Ghosts, goblins, and ghouls, oh my! To get into the Halloween spirit we often decorate with plastic skeletons, consume tons of candy, and load up on costumes. The weather is ominous, the movies on TV are spooky, even walking around the neighborhood can be creepy, but nothing is scarier than the amount of waste produced during Halloween season. Here are 4 simple ways to green your Halloween this year.
Halloween night is the one night a year we can run around pretending to be witches, cats, and monsters. However, these costumes are typically worn for one night, sit in a closet for 6 months, then thrown away or donated. Even if costumes end up being donated, the yearly consumption of itchy synthetic fabrics can be harmful to the environment. There are a ton of different ways to make costumes from the classic sheet ghost to a cardboard box robot. If you run out of ideas, consider throwing a “Costume Swap” party. Invite friends and family over and encourage them to bring old costumes to trade for Halloween night. Thrift stores are overloaded with old clothes – discover how your local thrift store can help you get creative this Halloween by listening to our How to Green Your Halloween! podcast and watch Mrs. Green get in on the fun too.
Putting up decorations around the house can set the mood for the fall season. Glue old candy wrappers together as wreaths to hang on your front door. Paint old toilet paper rolls black, add wings and hang them upside down for some friendly bats in your home. Buy real pumpkins from a local farmers market for carving jack-o-lanterns, bake the leftover seeds for a yummy snack. Draw spooky faces on empty milk or water jugs and add a candle for outdoor ghosts decor. Remember to use soy candles to reduce the release of toxic chemicals into the air. Again, being creative is key when it comes to Hallogreen.
Whether it be a party or trick-or-treating, Halloween is a time to gather with friends and family. When the kids trick-or-treat, bring a reusable grocery bag to hold their candy rather than buying plastic buckets. Growing up we used to take our pillowcases trick-or-treating. When throwing a costume party, have guests label their costume onto their cups to keep throughout the night, this will reduce the waste of plastic. Using compostable cutlery and recycling bins will also help reduce the amount of waste when throwing a Halloween party.
While candy might be the best part of Halloween, plastic wrappers are scattered everywhere for months afterward. Consider giving out candy with paper wrappers such as taffy and Starburst. Organic candies in bulk such as lollipops, gummy bears, and other hard candies are perfect for trick-or-treating. If you don’t feel like giving out sugary treats, try fruit leather, popcorn, or draw jack-o-lantern faces on a clementine. Every year Americans buy 6 million pounds of Halloween candy. When you are out celebrating this Halloween season, be mindful of the monsters and ghosts around you and pick up any littered candy wrappers.
Makynna Keefe is a research assistant for Mrs. Green and a self proclaimed ‘little green fact book‘. Growing up Makynna has always looked for new steps to take in order to protect our climate. Whether it be trips to the recycling center or lifestyle changes like shopping locally, Makynna is always looking for new ways to push herself and those around her.