Ah, the joys and traditions of Halloween—they wouldn’t exist without the contributions of water. There’s no denying that water plays a role in everything from growing apples to producing costume makeup to sustaining jack-o-lanterns, burning bright for multiple nights. The thing I love most about Halloween is the way it brings communities together. Neighbors interact with each other, as parents and children go door-to-door. This dynamic makes Halloween an opportune time for individuals to engage with members of their community and share messages and knowledge that support water conservation initiatives.
Certainly, I don’t expect you to get on your “soap box” or stage a water conservation rally on Halloween night. However, I’ve found that there are some “noninvasive” ways to leverage trick-or-treat opportunities to advance water missions that are both effective and fun for everyone. Here are my top ideas.
Boo by the buddy system. Pair up your children, or your child and a friend, to create unique and water-inspired costumes. For example, dress up one child as a traditional witch with a cauldron, while the other child dresses as the water hero, carrying an ample water supply to keep that witch’s brew bubbling away. “Dracula” can be paired with a nurse supplying plenty of fluids and explaining with charts how vital water is to blood flow. A rain cloud with a blooming rose bush … a rubber ducky surrounded by soap bubbles with an infrastructure engineer … the pairing possibilities are endless!
Water down the chocolate! Even on October 31, the weather can be mild, so things can get quite warm under those masks and monster costumes. These things make hydration an important—but far too often neglected—element during trick-or-treating. Consider including small bottles of water with the treats you hand out and pass some onto parents as well. Take it one step further to make sure there’s a water bowl for canine companions too. Please be sure to recycle those water bottles!
Captain cleanup. Take the lead in making sure Halloween debris stays clear of storm drains and water resources! Place a large receptacle for candy wrappers and the like on your sidewalk, with a message explaining why proper trash disposal is important. Walk around in “costume”, picking up debris on the ground in your neighborhood. You can even organize a small neighborhood crew to clean up the “aftermath” on the morning of November 1.
With a little creativity, you can enjoy a more fulfilling trick-or-treat night this year. It can be unique fun for your kids and a great way to engage with neighbors—and most of all, it’ll be far less “scary” for our environment!