The northeast is a beautiful place in the fall, but nothing’s more enjoyable than celebrating Halloween with some spooky decorations, delicious treats, and fun costumes. Unfortunately, all of those things can come with a price if you’re not careful. Candy wrappers, old decorations, and even costumes often end up in the trash by November 1st, creating tons of unnecessary waste.
In 2010 alone there were over 40 million trick-or-treaters. Think about how much candy your own children receive, and how many wrappers it equates to. If you’re adding it up, that’s a lot of people creating a lot of waste in just one night. Thankfully, there are things you can do to reduce your waste and have an eco-friendly Halloween. Here are 14 ideas for eco-friendly Halloween decorations, candy, and crafts You might even save a couple of bucks along the way.
1. Give Organic Treats
Go organic for an eco-friendly Halloween candy option this year. Organic candy is eco-friendly because its production and transportation are better for the environment, and the ingredients are healthier for children to consume. Trader Joes, Sprouts, Whole Foods, and other stores often have sections with organic candy and treats that are great to hand out to eager trick-or-treaters.
2. Shop Locally
If you’re looking for some eco-friendly Halloween decorations, heading over to your local farmers’ market is a great place to start. Get some cute squash, or homemade decorations, and support your local economy at the same time.
3. Find Second-Hand Costumes
A great costume doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, nor does it have to come in brand-new packaging. Amp up your eco-friendly Halloween crafts by purchasing your costume from a second-hand store and adding your own details to liven it up. You can create your own costume from clothes you find, or find costumes that have been donated by other people looking to clean out their closets.
4. Use Less Packaging
Not only can you choose healthier options for trick-or-treaters by going organic, but you can also choose eco-friendly Halloween candy and treats with less packaging. Think about what kinds of treats you hand out, how much waste they will create, and how—or if—they can be recycled. Treats in cardboard are more easily recycled than those in plastic, or you could skip the candy altogether and go with pencils made from recycled material, or other recyclable or useful items kids would enjoy.
5. Check Costume Materials
Costumes can be creative, fun, or scary. But nothing’s scarier than a costume made with carcinogenic materials. PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is a plastic material often used to make Halloween costumes. PVC is made from petrochemicals, and there’s no way to recycle its plastic and synthetic fibers. Instead of purchasing these costumes, look for costumes that are made of natural materials and fabrics so you can have an eco-friendly Halloween.
6. DIY Halloween Costume
If you can’t find it, make it. It’s not nearly as hard to make a Halloween costume as you might think and parents and kids alike love getting together to make some eco-friendly Halloween crafts. You can even combine your penchant for thrift shopping with some crafting and come out with a really cool costume that will impress all your friends.
7. Decorate with What You Have
It’s tempting to get new Halloween decorations, especially if yours are looking a little worn out. Before you head out to refresh your decorations, think about what you have around your house. What can you turn into a decoration or repurpose? Plus, worn-out decorations might just add a spooky feel to your eco-friendly Halloween decorations.
8. Swap Out Old Costumes
You’ve been wearing the same costume for years and all your friends know it. If you have kids they likely won’t want to be Captain America every year and would like a change. One of the best ways to keep your eco-friendly Halloween theme going is to host a costume exchange. Form a group where everyone can swap out old costumes for new ones and have fun with a different look this Halloween, all while saving money.
9. Rent Your Costume
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you just can’t find exactly what you’re looking for and unless you’re a master seamstress some costume designs are out of the question. In these cases, renting a costume allows you the opportunity to get an amazing costume, while knowing it will still serve a purpose in the future and won’t just end up in your back closet, or the garbage. Plus it saves you the time you would spend making your own costume, which you can spend on an eco-friendly Halloween craft.
10. Roast Pumpkin Seeds
Although they’re not candy, you can certainly munch on these while you pass out treats to the neighborhood kids. Save the seeds from your jack-o-lantern, rinse them, toss them in a little oil, sprinkle on some salt and roast them in the oven and you’ve got a great eco-friendly Halloween treat the whole family can enjoy.
If you don’t like pumpkin seeds, skip roasting them and add them straight to your compost pile. When your pumpkin is also done for the season, don’t just toss it in the garbage. Rotting plant material in landfills creates methane gas that’s not very eco-friendly. Instead, toss your old pumpkins into your compost heap where they can be reused to grow other plants and veggies.
11. Make Your Own Face Paint
This eco-friendly Halloween craft is also a way to avoid potentially dangerous store-bought face paint. Store bought face paint has been known to contain chromium, nickel, cobalt, and even lead, which are terribly dangerous for children and can cause neurological damage. Now that’s scary. Unfortunately, you can’t simply look over ingredient lists on Halloween face paint and see these metals listed there, which is why it’s best to avoid the risk entirely by choosing organic or non-toxic face paints, or just make your own face paint with natural ingredients.
12. Make it Yourself
If you’re crafty, you might consider making your own eco-friendly Halloween decorations. You can use black trash bags stuffed with leaves as giant spiders, spider webs made from cotton balls or old, shredded tights, spiderwebs made from organic yarn, or repurpose your old plastic pumpkins from previous years. The options are endless.
13. Create Your Own Fake Blood
Like Halloween face paint, fake blood for Halloween often contains chemicals that are less than safe to smear on your (or your child’s) face. Turn it into an eco-friendly Halloween craft by making your own fake blood.
14. Find Eco-Friendly Halloween Bags
You don’t need a plastic pumpkin to collect all your treats and goodies for one night a year. Instead, repurpose an old plastic bag, or send your kids off with the traditional pillowcase. You can even repurpose old canvas totes from thrift stores as trick-or-treat bags if you like.
Enjoy Your Eco-Friendly Halloween
An eco-friendly Halloween with eco-friendly candy, crafts, and decorations is a great way to celebrate the holiday, but it’s not the only time of the year we should be eco-friendly and reduce waste. Protecting the environment year-round starts with the energy we use in our homes. Spring Power & Gas has made it our mission to help create a sustainable future by reducing waste and saving energy. Sign up for Spring Power & Gas today.