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Green Halloween

With the holiday season kicking off we find Hallow’s eve vastly approaching.

For all ages, Halloween is a time of intrigue and fun, but the fun should be had responsibly. During a holiday filled with disposable clothes and candy wrappers this may seem unlikely to do. At least without leaving a trail of trash behind. Alas, with some consideration and a pinch of magic, it can be done.

To start, be resourceful when decorating.

Pumpkins can make charming decorations, especially if you carve intricate faces into them, but why end there? After festivities end, use your pumpkins for other purposes instead of throwing them out. Seeds can be saved and roasted. This makes a tasty and healthy treat that can be taken anywhere. And unless your pumpkin has rotted, you can save the flesh to make your own pumpkin puree. Just clean your pumpkin thoroughly, removing any bad spots and, if you haven’t already, remove the seeds and innards. Then cut your pumpkin into sections, 3-5 sections works best. Bake the sections on a cookie sheet in a 400-degree (Fahrenheit) oven for 25-30 minutes. After they have cooked, you can scrap the flesh out of each section into a food processor or blender, and pulse it to a thick paste. You then have your own pumpkin puree that can be used in a number of recipes – or eaten on its own with a little spice and brown sugar. Other than pumpkin pies pumpkin puree is great for curries, soups, fudge, breads, and muffins.

If you are entertaining this holiday, you may opt to serve apple cider in place of punch. Unlike juice, cider is made from the entire apple and, as it is only sold in season, should be fresh and free of preservatives. If you plan to give your guests presents, you could gift them with candles and incense instead of sugary sweets. For younger guests you may give them mini gourds and pumpkins, either to carve or decorate with non-toxic paints. At the party itself, skip the bowlfuls of over-packaged candy. Instead, make homemade popcorn or caramel apples. Neither requires plastic casing and they’ll probably taste better.

If you don’t feel too old to dress up, (though no one’s ever too old), consider making some, or all, of your costume yourself. Rather than splurging on a commercial costume that gets banished to the coat closet, let inspiration come from the materials around you. In this way, you are not limited to the manufacturer’s packaged vision. Even coffee filters, for example, are versatile. Left as is, a coffee filter could be a maid’s hat. Fold it in half and you have a decorative fan. Fold the filter again, roll it slightly and you have a paper carnation that looks suave nestled in your favorite suit pocket. Other common items are packing boxes; these can be wrapped with aluminum foil or metallic duct tape to create the base of a robot outfit. You can add ‘buttons’ to your robot by painting bottle caps in contrasting colors and lining them up vertically on the front. If you are using the box upside down, just carve out holes for your arms and head.

Finally, light a few candles! They provide mystery and natural light to any occasion.  What would Halloween be without them?

Sources:

How to Make Fresh Pumpkin Puree at Home, http://chefinyou.com/2009/10/pumpkin-puree-recipe/

 

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