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Have a safe (and green) Halloween in 2019
Keep Liberty Beautiful Column
Halloween photo

Liberty County is a special place to live, work and play!  Halloween is coming up this week and there have already been so many events such as Scarecrow Stroll, Fall Festivals and Trunk or Treat for children and their families to enjoy!  

As you drive around our county you can see homes and businesses decorated for the occasion and costumes being worn. To have a safe and green Halloween here are a couple of environmental facts for you:  


Leave the toxic Halloween costumes on the rack: Halloween costumes are designed to be fun-scary, but some store-bought costumes are often made up of non-recyclable petro-chemical based plastic and synthetic fibers. 

Those Halloween costumes can include one of the scariest plastics - polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a soft plastic and known carcinogen that releases harmful toxins in its creation and breakdown. Avoid these toxic Halloween costumes and go for a green Halloween costume made of natural fabrics and materials. Make it yourself out of stuff around the house. If you are not that creative, take a look at sites like Instagram and Pinterest for loads of cute and easy ideas. 

Your kids will love you for it.

Know what’s in your Halloween face paint: In the Pretty Scary 2: Unmasking Toxic Chemicals in Kid’s Makeup,  the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics did a follow-up to their 2009 report, where they sent ten kid’s make-up sets to a lab and found that all 10 contained lead, which can lead to neurological damages in children, as well as nickel, cobalt and chromium. Six out of ten contained cobalt and/or chromium at levels far exceeding safety standards. 

These metals are not listed on product labels. Look for organic, non-toxic face paints that comply with standards set by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics or try online homemade recipes for your green Halloween face paint.

Fake blood: Similar to face paint, fake blood can contain stuff that’s not so nice. Try making your own fake blood from natural products like cream cheese and cherry juice or cornstarch.

Shop the ultimate green Halloween markets: All those plastic costumes for Halloween and the packaging they come in create enormous amounts of waste. Consider having some fun sorting through costume selections at thrift shops, like Goodwill. Or consider having a swap party or hand me down effort with other neighborhood, school or church families.

Select not-so-scary Trick-or-treat bags

Avoid the ubiquitous bright orange plastic jack-o-lanterns that have no chance at ever breaking down in a landfill. Instead, use reusable shopping bags or canvas totes. Make them memorable by decorating them with your kids.

Choose green Halloween treats with less packaging: In this day and age, treats need to come in individual packaging for safety reasons, but try to decrease candy packaging waste by buying in bulk and selecting Halloween candy that uses the least packaging. Candies that come in individual boxes have a chance at getting recycled, whereas those that come in plastic don’t. 

Give organic Halloween candy: Yes, it’s a bit pricier but certainly less scary for the environment. Organic means less environmental damage during production and transportation as well as healthier ingredients; for example, Yummy Earth sells certified organic individually wrapped lollipops.

Green up your Halloween Pumpkins: Buy organic, if possible. Save seeds for roasting with a little oil and light salt. Save the pulp for pies, muffins, or homemade Pumpkin Spiced Lattes. Consider composting your pumpkins so they don’t add to the landfill. 

Make your own green Halloween decorations 

Halloween is the second biggest decorating holiday of the year, and so many of the decorations being peddled are made of non-recyclable plastics. If you do buy new items, at least choose durable non-petroleum based items that will last for many years. 

Otherwise, make a dent in the waste by creating your own homemade decorations with recycled household items. How about a giant spider?  

Use black trash bags for a giant tarantula (stuff with garden leaves - or newspapers but be sure to recycle the newspapers and trash bags when you’re done). Make a ghost by stuffing old bed sheets with leaves or newspaper, tie with a string to form a head and hang from trees.  

You can create spider webs with shredded black pantyhose or cotton balls, instead of the synthetic ones you buy. If you’re extra crafty, weave a web of yarn near your entryway from eco-friendly yarns.

 The ideas are endless and you can find more ideas online and in plenty of magazines at this time of year. With just a little effort this can be your ‘greenest’ Halloween ever!

Make every day an environmentally-kind day by making a difference with Keep Liberty Beautiful!  For information or if you want to get involved with us please call (912) 880-4888 or email  Happy Halloween!

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