Costumes, pumpkins, and candy – Halloween can be an exciting time for families, but it can also be a real horror for local watersheds. The ghoulish season produces large amounts of waste from candy wrappers, decorations, old pumpkins, and anything that may be left outside.
Some kids cannot wait to eat their candy, so they peel off the wrappers, launch the sugary treats into their mouths, and leave behind a trail of litter. When left on the street, the litter is eventually carried through storm water into the storm drains. These storm drains lead directly to nearby water sources and our beautiful watersheds.
Recent studies have found that a majority of the litter found in U.S. streams originates from household trash. Wildlife in these streams can be harmed when they ingest litter.
Here are some things you can do this Halloween to keep trash out of our rivers and creeks:
- Instruct your kids to keep their candy wrappers on them. You can have them carry a bag to put them in or they can just stuff them in their pockets.
- Make sure to properly take down all decorations and recycle any appropriate items.
- Properly recycle your pumpkins at a compost station or a green waste trash can, if available, when the season is over.
- Help out your community and pick up any candy wrappers you might find throughout the night.
Litter is usually the byproduct of carelessness and intentional decisions. This Halloween, teach your children to care about our watersheds as much as they care about their candy.