Halloween wreaks havoc on the hearts of those who love the earth. Individually wrapped treats with not a single non-GMO food in sight and costumes destined to be worn once are just the beginning of Halloween’s faults. Yet, savvy crunchy families are finding ways to keep it eco-friendly.
Embrace Your Soapbox and Offer Ethical Treats
Cocoa bean harvesting worldwide is rife with child labor. Make a difference by choosing to give only Fair Trade chocolate or organic candy produced in America. While definitely a more expensive option, it shows your commitment to the earth and get others thinking.
Buy The Goodies From Your Kids
Let your kids enjoy the adventure of trick or treating. But, when they come home with bulging sacks of high fructose laden candy, buy it from them for cash or organic treats. In order to avoid being wasteful, you can usually offload the mainstream treats at your local dentist’s office, where post-Halloween they typically pay per pound for candy.
Try a Costume Swap
Plan a costume swap with other families who hate the idea of buying a new costume yearly. Include both adult and kid costumes and let your older children be a part of choosing.
Create a DIY Costume
Making your own costume is a time- honored tradition for many. Embrace your recycling nature and create something completely unique. Luckily there are websites like Pinterest that can provide limitless inspiration. Your local Goodwill or other used clothing store is a great resource.
Eschew the Plastic Pumpkin
The plastic pumpkin we all remember carrying from door to door as children needs to stay in the past. Find an earth friendly bag to use for trick or treating, such as a reusable grocery bag. Alternatively, make your own bag from an old T-shirt.
Make Halloween Eco-Decorations
Everything you need for easy, eco-friendly Halloween decorations is in your recycle bin. Tissue paper or paint can easily transform glass jars into jack o’lanterns, ghosts and monsters. Plastic milk jugs make perfect ghost lights for illuminating the path to your door. Paint and punch cans for a perfect Halloween lantern.
Use Natural Décor When Possible
Avoid purchasing commercial decorations and instead use seasonal items as décor. Bales of hay, corn stalks, piles of leaves, gourds and other season vegetables are all perfect for Halloween décor both inside and out. Tweak it a little after the 31st and you can continue using it as Thanksgiving décor for the rest of November. When you’re done, compost it.
Create Horrifically Yummy Grub for Your Party
At your Halloween party, embrace items that are minimally packaged and locally sourced when possible. Apples, pumpkins and squash are abundant, inexpensive and versatile this time of year. Get organic marshmallows to roast or mini-marshmallows to serve in a bowl as ghost poop. Present local veggies with dip spewing from the mouth of a vomiting pumpkin. Sites like Pinterest will feed your creativity.
Offer Spooky Yet Refreshing Beverages
Rather than offer bottled or prepackaged drinks, create a spooky punch. A simple label to identify it will help create the illusion. Red drinks become blood, orange becomes pumpkin juice and green becomes slime.
Because so much of Halloween involves over-packaging out of safety concerns, take extra care to avoid contributing to landfills by not using disposable party supplies. Let your décor and the presentation of snacks create the spooky ambiance. Use real dishes, cutlery, table cloths and drinking glasses and minimize the impact your party has on the environment.
By using more of the things you have on hand, you can avoid the over-consuming that makes Halloween such an environmentally unfriendly holiday. Splurge on earth-friendly treats for your party and to hand out at the door and you will be on your way to a crunchy eco-friendly Halloween.