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.

Volunteers are an integral part of Grades of Green. One volunteer group in particular, the Manhattan-Hermosa Chapter of the National Charity League (NCL), has supported Grades of Green in carrying out its mission for years by assisting with outreach events, annual fundraisers, and so much more. On Thursday, Grades of Green had the pleasure of giving a little bit back to the amazing organization by giving a presentation on how NCL members can be more green at home. From recycling resources in Manhattan Beach to tips on how to save water and energy, Grades of Green covered a plethora of steps that will help the organization improve all areas of the environment! Youth Corps Eco-Leadership students Elise and Emily, who are also members of NCL, spoke about their Grades of Green Activities. Their work on creating drought tolerant gardens and hosting recycling competitions truly inspired the group to care for the environment. Interested in becoming a Grades of Green Youth Corps Eco-Leadership student like Emily and Elise? Click to learn more about the program. Want to implement these activities and more at your school? Click here to register and unlock our 40+ Grades of Green Activities!

Thanks to the help of National Charity League volunteers, Grades of Green was able to attend the Beach Cities Health District’s Taste of Blue Zone event last Sunday! Attendees sampled various mouth-watering yet healthy food samples offered by local Blue Zone restaurants. Grades of Green followed the healthy foods theme by offering guests vegetables, but these vegetables were not for eating – they were for 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 recycled paper cards. Interested in other ways that your school can utilize fruit and veggie food scraps? Click here to check out Grades of Green’s Waste Activities including our Campus Composting Activity and our Worm Bins Activity. Want help implementing activity? Click here to register with Grades of Green, unlock our 40+ activities, and get one-one-one support from an advisor!