I LOVE Halloween.
Like, I REALLY love Halloween.
Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. Don’t get me wrong; as a child, I loved the presents at Christmas. The egg hunts at Easter. The food at Thanksgiving. But Halloween was special. Mostly because my mom always made it special– often with homemade costumes of my favorite characters.
I still love celebrating Halloween. And dressing up for the occasion. But I ALSO love the planet. So, I have learned to think a little bit differently about the holiday I love in order to create a more Eco-conscious Halloween. Below you’ll find ten simple ways you can make your own holiday celebration a bit more eco-friendly!
Make Your Costume More Economical & Eco-Friendly
Many people wear costumes for Halloween– to parties, for trick-or-treating, to hand out candy at the door. But these costumes can contribute significantly to our waste problem and can be a real draw on our natural resources. Try the following suggestions to make your costume a part of a more eco-conscious Halloween.
Avoid Plastic in Store-bought.
Many of the costumes you could purchase tend to include plastic masks or accessories. The material in the costume is often synthetic and of lesser quality. And they typically come in plastic packaging. If purchasing a costume, look for one with the fewest of these concerns.
Wear a Pre-Loved Costume.
There are so many options for buying used costumes, including thrift stores and Facebook Marketplace. You could also borrow one from a friend. Maybe you can swap last year’s costumes! Don’t forget to donate, sell, or swap this year’s costume when Halloween is over this year, too!
Make Your Own Costume.
Home made costumes can be really amazing. The advantage is that you can use items you already have or purchase pre-loved pieces from a thrift store to create your costume. You can often include pieces that you’d wear again or use to create another costume in ways that you cannot do with a store-bought costume. You can also seek out more eco-conscious materials, like natural materials and clothing items or accessories from sustainable companies.
Check out some of the following lists for some fantastic DIY ideas. Please note that not ALL materials in these costumes are eco-friendly. But they give you a GREAT place to start!
- 8 Cheap & Easy Adult Halloween Costume Ideas from MakeupTutorials.com
- 39 Pun Costumes to Help You Creep It Real This Halloween from CountryLiving.com
- 5 Easy Halloween Costumes You Can Make with a White Tshirt from HGTV.com
- 30 Super Easy DIY Halloween Costumes For Kids from Listotic.com
Trick-or-Treat Options for an Eco-Conscious Halloween
We end up with a LOT of waste from all those fun-size candy bars that we collect in those plastic trick-or-treat buckets. The wrappers are typically made of mixed materials or plastics that we can’t recycle. The buckets are reusable, but are often just tossed in the trash. Most of us need to make some real changes to our current practices, if we want to be have a happy and eco-conscious Halloween. Here are some options to give you a good start!
If you are hosting a Halloween event for people you know, go with unwrapped candy. Pour the candy into real bowls and use silverware to allow guests to scoop them into individual cups, bowls, or plates. If you need to use disposable products, go with compostable options!
Hand Out Options with Recyclable Wrappers/Containers
Who said you have to give out wrapped candy? Opt for these options instead:
- Cans of soda or iced tea
- Boxed candy like Milk Duds, Junior Mints, and Nerds.
- Boxed raisins.
- Candy in compostable wrappers, like Alter Eco
- Candy in foil wrappers because they’re recyclable.
Buy Treats from Sustainable Companies
Give your money to an ethical, sustainable company this year and pass out goodies that make you feel good! Consider:
Looking for a more general list of our favorite sustainable snacks for kids,i check out our blog post here.
Inedible, Eco-Friendly Options
Treats don’t have to be edible. In the age of allergies, it’s nice to have an option that isn’t food. Here are a few that are more eco-friendly!
Non-plastic, Reusable Containers
Whether you are needing a container to store your candy before handing it to trick-or-treaters or you have a little trick-or-treater in need of a way to collect their treats, consider using an option that is both reusable and not plastic. This will reduce waste and pollution from micro-plastics.
- Use a Pillow Case from your linen closet or from the local thrift store.
- Use your school bag or purchase a second-hand one specifically for Halloween.
- Sustainable Fabric Bag (Linen, Canvas, Organic Cotton, etc.)
- Reusable Grocery Bag
If you want an eco-conscious Halloween, taking a quick audit of your typical decorating habits can be a great place to start. Remember, we’re not advocating that you stop using things you already have! The best thing you can do is NOT buy something new. But if you will be making any purchases, consider these tips first.
Opt for Natural Decor
Skip the plastic Halloween decorations and use decorations made from natural materials!
- Corn Stalks
- Dried Corn Cobs
- Scarecrow from old clothes and straw
- Ghosts or mummies from old sheets
- Repurpose an old doll into a witch or a creepy doll
Reduce Food Waste
While we think of pumpkins as being perfect for jack-o-lanterns, they’re actually food. And they contribute to significant food waste each year. Instead, you can:
- Extend their life and decor purpose by leaving them uncarved; you can use them as Thanksgiving decor, too.
- Roast the seeds from your carved pumpkins.
- Add your pumpkin guts to a smoothie for added vitamins.
- Use your pumpkin to make a planter.
- Compost your jack-o-lantern
- Donate your pumpkin to a farm or zoo for animal feed
- Use your pumpkin to make a facial or hair mask.
Use Less Energy
Rethink some of the latest trends in decor that use a ton of energy. Skip them all together if you can. And if you already have them, consider how you can time their use to minimize the amount of energy needed to run them.
- Inflatable decorations
- Battery-operated, motion-sensor decorations
Keep in mind, you don’t have to make all of these swaps this year. Slow progression is the way to go when you are looking to make lasting change. So pick one or two options that seem like low-hanging fruit and try them this year. Add another the next year. We can make a HUGE impact by making slow, progressive changes.
Which one(s) will you be adopting this year? Let us know in the comments.