Everyone looks forward to the most festive time of year—when you get to wear a fun costume and get oodles of free candy! Whether you’re a kid or not, during Halloween, you’re bound to have fun. But all these free candies and trinkets sometimes get thrown by the wayside. Being mindful of the ecosystems around you by properly throwing away or recycling your waste can save the lives of those who call the streams and oceans home!

Follow these hacks to help save the oceans from pollution:

Bring Along a Waste Bag While You Trick-or-Treat!

While you take the kids out to trick-or-treat, and as they collect their treats, keep an eye out for any trash that gets left on the street. Taking advantage of the time spent traversing neighborhoods by picking up the forgotten waste is a great way to make Halloween into an EcoConscious event!

If your kids are old enough to go out alone, a great way to get your kids to want to pick up waste while they are trick-or-treating is by creating a competition—the one who brings back the most trash wins an extra candy prize! You will be able to end the night knowing that you reinforced good environmental values, as well as knowing that you contributed to the fight against waste pollution!

Avoid Single-Use Plastics When Choosing Which Treats to Hand Out

If you won’t be the one hittin’ the streets for treats, get prepared for your trick-or-treaters by providing candies that don’t have single-use plastics that threaten ecosystems!

Japanese Rice Paper Candies can be found in the Oriental aisle of most grocery stores as well as Asian Markets. Look for candies that feature rice paper as the wrapper rather than plastic! Rice paper dissolves in water and does not threaten the water systems with harmful chemicals.

Candy in Cardboard Boxes can still be found in this era, believe it or not! Dots, Nerds, and Junior Mints are just some of the brands that still do this.

Re-Package Candies in Paper Bags. It can depend on the neighborhood, but if a parent sees that candies were re-packaged with care—with a ribbon or even a printout of how you re-packaged your candy for the purpose of being mindful with your waste—you can inspire change in your community. Little good deeds like these can go a long way when other parents notice what you are doing to be EcoConscious!

Offer to Take any Waste from Trick-or-Treaters

Offering the waste basket to all of the trick-or-treaters who come by and reminding them to not litter as they go about their adventures might seem like a small thing, but implementing initiatives like these is a big deal to those stream and ocean lives you can save by preserving their ecosystems. Halloween is a great opportunity to create awareness about littering and its widespread effects.

Wear Costumes that Aren’t Wasteful

It takes time to make costumes, and sometimes, it can be easiest to just throw on a plastic bag and tie a card to your hat saying, “I’m a Tea Bag!” This is all well and creative, but where these simple, single-use costumes can go awry is when they are thrown away too carelessly.

Other costumes that take lots of time can, unfortunately, have many bits and pieces that tend to scatter throughout the night. Nobody likes to find Mary Little Lamb’s cotton balls cascaded across their lawn!

Be mindful of how you create or choose your costume. After you use it, remember that donating your pre-made costumes to your local thrift store can keep the landfills and waterways clean.

Don’t forget, taking action to avoid littering and single-use plastics can keep Halloween from being just… well, Hallowaste!

Experience. Respect. Explore.

Share your adventures with us! Show us how you share your love of the oceans, rivers, lakes, and streams around the world! Simply use the hashtag #Stream2Sea on Twitter and Instagram—and tell us why you love being on and in the water.

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