6 Tips to Green up Your Halloween
Halloween is right around the corner and with it comes decorations, costumes and candy. All of this can take a huge toll on the environment especially since almost everything is made of disposable plastic. Sadly, after the holiday is over, most of these decorations, candy wrappers and costumes will end up in the landfill. But that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Halloween in a sustainable way! Luckily, there are plenty of tips to green up your Halloween.
You don’t need to be the house that hands out apples or other fruits (though that’s not a bad idea!). There are plenty of companies now that offer organic goodies from lollipops to gummi bears. If you want to offer something a little healthier than candy, there are companies that also offer alternative treats like granola bars, fruit snacks and trail mix. While any sugary snacks aren’t too good for kids, all of the ingredients are 100% natural and grown under strict guidelines so at least you know kids aren’t getting any chemical colors, artificial flavors or corn syrup in their system.
Upcycle Items You No Longer Use into Decoration
Instead of buying one-time use decorations, see if you have some items lying around your house to transform into decorations. A toilet roll can become a bat, the fallen leaves in your yard can be transformed into jack-o-lantern decorations and old newspapers can be paper mache-d into a scary mask. You can get the entire family involved as well for a fun event. It’s a fun and sustainable way to decorate your house for Halloween.
Host a Costume Swap
Instead of purchasing a brand new costume for your child, swap them with your neighbors or friends. Have them bring over as many costumes as possible and then swap the ones you like. You should also get the kids involved by hosting a little fashion party. They can model the outfits they like and you can then choose to swap with the parents. It’s a great way to get more use out of these one-time use costumes, especially since children grow out of their clothes so quickly. If you don’t intend to keep the costume around for another year, donate it to a program in your community like a local theater group, shelter or center.
Use Every Part of the Pumpkin
It’s not Halloween if you don’t carve a pumpkin. Many people end up scrapping the guts, but there’s no reason to toss them! While the carving pumpkins tend to contain more water than pie pumpkins, you can still use it to cook. After carving the pumpkin, set aside the innards in a bowl and let it sit in the fridge for a couple hours. This will separate the water from the flesh. Before using it, make sure to drain the water. You can then cook it up for a soup, ravioli and more. And those seeds? Roast them up. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, iron and other essential minerals. Plus, since a natural plant, you can just chuck the jack-o-lantern into the compost bin once Halloween is over.
Be an Eco-Star Party Host
Halloween isn’t just for kids, it’s a great for adults too! If you plan on hosting one at your house, forego the plastic and paper and opt for the real deal. It might take a bit longer in clean up at the end of the night, but you won’t be throwing away all those disposable plates, utensils and cups. Of course, parties over 30+ people might require disposables. In that case, check out dinnerware from recycled or compostable materials. Sites like Eco Party Time offer an entire range of items made out of 100% biodegradable and organic materials. And, this should go without saying, but be sure to put out and label the recycling bin for your guests drinking beer and soda. Who says you can’t have a sustainable and rocking Halloween party?
If you have the materials and creativity, you can make pretty much any costume from the items you have lying around. Rather than buy the store bought costumes take the time to create your own. If you happen to be good at sewing this is a perfect time to bust out the sewing machine and put together something completely unique. Even if you aren’t crafty, there are still plenty of options for a fun outfit. A simple web search can bring up hundreds of homemade costumes for children and adults alike.
Halloween is a day for some tricks and treats, but also a great time to really flex your eco-conscious muscle. While it might seem natural the holiday generates a lot of waste, you can easily reduce your footprint while still having a rocking good time.