When the Candy’s All Gone
Halloween, a.k.a., All Hallows Eve, is one of my favorite holidays because it’s just so much fun to dress up––and, of course, get candy!
But what happens after the busy holiday is over? What happens to the old Halloween costumes with which you’ve officially finished? What happens to the zillions of candy wrappers? What happens to all those little cheap plastic things that are fun for a short time, but then you’re done with? What happens to the old jack-o-lanterns? In other words — what happens to the trash?
The answer? I’m sorry to say, they’re probably in the garbage can or in a big black garbage bag ready for eternal relocation to the overflowing local landfill. This outcome for the Halloween trash is frustratingly hard to avoid––that is, unless you plan ahead and use the five Rs!
For our Halloween reformation, let’s start with the costumes, one of the most important parts of the spooky festivities (hopefully you didn’t buy a costume before you read this article!). There are 4 things you can do:
- Thrift it! Wash, wipe, and smooth out your rumpled costume, then go to the thrift store to drop it off so it can become someone else’s favorite costume next year! Who knows — maybe you’ll even find your new-to you costume for next year! (BTW, getting clothes at a thrift store does not mean you’re “poor” or make you “look” poor! Just wash them and wear them––people won’t even notice. It does mean that you’re resourceful and a smart saver, though! Plus, the money from thrift stores usually is given to charity, so you’ll be helping other people out!
- Pass it down! Got some younger siblings, cousins, or friends? They might like your old costume for their next year Halloween. Wash it or wipe it clean, and bag it up for them.
Now…on to the candy, everyone’s favorite part of Halloween! (Yes, even you grownups who eat the leftover candy.) Of course, there’s nothing wrong with trick-or-treating, but there’s definitely something wrong with all the wrappers from the trick-or-treating.
Now there’s good news…and there’s bad news: The bad news is you can’t recycle or compost most of the candy wrappers, except for those made of paper like the paper sleeve around some candy bars (like Hershey’s). The good news is that you can reuse the clean wrappers and make them into art!
Here are some fun examples of art made with recycled items:
(Pretty crazy, right?)
Now on to the last things: Halloween decor! Okay, as for the reusable Halloween stuff? Just box it up and save it for next year…or if you’re done with it, offer it to a thrift store, too. But as for pumpkins…
- You can compost your jack-o-lantern into fertile soil! Yep, just let it rot away on a compost heap or hidden corner of the yard or garden (just remember to take out the candle first)!
- You can eat your pumpkin as long as it hasn’t gone bad! If it isn’t smooshy and still smells fresh, just cut it up…Place the pieces of cut pumpkin on a tray and roast about 350F until the pumpkin’s insides are soft enough to stick a fork into them. Make a pie, pumpkin soup, or anything that suits you! (The thought of pie is making me awfully hungry, though…)
- While you’re at it…toast any remaining seeds––they’re delicious!
I love Halloween, don’t you? But it’s just one of the many holidays of fall and winter. Watch out for more posts about eco-friendly ways to spend your holidays––hey, that rhymed! But for now, just get ready for one crazy Halloween clean-up while I continue trying to figure out what the heck I’ll make with my cooked pumpkin this year…Who says you have to wait for Thanksgiving to eat pumpkin pie?