Ways to take the waste out of Halloween

Everything from homemade costumes to pumpkin cheesecake can reduce the tonneage heading to landfills

For some, the thought of landfill-bound trash bags laden with candy wrappers and decorations in the days following Oct. 31 is far more frightening than any haunted house.

According to some tips released by the Recycling Council of BC, there are plenty of ways to reduce waste while still enjoying everything the spooky season has to offer.

When getting houses ready for the coming trick-or-treaters, the Recycling Council recommends that haunted house hosts purchase durable decorations which can be used year after year. Another way to reduce waste is to get crafty and create homemade Halloween decorations from materials that are either easily recyclable or already around the house.

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The hallmark Halloween decoration, the jack-o-lantern, is as synonymous with the holiday as the words trick-or-treat. The recycling council suggests those who have garden space to spare try their hands at growing their own pumpkins. Once the candles have been snuffed, instead of tossing pumpkins in the trash, they can be used as the key ingredient in a delicious pie or cheesecake. Whatever is left over after carving should be composted if possible.

When selecting what to hand out to trick-or-treaters, the recycling council recommends products with less packaging or eco-friendly packaging.

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Costumes play an important role in the Halloween festivities, but instead of purchasing a costume which will only be used once, the recycling council offers alternatives, such as making costumes from household materials or clothing items purchased from thrift stores. Other ways to reuse costumes include setting up a costume swap to ensure last year’s costumes make it out for another year, and renting costumes where that service is offered. It is suggested those who aren’t swapping or returning their costumes give them to local theatre groups or school drama programs.

When the sun has set, the costumes are on and it’s time to head out trick-or-treating, the recycling council recommends sticking close to home to save money on gasoline, and to mingle with the other trick-or-treaters in the neighbourhood. The use of reusable bags such as cloth pillowcases is recommended, and when the inevitable candy-sampling goes on, children should be urged not to litter.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

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