber says:

    I know candy does but can gum go in the green bin?

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