News Release 591

Department of Natural Resources offers green tips for Halloween

Volume 38-591 (For Immediate Release)
For more information: 573-751-1010

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, OCT. 14, 2010 - The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has some green tips to make your fall and Halloween celebrations environmentally friendly.

Fall is a wonderful time to visit the local farmers’ market for pumpkins, squash, apples and other seasonal favorites. Locally grown produce is usually grown within a 100 mile radius, and purchasing locally saves valuable energy as well as helping the local economy. While some pumpkins can be used for pies, other pumpkins, gourds and melons may be cut up and composted once the season is over.  Fall is the perfect time to start your own compost pile at home.  Yard trimmings, vegetative food waste including fruit and vegetable peels, egg shells, and coffee grounds and filters can all be placed in a compost bin.

For Halloween or fall celebrations, instead of purchasing a new costume, second hand clothing or thrift shops provide a wide array of costume choices with just a little bit of imagination.  If there is not a local thrift store, consider homemade costumes or renting a costume.  While trick-or-treating, take a reusable bucket or bag instead of a disposable bag for candy.  Also, if the weather is pleasant, stick close to the neighborhood and walk from house to house instead of driving. Finally, in place of sending paper greeting cards or invitations, consider emailing friends and family, or giving them a phone call.

Consider purchasing reusable tableware and use it throughout the year instead of disposable plates and utensils. While shopping for food and goodies, remember to bring reusable shopping bags.  If you have a large gathering, plan ahead and provide bags or bins for your guests’ recyclable items and take them to the community recycling center.  Again, appropriate food scraps may be composted after the meal.

Make an effort to celebrate the holidays close to home. However, if traveling is necessary for the holidays, make sure vehicles have the correct tire pressure for optimal gas mileage and carpool whenever possible. If the weather is nice, turn down the thermostat a little and go outside and play a game to keep warm.

Get more Halloween tips in a special animated video “How to Make Your Halloween Green” available on the department’s home page at or at  Green tips for every occasion are available at

For more information about recycling, reuse and composting, contact the department’s Solid Waste Management Program at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-5401 or by email to or visit