Hanging out with Howie Pollute

Investigating all your pressing questions

Howie Pollute has a lot to say about what is hanging around these days. They have been part of Halloween Hikes for a long time! Read on to learn more behind the scenes information on Howie Pollute and of course their favorite joke! It is a really “crusher”!


First of all, what do the other characters at Halloween Hikes call you?

Howie when they are being generous, but sometimes they call me the trash lady, noisy girl and I get lots of lines about being in the dumps.


Where do you hang out when not on the trails at Halloween Hikes?

I can be on the side of the road, beside the river, in a kitchen or garage and sometimes at the landfill. Most wonderful human help me to regenerate. Can you believe that? I can be reborn as benches, paper plates, flooring, cans, bottles and many other items. It is so rejuvenating. My story isn’t always a great exciting rediscovery and reclamation, sometimes I become kitty litter. Now the Ancient Egyptians believed in reincarnation and were devoted cat followers so I think they would have really enjoyed this particular reawakening. I love cats and they sure love me, it is mutual but I can get a bit malodorous that way.


Why do you want to share your story at Halloween Hikes?

Together we can make a difference. Each person doing the best they can. I get sad when I think of those poor unloved landfill parts of me. They never get to see the light of day again and I can come back again and again with your help.


How long have you been a part of Halloween Hikes?

The box turtle and I have been doing this for over twenty years. We love seeing the wonder in children’s faces and enjoy that they love this planet Earth as much as we do and appreciate us for what we are. We all just want to be seen and cared for.


Who is your favorite other Halloween Hikes character to hang out with?

The turtle of course. He has watched me reincarnate for so many years and when I am occasionally left to decompose I have even produced mushrooms, his favorite treat. So we take care of each other.


What do you do to get ready for your big nights?

I make sure I have the lovely clean recycling items to show you, no one wants to see me when I am melting, rusting or rotting. Since most of me doesn’t decompose quickly I make sure I have a few antique items to show you just how long I can hang around if I am not actively recycled.


What is your favorite part of the evening?

The anticipation of the first group is a real rush, my everyday life is pretty mundane, just hanging around in hopes I will be repurposed. Everyone needs a purpose in life, but I need a human to help me fulfill my life goals. When children want to have their picture taken with me it is such a compliment. I try to look my very best, but sometimes my plastic just goes wild or a can will hang at the wrong angle or a box will just lay there and make me look …well, trashy. When someone sees me for who I really am, the real me, a valuable resource for their future, it is exhilarating.


What do you do after an evening on the trails at Halloween Hikes?

I lay around, relax, let my shredded plastic down and put my milk jugs up. The moon can be quite beautiful after the event and the peaceful woodland habitat is renewing. The nature center doesn’t usually allow me to sit outside like that, they tend to keep me enclosed in a can so people can’t appreciate all of my parts. I normally don’t mind as it speeds up my journey to a new life, but a night in the woods is refreshing.


Tell us your favorite joke!

My favorite place used to be when I went to the recycling plant to have my cans crushed, but now I find it soda pressing.