Green Your Halloween
Most dental offices use Halloween as an opportunity to remind parents of the dangers of sugar and benefits of brushing after sweets. But it's also the perfect time to promote your eco-friendly values!
Many people might not think about the environmental impact of Halloween, but consider the individually wrapped sugar-treats, candy ingredients harvested by destroying rainforest habitats, and the tons of waste generated by single-use costumes each year!
Going green for Halloween doesn't have to be a drag, thanks to our friends over at Green Halloween! Check out these tips and share them with your patients and staff! You can also post these tips on your Facebook page throughout the week or run a promotion for patients who bring you photos of their Green Halloween efforts. Host a "recycled costume" or "green theme" contest among your team and post photos to your website and social media pages! Enjoy!
10 Simple Steps to follow for a Green Halloween:
1. When it comes to costumes and decor--re-use, borrow, trade, purchase used or do-it-yourself! Swapping 1/2 the costumes kids wear at Halloween would reduce annual landfill space by 6,250 tons. That's equal to the weight of 2500 midsize cars!
2. Treat bags can be anything! Try matching the bag to the costume using something you already own. Some ideas: purses, flower pots (cover the hole), cloth sacks, backpacks, lunchboxes.
3. Choose healthier treats! Did you know the late Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, was reported to hand out organic apple juice on Halloween? Brilliant! Take baby steps by choosing organic candy, honey-sticks, organic fruit leather or other treats that don't contain harmful artificial ingredients
4. Choose fun treasures instead of traditional treats. We know you have plenty of extra toothbrushes laying around! And think of other things kids love to pick up: Pretty rocks, shells, coins, etc. Get creative!
5. If you're hosting a party at home or in your office, avoid using disposables including napkins, plates, cups, tableclothes and other decor. If you don't have access to non-disposable dinnerware, choose compostable options! For decor, go for things like pumpkins, dried corn and gourds, which can be composted!
6. Walk from house to house instead of driving. If you're hosting a party, encourage people to carpool to the event! If you're walking door-to-door, try using an LED flashlight!
7. Compost your pumpkins and any other food waste, including left over candy!
8. Collect candy wrappers and help your kids turn them into gift items like purses, bracelets and picture frames.
9. Avoid purchasing treats made with palm oil. Extraction of palm oil contributes to rainforest destruction. Avoid these products and take a look at this list for alternatives!
10. Communicate a positive oral health message to your patients and friends. Let your patients and community know you care. Post a flyer on your door (at home or in the office) letting them know that you'll have healthy, eco-friendly options available to help them celebrate this spooky holiday!
For more ideas and tips on how you can make a difference this Halloween, check out the Green Halloween website or earn the Green Halloween Badge on PracticallyGreen.com!
The Eco-Dentistry Team
Is your office participating in a candy buy back program this year? Are you composting your candy? Let us know what green things you're doing this Halloween and we could feature you on our Facebook and Twitter account!