I’d planned this month's main blog to focus on autumn harvest, but my green teen friends, Jenna and Jessica, and Mr. GP convinced me otherwise. Mr. GP enjoyed dressing up as Mr. Potato Head so much, he became excited when his teen friends offered to make him a Halloween costume and refused to discuss the harvest until next month. To placate the gardener in me, the girls designed a pumpkin/tuxedo costume. Both Mr. GP and I were blown away by their work. The best thing about his dapper costume is that it hides the perpetual scowl he wears as a sign of his anger over the state of our planet. For a few days, at least, he has been enjoying happier thoughts.
Mr. GP's costume, like those other green revelers created this year, is made of natural fibers and totally biodegradable. There are many ideas for eco-oriented costumes like Captain Recycle, Baby Bin, and other recycle characters I found at:
For a more green than orange holiday, this year party hosts are using recyclable and biodegradable decorations--holiday decor they can add to the compost bin when the party’s over--like cardboard and paper cutouts or cotton-ball ghosts. As always, the trusty jack-o-lantern makes rich compost, perhaps offering a surprise next year: home-grown pumpkins.
Many hosts create or purchase decorations to last year after year. This is a super way to reduce the waste stream. Another way is to choose pumpkins, gourds, scarecrows, fall leaves and other decorations to carry decor through Thanksgiving.
To eliminate purchasing over-packaged snacks creating party trash depicted by the costumes at the left, green hostesses make their own party food and serve one drink for all guests--apple cider. Cider can be jazzed up or toned down to meet the taste needs of guests no matter their age.
To include guests (whom you've invited with paperless invitations, of course) in the fun, ask them to bring eco-friendly, homemade decorations. Enjoy the surprise creativity and camaraderie as your home is decorated for you. Then hold a contest for the most original use of recyclables, best eco-message with a Halloween theme, most likely to enrich the compost bin, and other such categories. Don't forget to make all prizes more green than orange.
Mr. GP reminds us, when trick-or-treating, as always, "Take no more than you need and leave no litter on the ground." It doesn't matter how it got there, he says, "Pick it up." After all, where would he be if I'd left him where I saw him just because I hadn't been the one to toss him away?
Author of environmental adventure/mystery novels for readers age 10 and up. Former educator channeling my energy into enhancing reading pleasure, appreciation and respect for nature, and environmental stewardship.