Green Tips for a Sustainable Halloween

Green Tips | October 20, 2017

Halloween can be a very wasteful season if you follow the traditional consumption-focused route. Plastic decorations, rubber masks and costumes, non-recyclable candy wrappers and utensils, and wasted pumpkins can clog your house and make the Halloween season messy and materialistic. However, these are some tips to have a more green Halloween.

First and most important is Halloween night. On October 31, 2015 it was estimated that there were a potential 41.4 million trick-or-treaters in America collecting a staggering  $2.5 billion of candy and seeing $2 billion of decorations across neighborhoods. Each candy is usually wrapped in plastic, and unfortunately the type of plastic used is usually not recyclable. To prevent contributing to the graveyard for Halloween, the landfill, consider treats or candy with the least amount of packaging, or you could use the treats or candy that contain recycled packaging. You could also use eco-friendly candy to hand out to trick-or-treaters, which can be found at local organic grocery or food stores.

When it comes to decorating, consider some of these green decorating ideas. Our favorites include recycled lights or “spirit jugs,” using old sheets or other clothes to make ghosts or scarecrows, or using durable decorations that will last a long time. Halloween parties across the U.S. generate tons of avoidable waste through plastic cutlery, cups, and plates. You could use regular plates during your party, or you could buy biodegradable ones. Another fun idea is to use candles instead of lights at your party. This will create a spooky atmosphere, as well as save electricity.

In addition to decorating and candy, the keystone holding Halloween together is the costumes that are worn throughout the season. To avoid wasteful rubber masks and store bought costumes; it is possible to rent costumes, reuse old ones, share with your friends, or buy something you will wear again. Other tips for sustainable costumes include using items already in your closet, shopping at thrift or consignment stores for your costume, and donating your costume rather than throwing it in the trash after Halloween festivities are over.

Visit local farms or farmers markets to pick out a pumpkin, and instead of throwing out your pumpkin once Halloween is over, roast the seeds and make pumpkin pie for tasty fall treats. When you’re finally finished with your pumpkin, compost it instead of throwing it in the trash.

It is not impossible to avoid the consumer culture that has crept into the fall season and Halloween, and if getting crafty is something you enjoy, then we recommend a DIY season that is free from wrappers, non-recyclables, and waste.

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