How to green your Halloween
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — With less than three weeks remaining until Oct. 31, Halloween is drawing closer every second, much like a restless stiff-legged zombie or like a hungry werewolf or like further catastrophic damage to the planet due to human-caused climate change.
In 2018, Americans spent about $9 billion on Halloween costumes, candy and decorations, according to the National Retail Federation, much of which ends up in landfills come November. Here are some tips about reducing, reusing and recycling during October to make your Halloween green as a witch.
If you choose to celebrate Halloween with pumpkins or other autumnal veggies, try to use as much of it as possible. Roast the seeds with oil and salt for a scrumptious snack, and use the innards to make breads, pies, muffins, soups, smoothies and more. What can’t be reused can be composted. You can also put a handful of the seeds away for next spring’s garden and grow your own pumpkin.
Many Halloween decorations available in stores are made from nonrecyclable plastics. Consider using natural seasonal products, like pumpkins, gourds and corn, in your decoration. Also think about what you can upcycle into fabulous — or terrifying — decor: yarn can be woven into a front-porch-sized spiderweb; cardboard can be cut and painted into yard tombstones; metal cans in the recycling bin can become lanterns.
Instead of buying a pre-made costume, consider trading, thrifting or crafting one of items already in circulation. Avoid glitter, which ends up as a microplastic in waterways and travels up food chains. Instead of a plastic or rubber face mask, a face of toxin-free face paint might be a better option. Plus, homemade costumes win originality points over store-bought any day.
Avoid Styrofoam; opt for using washable dishware or biodegradable single-use ware.
Think about the packaging on the candy you buy; most are non-recyclable, but some, such as Hershey’s Kisses in aluminum foil or Junior Mints in cardboard boxes, can be recycled. Plastic pumpkins for collecting candy can be switched out for the classic pillow case or a reusable shopping bag.
Julia Ben-Asher is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.
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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The community was invited to share its snow drawings in the era of COVID-19 to keep the tradition alive throughout February. Designs were created across the Yampa Valley’s snowy landscape using snowshoes.