Halloween is fast approaching and if you have young ones, trick or treating is a highlight for them! Getting out, dressing up, meeting neighbors, and piling up stacks of candy is so much fun!
With all the fun that comes with Halloween, there is also an environmental impact. According to Statista.com, "In 2021, consumers in the United States are expected to spend a combined total of roughly three billion U.S. dollars on trick-or-treat candy for the Halloween season." Even further, US Today shared, "consumers are expected to spend a record $10.14 billion on Halloween this year...The average consumer is expected to spend $102.74 on costumes, candy, decorations and greeting cards…”
You might be wondering, with so much spending happening on things that are used for merely a few days, or involve single wrapped candies, how can we have a more Earth-friendly Halloween? How can I do this responsibly?
Here are 7 tips on how to Eco-Friendly your Halloween:
1. DIY your costumes, swap them or get them from a thrift shop!
Crafting up your own costumes is a fun way to tap into creativity, save money and make less impact from not purchasing disposable costumes. You can also look into swapping costumes with family members, neighbors, or start a swap in a Facebook group! Another way to be more eco-friendly is to upcycle and get your Halloween costumes from a thrift or second hand store.
2. Skip the plastic for Halloween decor, costumes and accessories!
The planet will thank you if you skip the fast plastic decor and opt for more natural decorations like pumpkins, leaves, corn stalks, and gourds. Greenerideal.com shares, "create reusable garlands and bunting, ‘spookify’ mason jars, reuse chicken wire and start painting some Halloween posters – there are plenty of fantastic Halloween decorations out there."
3. The Single Wrapped Candy Dilemma
Single use plastics and wrappings are one of the most common, and hardest to avoid, ways of making excess waste during Halloween. Here are a few ideas of how to hand out candy in a more sustainable way: choose candies with less plastic packaging (and even better if they are fair trade and organic brands,) make homemade treats to hand out that skip the plastic wrapping all together, opt out of candy and have a craft available to trick-or-treaters, or give them a small homemade gift instead!
4. Pass on the plastic buckets or bags for trick-or-treating
We have the perfect idea for a trick-or-treating bag: our biodegradable trash bags! Once you're done going door to door, you can use our bag to go out and do good for the neighborhood by cleaning up left over wrappers, pieces of costumes, yard decor and more! Some other environmentally friendly ideas are: canvas bags, reusable shopping bags or pillow cases.
If you're going to purchase pumpkins, try to get your pumpkin from a local farm and compost it once it is past its prime. You could also grow your own if you're feeling confident! Another step to take: use the entire pumpkin by roasting its seeds and making a pie from its insides once you're done using it as a decoration!
6. Halloween Parties and Gatherings
Having a mindful Halloween get together will make a positive impact! Here’s how you can do that: encourage any guests to go eco-friendly with their costumes (even theme it out!) Use dishes and cutlery instead of disposable options; try and serve seasonally relevant, local foods; encourage carpooling and taking ubers/lifts together, and try to minimize traveling!