Halloween is just around the corner. Parades, pageantry and a day to shed your skin for an adventurous alternative persona. Maybe you are feeling restively ghoulish already. You’re probably thinking about the spooky decorations for your home or office, to set the mood. What fun! Cavorting at public gatherings anonymous behind your disguise and mask. Friends at work are starting to ask “what are you going to be”?
So who are you going to be? The rest of the year you professed to be “going green” (no reference to the Hulk here). You were horrified during the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, you wrote a few letters to halt mountain top removal, you recycle your plastic, carry your own tote to the store and shop at the farmers market. You buy organic when you can and bemoan the loss of habitat and the reckless extraction of natural resources. Why is it then that when the Madison Avenue fabricators of fad and fashion present the latest and greatest new trend, frivolous consumerism takes hold, environmental amnesia sets in and it’s back to consume, consume, consume. What the devil gets into you at Halloween that you turn your back on the planet?
Some cellophane bats taped to your window and a few Styrofoam gravestones does not make your house a cemetery. Rubber spiders and a battery operated skeleton will not transform your condominium into the mummies tomb. A row of plastic pumpkins and a cardboard scarecrow is an insult to farmers and country life.
Do you think that because Halloween is just once a year your consumption is OK? Lets not forget that Thanksgiving follows quickly, then Christmas and special decorations for New Years. Springtime and Easter require a bright colored motif and last year I saw enough red white and blue disposable trash during the 4Th of July to be ashamed of my countrymen. Perhaps you think it’s alright because you are going to buy just a few things to replace those items that got moldy and torn somehow while in storage since last year. Maybe you find it hard to resist buying that plastic skeletal hand for such a cheap price. I mean $ 1.99 is not going to break the bank. Seventy five cents for a bag of rubber eyeballs? Whats the harm?
Every plastic pumpkin means a little less petroleum. Every paper witch is the loss of another forest. The foreign and domestic manufacturing uses up even more resources and adds that much more pollution. The energy and transportation calculated in compound the effects even further. Your ghoulish consumption multiplied by a million other vampires is sucking the life out of the planet. Your fright night may only last a few hours but the resulting consequences last much much longer. Truly frightening. The next generation may be reduced to sporting only one costume. A hundred thousand hobos dressed in cast off rags shuffling along looking for that lost treat.
I love Halloween. The children have such fun. I love the uninhibited parties, the pageantry, the masquerade. I also love and miss the old fashioned Halloween of scary stories, homemade costumes, leaf stuffed mannequins and farmers pumpkins. This year instead of trying to buy Halloween why not try to make it Halloween? To me the children’s future and the health of the planet is worth more than a $1.99 Halloween trick.