Saturday, October 16, 2010

How to make your Halloween ocean friendly

Halloween is right around the corner! It's fun, fun, fun!
Have you decided what costumes you are going to wear this year?

Halloween is the first exciting event to start the holiday season. We can't miss it. However, we produce so much trash every holiday party, especially plastic trash. Candy wrappers, candy bags, ornaments, plates, and utensils are mostly plastic. You use them once and toss them away. What a waste that is! Then, those small plastic trash can easily go to the ocean!

How do you make your Halloween ocean friendly? Just give up all? No. You still can have so much fun with trick or treat if you think outside of the candy box!

1.  Don't do last minute shopping and buy bags of candy wrapped in plastic. 
Make or bake fresh snack and put it in a bowl or a plate. Have kids pick/scoop it and put it in a paper bag. If you are too busy to make, buy sweet in bulk, or buy from a bakery. Some candy is in a paper box or wrapped in paper. Buy fruits and soda cans. Fruit comes with biodegradable skin and soda cans are recyclable.

2.  Carry a cloth/canvas reusable bag instead of a plastic shopping bag. Kids (and you) will be having too much fan and forget to recycle the plastic bag after the party. Most of Halloween bags are made of thin plastic and won't last long. Buy a durable reusable bag so that you can use it again and again. How about a pillow case? It did a great job when we were kids, didn't it? That's more traditional and give kids (and you) joy.

3.  If you are thinking about buying one of those molded plastic jack o lanterns and candy jars, remember that these specialty items are not recyclable, and require fossil fuels to make and transport. Use a real pumpkin, and Autumn flowers and leaves to decorate your house. After carving the pumpkin, you can eat, give it to animals/birds, or compose it.

4.  Don't use Silly String. I know it's fun. But it is made from plastic resin and is not biodegradable. It clogs up sewer system if it goes into a storm drain. If it reaches to the ocean, fish and marine animals most likely eat it, mistaking it for food.

5.  Use recycled costumes. You just wear only one day a year but you don't want to wear the same thing every year. So why not exchange with your friends and neighbors? Be creative and make your own. How about a Plastic Trash Zombie? Put all the "guilty" non-recyclable plastics from the past onto your clothes and have fun! Make sure that you DO NOT buy candy in plastic in order to make your costumes!

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