Green Tips: Greening your Halloween

Green Tips | October 15, 2021

Halloween is quickly approaching and now is the time to be planning Halloween costumes, decorations, and activities. While preparing for upcoming festivities, don’t forget to consider the impact the holiday can have on the environment. A recent survey in the UK found that 83% of materials in retail Halloween costumes are derived from oil-based plastics, responsible for up to 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste. However, plastic is not the only form of waste during the Halloween season, as over 1 billion pounds of pumpkins are thrown into landfills in the US, being left to rot and produce methane gas instead of naturally decomposing. Here are some tips on how to minimize waste while still enjoying the holiday!

  • Costumes: Costumes can easily contribute to a large amount of waste on Halloween. Instead of buying a brand new costume, considering making one out of clothes you already own or thrifting. Alternatively, if buying a new costume, donate it afterward instead of throwing it away.
  • Decorations: Halloween decorations are often made out of copious amounts of plastic such as large skeletons or decorative pumpkins. Instead of buying new decorations, make your own out of materials you already have at home, or buy durable decorations you know will last for many future Halloween seasons.
  • Candy: Try to minimize packaging when buying candy, and opt for either buying in bulk or buying from brands that are committed to sustainability; consider purchasing fair-trade chocolate or candy packaged in recyclable wrapping. Buying vegan is another great option, as is organic, locally made candy. When distributing candy, use a bowl you already own instead of buying a new, plastic container.
  • Pumpkins: Buying pumpkins locally is another excellent way to lower your carbon footprint this Halloween. Take a trip to a local pumpkin patch instead of buying from the grocery store. If carving pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns, try roasting the seeds or using the pulp for vegetable broth. After the season is over, be sure to compost the pumpkins instead of throwing them away.
  • Halloween Parties: When throwing a Halloween Party, make sure to avoid plastic plates, cups, and utensils and opt for either reusable or compostable options. Source food from local, sustainable sources such as a nearby farmers’ market, and try to buy organic or vegan options. 

Thanks for reading this week’s Green Tips and have a safe Halloween!

Submitted by: Michaela Stones

< Back to Citizen’s Toolkit

Get Involved