Halloween, while fun, is a holiday rife with consumerism, ranking right up there with Christmas. It’s a reflection of the times. We’re a culture built on consumerism and when you take into account the nearly 40 million children that go trick-or-treating each year, that’s a lot of waste. But you don’t have to be miserly to have an eco-friendly Halloween. Here are my top ten tips to have a green Halloween:
1. Do-it-yourself Costumes
Costumes bought at stores can be full of toxic chemicals, and non-recyclable plastics, such as PVCS (a known carcinogen). Throw in the fact that store-bought costumes are made to be disposable and aren’t usually made of quality fabrics meant to be worn over and over again, it’s consumer culture at its finest.
Rather than purchasing your costume, opt for piecing together things from around the house or thrift stores. This can allow you to be original and your costume is reusable.
2. Buy second-hand décor
Ebay and thrift stores allow you to easily buy nice decorations without breaking the bank. What’s even better is your recycling and reducing the amount of waste from Halloweens past.
3. Make your own decorations
Pinterest is full of ideas for easy and fun do-it-yourself projects. Some can even be done with the whole family. It’s a win-win.
4. Reusable bags
Rather than sending the kiddies out with plastic shopping bags to collect their Halloween loot, a green alternative is a reusable bag. You can either make one yourself (and make it unique) or purchase one online. Even an old pillowcase will work.
5. Choose eco-friendly Halloween treats
Choose organic or candy that doesn’t have a lot of extra packaging; and buy in bulk. Candies that come in individual boxes such as Nerds or Mike and Ike’s will break down better in landfills over ones that have plastic wrappers.
6. Make your pumpkins green
Pumpkin decorating is a hallmark of the Halloween holiday. But rather than throwing out unused bits, make roasted pumpkin seeds and save the pulp to puree and make pies and soup.
Or you can…
7. Grow your own pumpkins
Save your seeds and plant them for next year.
8. Leave the car at home
Trick-or-treat on foot rather than driving from house to house. It may take longer, but it’s more eco-friendly.
9. If you must drive, carpool
Arrange with other families to carpool rather than driving separate vehicles.
10. Save or Donate
Once the holiday is over, save your costumes and decorations for next year or donate them to charity or thrift stores so someone else can make their Halloween just as green.