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How to Celebrate a “3R” Halloween: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

We all know the 3R’s – Reduce, Reuse & Recycle.

But applying them to Halloween? Might not seem so obvious.

We’ll make it easy -

Here are three simple ways to put the 3R’s into your holiday.

Reduce – Instead of handing out handfuls of candy to each little ghost and goblin, consider giving just one of something.

You’ll save money and your decision will likely be better for the health the children who come to your door (since they’ll consume less) and for the planet since fewer resources will go into the making, packaging, transporting and/or disposal of the treat. Reducing can be applied to all of your holiday choices. And if you have reason to be concerned that your guests, kids, neighbors or husband will get scary on you when you announce your new plan to cut back on behalf of kids and the planet?

Try reducing by just 25%. Chances are, no one will notice but you and your Mother Earth.

Reuse – Halloween could be the poster child for reusing.

Nearly every aspect of the holiday can be celebrated in style without buying a single thing new. So don’t rush out to buy costumes, décor and party games.

Instead, stop and think. What can be reused or repurposed to make this holiday a smash hit without costing the planet?

Rent, borrow, swap or construct costumes from existing materials (making Halloween costumes from scratch can increase the fun factor, too), and keep your lawn ghouls and orange LED lights year after year. You might get tired of seeing them, but guaranteed, you’re building a tradition – one the kids in your home and neighborhood will remember.

You wouldn’t want to mess with good memory making, now, would you?

Recycle – The best way to utilize the third and final R is to first, choose items that are made from recycled content instead of buying products made from raw or virgin materials. When the product you’ve bought or acquired can no longer be used, it should be recycled.

Recycling can happen in many ways such as through your waste management company, your compost pile (yes, most food can be recycled) or through your own creativity. Breathe new life into your husband’s old flannel shirt and jeans, for example, by recycling them into a scarecrow for your front porch or a costume for your ten-year-old.

And no matter what, always, always, compost made-by-nature Halloween décor such as wilting pumpkins and gourds instead of throwing them in the trash. Uneaten Halloween candy can also be “recycled” just be sure to remove the wrappers first.

p.s. We think “Reduce, Reuse & Recycle” would make a great group costume for three siblings or friends! What are your ideas for think-out-side the box, green-themed costumes?

Green Halloween® is a nationwide non-profit initiative started by mother-daughter team Corey Colwell-Lipson and Lynn Colwell. In 2010, Green Halloween became a program of EcoMom® Alliance and has events in cities across the U.S.

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