Most holidays are, unfortunately, prone to creating a lot of waste. Halloween in particular with all of its costumes, decorations, and goodies can result in a significant amount of waste. But don't worry! There are plenty of easy steps you can take to have a green Halloween. Here are some of our top tips for a sustainable Halloween.
Reusing is always our #1 tip for cutting down on waste for any holiday. Check what decorations you might have saved and turn to your own closet (or a friend’s!) for costume inspiration. If you don’t have what you need, try thrifting before you buy something new. You’ll be amazed what a little creativity can do for a costume. Check out this great list for some homemade costume ideas.
Most store-bought decorations are made from cheap, non-recyclable plastic. With some twine and paper or cardboard, the possibilities are endless! You can even forage for natural items like leaves and twigs for some beautiful table decorations. Again, a little creativity goes a long way here. Don’t forget to save whatever you can make to reuse next year, too (as long as it’s not foraged – though dried flowers, for example, can last for a while)!
Millions of pumpkins are simply thrown away after Halloween. Don’t add to the waste by buying a commercially grown pumpkin, carving it up, and throwing it out come November 1. You can reduce your waste by purchasing a locally grown pumpkin and not carving it for Halloween (which makes it break down and rot much faster) so that once the holiday has passed, you can cut it up and roast both the flesh and the seeds. Or, you can set out the pumpkin for birds and wildlife to feast. Here are a few more ways to recycle your pumpkin after Halloween.
Individually wrapped candies create an enormous amount of plastic waste, as you can imagine. Not to mention, most of them are made with cheap ingredients that aren’t exactly the healthiest. For maximum sustainability, skip the store altogether and make your own treats! Here’s a list of 50 homemade Halloween treats you can try. But, if making candies yourself isn’t an option, there are plenty of more ethical alternatives available. Looking for certifications like USDA Organic, Fairtrade, and more doesn’t guarantee the treat is totally healthy, but it does mean certain harmful practices weren’t involved in the production process.
If you’re hosting a Halloween party, try to use your own glasses and cutlery, or look for biodegradable options to avoid using more plastic. You can also cut down on plastic consumption by making sure your trick-or-treat bags are made from paper and placing your Halloween candy in a wood or wicker bowl instead of a plastic pumpkin.
Of course, above all, enjoy yourself! Try not to stress about doing the holiday “perfectly plastic-free” and focus instead on what small changes you can make within reason. After all, every little change adds up!