The boys and ghouls at Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful have conjured up a list of frightfully fun and shockingly simple ways to incorporate eco-friendly components into your Halloween décor leading up to the big day on October 31st.
- Light the Night – Natural candles made from beeswax, soy or palm wax can cast an eerie glow from the windows of your home. The best part is, they are non-toxic and burn clean – rather than polluting the air of your home’s interior like traditional utility paraffin wax candles.
- Make a Jug-o-Lantern – Milk cartons can be “upcycled” by creating a cute ghost or spooky jack-o-lantern-inspired face on the front with black construction paper or self-adhesive black foam, and then cutting a hole in the back in which to place a battery operated tea light inside. (Keep America Beautiful’s Hall-o-Green page on Pinterest)
- Add a Sprinkling of Spooky – By incorporating touches of Spanish Moss both inside and outside your home, you will be infusing the same air of mystery and magic that it lends to ancient oaks in historic Southern towns like Charleston and Savannah. It will look terrific draping off of your front porch banisters and wrought iron fence outside or hanging from the mantle over your fireplace inside.
- The Trick to Two Tasty Treats – 1) An inside out caramel apple is not only delicious, but it’s virtually zero waste. Simply cut 3 large apples in half and scoop out the cores with a melon baller to create a bowl shape in each half. Soak the halves in lemon juice to prevent browning while melting 2 cups of caramels in a sauce pan with 2 tablespoons of corn syrup. Lay the apple halves bowl side up on wax paper on a cookie sheet while caramel cools for about 15 minutes, and then pour the melted caramel into each “bowl”. Refrigerate the apples for about 30 minutes, slice and enjoy! (Keep America Beautiful’s Hall-o-Green page on Pinterest) 2) If you carve a pumpkin this Halloween, be sure to clean the pumpkin seeds, and then boil them in salted water for 10 minutes. After straining away all of the water in a colander, mix them with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, lay them in a flat layer on a cookie seat and sprinkle them with sea salt before baking them at 325F for 10 minutes. Let them cool and ENJOY!
- Gather Your Own Harvest – In addition to the traditional pumpkin, plan to use natural Fall items such as gourds, dried corn stalks, and bales of hay. Sprinkle about some brightly colored fall leaves you find in your yard or on an afternoon stroll through the neighborhood. The pumpkins, gourds, bales of hay, and corn stalks can be purchased at a local farmers market – offering the added plus of supporting your local farmer. In the ultimate act of recycling, many of these items will still look terrific when you greet your guests for Thanksgiving dinner in November. Afterward, you can compost everything and return much-needed nutrients to your soil in time for the long winter months.
- Grow a Gruesome Garden – Transform some old work clothes, garden gloves, and the head of a mop into a homegrown scarecrow. He’ll look right at home planted in your garden next to the new chrysanthemums in a rainbow of fall colors.
- TerraCycle® Your Candy Wrappers – Once the holiday has come to an end, it’s easy to decide what to do with all of that candy (nomnomnom!). Unfortunately, it hasn’t always been easy to figure out what to do with all of those wrappers – which often wind up in our landfills due to the mix of materials that go into creating them (not easily recycled, we’re afraid!) TerraCycle® – one of the fastest growing green companies in the world – offers free waste collection programs for hard to recycle materials. Simply sign up online, send them your candy wrappers via downloadable shipping forms, and they will upcycle them into cool new products and materials! Sign up today at www.terracycle.com. (Keep America Beautiful’s Hall-o-Green page on Pinterest)
From all of us here at Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful, we wish you and your family a Happy and Safe Halloween!