With the help of several Grades of Green students,  Grades of Green celebrated Halloween early by co-hosting a booth with the Manhattan Beach Downtown Business and Professional Association at the Manhattan Beach Pumpkin Races. While competitors waited their turn to race their custom-built pumpkins down Manhattan Beach Blvd, Grades of Green students taught them how to reduce waste through a fun activity called veggie stamping. Grades of Green’s veggie stamping activity involves dipping scraps from veggies like onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes in an ink pad, and then stamping the beautiful and intricate designs onto trick-or-treat bags. Attendees also got to guess the weight of a giant pumpkin for the chance to win a free basket of delicious (and eco-friendly) Manhattan Beach Farmers Market produce!

Are you interested reducing waste in your community? Join Grades of Green’s Waste Campaign to research local waste issues, develop innovative solutions, and share those solutions with your school or community. Click here to sign up today! You can also check out this brochure about the program or watch this quick video to learn more!

According to a survey conducted in September by the National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, American consumers were expected to spend $3.4 billion on costumes alone on Halloween 2017. The scariest part comes when you think of all the natural resources consumed and carbon dioxide emitted from producing the millions of costumes worn by both adults and children, some of which go straight to landfills after Halloween is over!

Although Halloween is over, it’s never too late to be eco-friendly. Next year instead of buying a newly produced costume, try checking out your local thrift shop or trade costumes with your friend. Grades of Green and National Charity League volunteers from the Manhattan-Hermosa chapter encouraged interested shoppers at Children’s Orchard to purchase used costumes while also educating them on how long it takes for items to decompose in a landfill.

Of course, it’s not Halloween without pumpkins. Grades of Green also attended the world-famous Manhattan Beach Pumpkin Races in honor of Halloween. Contestants lined up with their handcrafted pumpkin racers to see who would earn the Pumpkin Race Championship Trophy while Grades of Green hosted a veggie stamping booth to teach kids how to reuse veggie scraps and compost.

Do you and your friends have costumes you no longer want? Check out Grades of Green’s Costume Closet Activity to help your school community reuse its costumes. Do you have a pumpkin at home and don’t know what to do with it? Check out Grades of Green’s Campus Composting Activity to learn how you can use your leftover pumpkins to benefit your school or community.