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Keep Liberty County Beautiful: Have a spooky and green Halloween
Karen Bell
Keep Liberty Beautiful Executive Director Karen Bell.

This weekend children will celebrate, I am sure, one of their favorite holidays, Halloween.

I can remember taking my son, Bryan, every year to the store for him to pick out a costume. Most years, I would make his costume from what we had at home. He also loved to decorate the house outside to make it scary for the children passing by. He would help me give out candy for a while, and then we would go around throughout our neighborhood so he could have a little fun and get candy too. Here’s a spooky Halloween fact: All the trick or treating items really do add up to a considerable amount of material and, unfortunately, waste with ghoulish impacts on our environment as well as our pocketbooks. Halloween is big business. As you’ve probably figured out from walking into any store, and sadly, Halloween can become a nightmare for our environment if we are not careful. Even with COVID-19, you still see the entire yard transformed into a lit-up plastic graveyard or manufactured plastic costumes.

Now you may wonder, with the excessive commercialism tied directly to Halloween, is it possible to have an environmentally friendlier “HallowGreen Holiday?” I believe it can be done. Here are some really great tips from the Green Team members from Harvard Graduate School of Education. They are offering their advice for a sustainable holiday, without spooking Mother Nature:

 1. Vintage, reused, DIY—oh my! - Instead of buying a pre-made costume, consider reusing or recycling costumes from previous years or even make your own from things you already have in the house. Keep it classic and use an old bedsheet to dress up as a ghost. Browse thrift shops, flea markets or gather some inspiration from your own closet: an old prom dress, bowling shirt, or cowboy boots are all the beginnings of great costumes.

2. Get crafty - Decorating is one of the best parts of Halloween and the most wasteful. As the second- biggest decorating holiday of the year, many of the decorations are made from non-recyclable plastics. Use natural products like pumpkins and gourds to create an autumnal look. Old stockings can become spider webs, cardboard boxes become tombs. There are so many things you already have in your home that can be turned into ghoulish decorations.

3. Throw a green Halloween party - Throwing a green Halloween party will ensure you have fun without harmful effects on the environment. Start by sending electronic invites instead of paper. Use glassware and washable utensils or look for recyclable or compostable plates, cups, and utensils rather than the kind that ends up in the trash. Put out recycling bins for bottles and cans.

Buy food for the party that is organic and locally grown, or head to your local farmers’ market.

4. Purchase locally grown pumpkins - When you think of Halloween, you surely think of pumpkins. Lower your emissions by purchasing locally grown organic pumpkins.

Remember to compost your pumpkins, save the seeds from carving for roasting them with a little oil and salt, or use the insides for delicious breads, pies, muffins, soups, and other recipes.

5. Choose organic, non-GMO candy - Buy candy made from natural ingredients, without artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Instead of candy, consider giving out things like pencils, temporary tattoos, or other fun treats. In addition to reducing the amount of garbage produced from those single- serve packages (which are not recyclable), you’ll provide a healthier alternative to sweets.

6. Go reusable - If you or your children plan on Trick-or-Treating, be sure to send children out with reusable buckets, pillowcases, or canvas bags.

I hope these tips help you have a Spooky Green Halloween! Remember that you can make every day an environmentally kind day by making a difference with Keep Liberty Beautiful. 

You can call us at (912) 880-4888 or email klcb@libertycountyga.com for more information. You can also check out our website www.keeplibertybeautiful.org. Happy HallowGreen!

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