You might not wear a full costume, but you can get out your alien tentacle headband or your googly-eye glasses for work on Halloween. You might have a jack-o-lantern at the reception desk and you might tempt clients and co-workers alike with tricks and treats in good fun. It doesn’t matter how serious our jobs are, when Halloween comes around, all of us become kids again.
Halloween should be fun for everyone! No matter how old or dignified they might be during the rest of the year.
The problem is that dollar stores and discount emporiums have made it too easy for us to go overboard with plastic pumpkin festive lights, inflatable skeletons, glow-in-the-dark cobwebs, disco-singing dancing witch figurines. All of that plastic has a lifespan that is much, much longer than yours and flimsy assembly ensures none of it will be functional in a year’s time.
Traditional Trumps Tacky
For a sustainable Halloween, think back to your childhood. And, really, the more old-fashioned your look back, the more environmentally-friendly your Halloween will be. If you’ve never bobbed for apples, it’s time to cross it off the bucket list! Fill a basin with water and whole fresh apples. See who can catch one in their teeth without using their hands. Remember to keep some towels nearby because strategy, in this case, means not being afraid to get your hair wet. OK, you might not want to wait for after work drinks before trying that one, but it really is an environmentally-friendly activity. Apples are grown locally all over North America, the water can be used to water the plants, and the basin is re-useable.
Earth-Friendly Organic Decorations
Like apples, pumpkins are also locally grown. Unlike your disco-singing witch whose batteries will wear out on November 1st, your jack-o-lantern is fully compostable and will fertilize park lawns and soccer fields when you put it out with your organic waste. The same can be said for garlands of autumn leaves. If you’re looking to have a little fun with the neighborhood kids, try raking the leaves on your lawn into a grave shape and hiding underneath. The zombie underneath starts to rise as the costume-clad trick or treaters approach.
Back to the Future Vintage Halloween
And, really, no zombie is going to wear a new suit or gown in the leaf grave. Second-hand clothing has never been more accessible at thrift stores and commercial outlets. And, after your costume has been worn and washed, it can be donated back to the charity you bought it from.
Return to Adulthood: Restore Health and Wellness Program
Costumes aren’t the only thing that can be donated on November 1st. According to news reports, what to do with left-over Halloween candy is a problem many people actually experience. While “left-over Halloween candy” might be a myth, if it exists the solution is not to take it to the office for your co-workers to eat. Taking a day off healthy eating on October 31st is like taking a swim in the fountain of youth. Being tempted to do it again the first week of November is less refreshing. If you don’t need another mini-chocolate bar, chances are your co-workers don’t either.
What do you do with all the extra candy?
Once you’ve returned to being a responsible adult in November, collect the candy you don’t want to eat – along with the candy your co-workers don’t want to eat – and donate it to the food bank or the out-of-the-cold program in your area. While you might not need another sugar rush, a packet of licorice or a piece of chocolate is a welcome treat to someone who is having trouble making ends meet.
After all, like all our other autumn festivals, Halloween is all about sharing the harvest bounty and being generous! That part is all treat and no trick.