halloween leftovers…
a tale of compost and donation

Halloween Leftovers

It’s Halloween and we hope everyone is set for a spooktacularly green time. Tomorrow, the cleanup begins. No matter how eco-conscious you were in your decorations and preparations, there is sure to be a pile of Halloween stuff ready to be dealt with. From an overload of candy to that scarecrow on your porch, what do you do with all of the goodies and gear?Celebrate the harvest – pumpkins, gourds, straw and even the scarecrow (if it’s not too scary) can hang around for Thanksgiving if they’re still in good shape. Transforming your Halloween décor to a Thanksgiving Harvest should be quick and easy.

Cook it – any pumpkins or squash that you didn’t carve up can be transformed into some serious yumminess. Scoop out and toast up the seeds for a healthy snack and bake up the flesh. It’s terrific served as a side dish, or pureed into pies, breads or soups. Don’t plan on cooking the pumpkins you carved; those…

Compost it – anything that isn’t in good shape can be composted (make sure to remove all the seeds from any plants first). That tired out Jack-o-Lantern, the limp corn stalks, the trampled on straw, they can all go in the compost bin.

Into storage – gather up all the Halloween specific stuff and save it for next year. All those plastic spiders and other reusable holiday décor you got should be carefully boxed up, labeled and made ready for next October. That goes double for reusable costume bits. Anything that you can’t store, or that won’t work next year…

Donate it – if you’ve got costumes that the kids will outgrow, or that can’t be recycled into something different next year, take them to a thrift store so next year, some eco-minded person can find a great, green costume as well. The same goes for any décor items that you simply won’t use next year.

By the time you’ve gone through all of those options there should be very little to put in the trash bin! Now, what to do with all that candy your kids brought home?

Disposing of the evidence – whether you simply make a rule that only so much candy is allowed, or have the Halloween Fairy in to visit (and remove excess candy), there are literally hundreds of places that will take your still-wrapped candies.

Candy exchange – Many dentists and doctors will offer sugar-free treats, or even toys in exchange for candy. Some restaurants offer free food in exchange for candy. A quick search for Halloween candy exchange should bring up plenty of local options. There are even programs that will ship your extra Halloween candy to soldiers serving overseas.

Take it someplace else – your office, the doctor’s office, nursing home, women’s shelter… there are plenty of places to take still wrapped candies. Call ahead to see if they need donations.

Creative reuse – ok, so, if you transform the candy into some sort of snack or munchies, technically you’re still eating it all, but… what a great way to make Thanksgiving care packages for friends, family and neighbors, right? Pick your favorite candy reuse recipe and get cooking for a sweet way to get rid of all that Halloween loot.

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