Tips For A More Eco-Friendly Halloween

halloween
Halloween is just around the corner this month, and it’s great to think about how you can impact the environment. Here are some ways that you can be mindful of your footprint while still celebrating the spookiest holiday of the year.
 

Halloween is just around the corner this month, and even on a holiday, it’s great to think about how you can impact the environment. Last year, consumers spent an estimated total of $6.9 billion on Halloween-related merchandise in the US. About 64% of Americans celebrated Halloween in 2015, and approximately 49.5 million acres of pumpkins were harvested in the United States in 2014. That is a lot of packaging, processing, and effects on the environment that we could all work to reduce. Here are some ways that you can be mindful of your footprint while still celebrating the spookiest holiday of the year.

 

Decorations

You can make many of your decorations and buy as few as possible. It can be a lot of fun to make decorations as arts and crafts projects and reuse items that would otherwise go into the landfill. Some examples are turning stockings with runs into spider-webbing, painting foam peanuts (packing materials) and turning them into worms, turning cardboard boxes into tombstones, and making anything from netting, cotton balls, worn sheets, newspaper, leaves and branches, etc. Reusing your decorations is always a great idea.


 


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Costumes

Instead of buying costumes, you can save old clothes, go to thrift stores, used clothing stores, yard sales, or rent a costume at a local store to put together and create your own unique costume while using your imagination. Be careful of the makeup you use, and buy eco-friendly makeup, or make your own with food-based ingredients and look here for How to make organic facepaints. Arrange a Halloween costume swap and participate in National Costume Swap Day.

 

Parties

Try to avoid disposable cups, plates, and silverware, and instead use regular dishes, or buy biodegradable and use bowls instead of individually packaged snacks. You can also reduce paper usage by sending electronic invitations.

 

Treats

Buy locally, buy minimal/recycled packaged treats, and look for sustainable, eco-friendly, and fair trade ingredients. This is a candy cheat sheet with what (not) to buy and why.



 

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 Trick-or-treating

Buckets, pillowcases, old bags, and items around the house can be decorated for Halloween and used for trick-or-treating bags.
 

Pumpkins

Buy pumpkins at a local pumpkin patch or at a farmers’ market. It’s also great if you can even grow your own, so you know exactly how and where they were grown. After carving, you can roast the seeds, make pie, muffins, or compost the pumpkins and decrease unnecessary landfill waste and methane emissions.

 

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Lighting

To decrease your energy consumption, switch out your conventional lights for LEDs, and use beeswax or soy to brighten your jack o'lanterns. Encourage kids to use flashlights that can be recharged with solar energy.

Transportation

As simple as it is, you can walk around your neighborhood rather than driving to a different destination to reduce your carbon footprint.

 

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle and DIY!

Reduce any waste you can, reuse costumes, decorations, and toys, recycle, and create and make yourself with DIY to help reduce your impact and continue being conscientious about the ways you affect the environment.

 

Along with these ideas, there are many more ideas in resources below and at Green Halloween, the website of a program of EcoMom Alliance, a 501 (c) 3, with events, tips for everyone, and many ways to make Halloween greener.

 

References:

  1. http://www.worldwildlife.org/pages/10-green-halloween-tips

  2. http://www.biggreenpurse.com/top-ten-eco-tips/top-ten-green-cheap-halloween/

  3. http://www.greenhalloween.org/#

  4. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-grayson/eco-etiquette-10-tips-for_b_774500.html

  5. http://wilderness.org/blog/green-halloween-ideas-ten-tips-eco-friendly-halloween

  6. http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/30/living/halloween-by-the-numbers/

Posted by Raye Myers on Oct 23, 2017 2:21 PM America/Chicago

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