Halloween can be an expensive and wasteful experience, with so much consumed and thrown away all in one night! With some simple tricks, treat the planet to a little less pollution and enjoy the holiday without spooking Mother Nature!
Vintage, reused, DIY—oh my!
Instead of buying a pre-made costume, consider reusing or recycling costumes from previous years or even make your own from things you already have in the house. Keep old clothes that can be used as good pieces or parts of costumes, like worn t-shirts, black pants/shorts, etc. If necessary, shop at thrift shops, consignment stores and yard sales, instead of buying retail. Let your kids’ imaginations run wild! Make a game of turning old clothes into costumes! Instead of a wasteful plastic or rubber face mask, try to choose face paint or make up without lead, that is cruelty free, and contains no harmful toxins. You can even make your own fake blood; there are various recipes on blogs and pinterest.
Decorating is one of the best parts of Halloween but also the most wasteful. As the second biggest decorating holiday of the year, many of the decorations are made from non-recyclable plastics. Use natural products like pumpkins and gourds to create an autumnal look. Old stockings can become spider webs, cardboard boxes become tombs. There are so many things you already have in your home that can be turned into ghoulish decorations. Turn cardboard boxes into tombstones, make other creative decorations from netting from bags of oranges, cotton balls, leaves and branches from the garden, etc… Reuse your decorations from the previous year!
Buy locally produced foods, candies and treats to keep the carbon footprint low. Look for goodies with minimal packaging and/or those made packaged in recycled materials. Check labels to see that chocolate and sugar are from sustainable sources. Use (and decorate) household items to collect candy in. A bucket, pillowcase, or old even an old bag can be decorated inexpensively at home – and reused year after year!
Purchase locally grown pumpkins
When you think of Halloween, you surely think of pumpkins. Lower your emissions by purchasing locally grown organic pumpkins. Remember to compost your pumpkins, save the seeds from carving for roasting them with a little oil and salt, or use the insides for delicious breads, pies, muffins, soups, and other recipes.