Archive for October 31st, 2008

October 31, 2008

Plastic Madness On Halloween

Halloween is one of those traditions in American culture that simply makes no good green sense.  Every year we buy up thousands of tons of sugared confections wrapped in individual bits of plastic and hand it out to the children in our communities.  They in turn eat the candy and discard all the plastic.  From wrappings to lollipop handles (yep, plastic, not sure what happened to the good old fashioned paper rolled version) to collection bags to one-time-use glow-in-the-dark bracelets, necklaces, and blinking lights it just makes a green conscious citizen want to pull out our collective hair.  (Unless we’re wearing a plastic wig.) 

How did we ever arrive at this level of plastic madness?  And how can we move towards more sustainable and sane levels of consumption while still enjoying all the excesses that are inherent traditions in many American holidays?  There has to be a way to bridge the present with our past to arrive at a sensible future where candy wrappers do not line the streets on November 1st and are not floating in the ocean as a massive testament to Hershey and other candy giants before the turn of the new year. 

The question is, in a society obsessed with germs and contamination, how do we move away from our obsession with plastic?