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? 

Advertisements

2 Comments to “Plastic Madness On Halloween”

  1. To be fair, it is not just Halloween that is plastic madness. It is pretty much any holiday these days. And the answer is the same. Be mindful of your consumption. Be creative in your creations. It is possible to do the holidays in a sustainable fashion. But folks just don’t take the time to think how they could festoon themselves and their abodes with natural materials that are more Earth friendly.

    One small change that I am making is getting some bambu sporks instead of using disposable flatware. I learned about these from Wallas J. Nichols in last month’s Carnival of the Blue. There is also the love bottle, which is a reusable glass container, but I have not tried it.

  2. “how do we move away from our obsession with plastic?”

    A great question with which I’ve been living and to which I’ve been finding answers for the last year and a half. Here’s my list of plastic-free changes to date:

    http://www.fakeplasticfish.com/thelist

    Would love to connect with you and add any of your plastic-related posts to the Plastic-free Posse. Would you consider adding a topic called “Plastic” and tagging your relevant posts with that label?

    Trying to create a lot more awareness of this issue throughout the blogosphere:

    http://www.fakeplasticfish.com/2008/10/voices-of-plastic-free-blogosphere-part.html

    Beth