Indian Pipe’s seedpods resemble spooky faces.

ISLAND WILD: Have a green Halloween

Conscientious Earth lovers can choose to celebrate without negative environmental impact

Halloween creates plenty of opportunity for food and wrapping waste, vinyl commodities, and plastic purchases.

In the preceding weeks, conscientious Earth lovers can choose to celebrate without negative environmental impact.

Nothing in the make-believe world of ghosts and goblins can hold a candle (beeswax, please) to other-worldly happenings in the natural world. Plan a fireside chat that will totally spook sugar-hyped little ones: ant colonies that remember their enemies by scent, cannibalistic raft spiders or a brainless slime mold that uses its external memory to find food. (

Vinyl and plastic costumes have gone the way of the Dodo. Today’s clever crafter checks out thrift stores and online used sites ( to maximize Halloween’s up-cycling potential.

No special sewing skills needed to create your child’s fantasy get-up. Check The Daily Green ( for disguises made from recycled materials (the home-made dinosaur is a simple wonder).

Cut paper shopping bags into ghost or pumpkin shapes to decorate windows, and stuff some old clothes with raked leaves to make a Halloween scarecrow. Save electricity and turn off household lights, except for LED glow lights and porch pumpkins.

As always, Mother Earth decorates woodlands for free. Right on cue, brown seed-pods of mysterious Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora) look totally spook-tacular. In full, fresh bloom, this all-white plant is a cluster of ghostly stems, each topped by a nodding pale flower.

Pillowcases make perfect loot collection bags, as do cloth shopping bags, and don’t forget to save pumpkin seeds for roasting – delicious and nutritious.


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