A Green Halloween

Gaby realized what are the most horrifying facts of the scariest night of the year, but also discovered how to achieve a happy ending

By Carlos Roa

Not too long ago, on the eve of Halloween, in a cozy little house on a quiet street, a loving father named David sat down with his wide-eyed daughter Gaby to share a special story.

She loved Halloween, with its costumes, candy, and pumpkin carvings. Little did she know that this Halloween story would be different from any other.

“Once upon a time,” David began, “there was a dark secret behind the classic symbol of Halloween: the carved pumpkin. You see, Gaby, the waste left behind by these pumpkins is staggering. In the United States alone, approximately 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins end up in landfills each year, instead of being used to make delicious pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving. That’s a tremendous amount of wasted pumpkins, sweetheart.”

Gaby’s eyes widened as she listened, her imagination taking flight. “But, Daddy, that’s so much waste!”

David nodded solemnly. “And do you know what’s even more terrifying? Pumpkins require an exorbitant amount of water to grow. Up to 304 fluid ounces, or 2.375 gallons, of water per hectare for irrigation, sowing, and harvesting.”

Gaby gasped, her little heart racing as the horror of it all sank in.

David continued, “The real monster behind Halloween’s monstrous carbon footprint is plastic. Almost everything used for Halloween is made of plastic, from candy packaging to decorations, trick-or-treat bins and costumes. Most costumes are made entirely of polyester, and as you know, polyester is a major contributor to textile waste.”

Gaby’s eyes were as big as saucers. “Daddy, what can we do to stop this Halloween horror?”

David smiled at his daughter. “There could be a happy ending to this Halloween story, Gaby, but it depends on you! You can start by making a Halloween costume that you’ll enjoy wearing every few years instead of getting a brand-new one every year. This way, your costumes will never be discarded. Try to avoid costumes made of plastic and opt for DIY costumes from what’s in your closet. This will prevent the dilemma many face every Halloween – wondering what to dress up as.”

Gaby listened intently, her mind racing with ideas. “And what else, Daddy?”

David continued, “By rotating your costumes, you’ll save time and money, and you’ll reduce your Halloween carbon footprint. Decorating for fall and Halloween is a big deal, and it’s not likely to go away. You can make your home feel like fall by using practical items, like butternut squash. If you want something spooky, make DIY decorations like cut-out paper ghosts and spiders.”

Gaby understood the moral of her father’s Halloween story. She promised to celebrate Halloween in a sustainable way, friendly to the planet, and she couldn’t wait to share her newfound knowledge with her friends and family.

As the moonlight streamed through the window, Gaby and her father shared a hug, knowing that together they would make a difference for the planet, one Halloween at a time.

Let’s celebrate consciously and responsibly so that every Halloween is an opportunity for positive change in our world. Together, we can write a new chapter in the story of Halloween, one in which the Earth and our traditions coexist harmoniously.

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