Go Green this Halloween in Coronado Panama

America alone buys more than 600 million lbs of candy for Halloween. That’s a lot of tiny wrappers! Living in a beach community is a great reason to make this Halloween in Panama more sustainable.

Celebrate an Environmentally-Friendly Halloween in Panama by upcycling costumes, and hosting environmentally-friendly trick-or-treating events or pot-luck dinners. Finally, you can definitely be eco-friendly in Panama when it comes to pumpkins! Try composting your jack-o-lanterns, mine are already decomposing (I should have carved them closer to Halloween). 

If you are reading this, thanks for taking interest in making this Halloween more sustainable in your home, community, or business. 

This year you can make a big difference while celebrating Halloween in Coronado Panama!

Making conscious choices, and having conversations with our children about why we’re making different choices this year is a huge step towards living a sustainable lifestyle in Panama. 

Here are some options for an environmentally friendly Halloween

 1. Sustainable Costumes 

The best place to find your Halloween costume if you are trying to be more sustainable and eco-friendly this year is your closet. Nothing inspiring you? Try asking a friend or thrifting! @americanoutletoficial located in Aguadulce is a great thrift shop 30 mins from Coronado. @yajois located in Coronado is also another second-hand costume option. 

Remember the idea is to use your imagination! Rather than buying prefab costumes sold at Halloween made of materials like PVC which contains phthalate, opt for materials like cotton, or ones that you will use again. By designing your own costume you can turn trash into treasure, a great place to start is the recycling bin. 

2. Sustainable decor 

There are many DIY projects on Pinterest for Halloween. Give recycled egg cartons a try by making them into bats, or use tomato cages to make ghosts. There are endless ways to turn trash into treasure when it comes to decorating. If you are celebrating with children involve them in the activity. They will be proud to see their art displayed in the house. 

If you do buy Halloween decorations be sure to save them for next year so you can reuse them. Find a heavy tote, and store them in a dry place so they don’t go moldy. There are Halloween decorations for sale at @todoadollar1 in Coronado in the Super 99 plaza. 

3. Green goodies! 

Try treats with a smaller environmental footprint, a great option for trick-or-treating is a can of soda or a paper bag of popcorn. However, if you are hosting a small event opting for any snack that’s not individually wrapped* makes a huge difference.

You can also green out your treat-carrying reciprocal by opting for a traditional basket decorated, or a pillowcase like he used to do when we were kids. 

* I get it, depends on the crowd. For large gatherings and events if you must individually wrap see the next option for green goodies. 

If you end up with tiny little plastic wrappers (which we all will because this is a work in progress) offer each kid a Botella de Amor. Similar to eco-bricks these bottles can be converted into recycled plastic that replicates wood and is used for building infrastructure throughout the country, like parks, benches, picnic tables, and more. 

In order to pull this off, you will need to first educate your party on what can go in the bottle in order to recycle it. It is important to note that there are some differences between what can go into a @botellasdeamor_pa bottle and an eco-brick.

Here is what can go into a Botella de Amor and a video on filling it. 

You can use plastic bottles of any shape and size that, being empty, clean, and dry, you can fill with non-recyclable plastics, such as:

  • Snack wrappers & food packaging

  •  Toothbrushes, cut-up toothpaste bottles, broken plastic toys, etc. 

  • Disposable utensils and plastic cups

  • Any flexible plastic item

What should you not enter in your Bottles of Love?

  • Empty bottles or Glass bottles are not accepted

  • Masks or medial 

  • cardboard boxes 

  • paper Egg cartons

• Tetrapak

It is also important to set up a washing station for any sticky candy (since this is the tropics) and a drying station because the wrappers will need to be dry before they are put in the bottles. 

This is a great way to teach children about recycling, and about the waste they create. You can encourage them to take the bottle and fill it to see all of the plastic they collect throughout their day,  and ask them to think up alternatives. 

4. Potluck Party

If you are hosting a party this Halloween tries making it a pot-luck. You can steer clear of single-use plastics, by asking everyone to bring items in Tupperware that will be returned. Hosting a potluck party using silverware instead of single-use cutlery and reusable napkins is a great option for a sustainable Halloween party. 

5. Compost your Pumpkin 

Don’t let your Jack-o-lantern go to waste! Save the seeds and pulp from your pumpkin to make delicious snacks and baked goods. You can also try composting your old Jack-o-lantern, or bringing it to some local animals that might think of it as a taste treat. If you know someone with chickens, they love pumpkins! 

NOTE: Don’t carve your pumpkin too far in advance, without the cool climate, they pretty much start to decompose on the spot. 

Send pictures of your Hallowgreen to @playa_community or by email at playa@playacommunity.com