Time to bring out the pumpkins, cobwebs and creativity because spooky season is finally here! With Halloween right around the corner, people are bringing out decorations, finding fun ways to make snacks/food and figuring out what costume to wear. While everything brings so much joy and laughter, there is a large amount of waste being produced as far as candy wrappers, plastic decor and buying costumes every year. Let’s talk about some ways you can have an eco friendly Halloween.
Eco-Friendly Halloween Decor
To start the Halloween fun, it’s time to bring the decorations out! However, just like costumes, decorations are typically made of cheap, non-recyclable plastics that end up in your trash by November 1st or in a box that you’ll never see again. Here are a few ways you can give the place a fall and spooky vibe without giving in to the plastic decorations.
A trip to the pumpkin patch is usually on everyones to-do list once October hits. Although social distancing is required, take a trip to your local pumpkin patch to minimize emissions and find the perfect gourd. Whether you decide to carve or paint your pumpkin, here are a few things to keep in mind. If carving, don’t forget to save those pumpkin seeds to roast later on, use the flesh for recipes or compost them all together. If you decide to paint them, make sure you are using non-toxic paint. However, a simple gourd will still give you the fall look and you can use it in November!
Make a Zero Waste Spider Web
Ditch the fake spiderwebs and create your own using nothing but black yarn, pipe cleaners and a pair of scissors! Check out this DIY spider web tutorial which was done by none other than our fellow Brightly Scout, Kyrah! She even shows us how to make spiders out of materials she already had.
Photo by @kc.eco
Craft a Mason Jar Lid Pumpkin
If you’re one that has tons of mason jar lids laying around, be prepared to get crafty to give them a new pumpkin look. To complete this project, you’ll need about 20 lids, orange spray paint, some cinnamon sticks for the stem and orange yarn. Once completed, you can use it as a cute centerpiece for your dining room table or even at the office.
Photo by The Country Cook
Transform Milk Jugs into Ghost Lanterns
Instead of purchasing those plastic ghost lanterns to light up your walkway, save those empty jugs and use LED lights to light up the night. Click here to see the step by step on how to make these glowing spirits. If you want, you can also go the other route and use tin cans!
Zero Waste Halloween Costumes
Unless you’ve got your cat ears or a witch hat on repeat, part of the Halloween fun is finding or making the perfect costume. However, whether it be a superhero, favorite movie or tv show character or showing off different ways you can be creative, you are more than likely to spend money on a look you’ll sport for a few hours.
DIY instead of Buying
Instead of spending money every single year, find articles of clothing or materials to make the costume. There’s nothing better than bringing out your creative side and putting something together with things you already have. Yes, you might have to spend a little bit on accessories or fabrics you may need but it won’t be as much as going to Spirit and spending $50+ on costumes that could potentially be hurting the environment.
Attend or host a costume swap with a group of people and put those costumes to use. If you choose to do a costume swap, a few great places to host it are at a school, community center, park, or even at home. While it might be difficult to host a costume swap with the pandemic still around, you can also create a Facebook group, have people post their costumes and potentially meet up for a successful swap.
Eco-Friendly Trick or Treating
For kids, the most exciting part about going trick or treating is seeing who can get the most candy by the end of the night. However, those of us who are trying to stray away from plastic wrappings and unhealthy sweets still might look for other ways to be less wasteful on Halloween night.
Healthy Halloween Candy Alternatives
For kids, the most exciting part about going trick or treating is seeing who can get the most candy by the end of the night. However, those of us who are trying to stray away from plastic wrappings and unhealthy sweets still might look for other ways to be less wasteful on Halloween night. Here’s a few ideas:
- Apples, mini oranges, or other fruit
- Natural fruit leather
- Granola bars
- Trail Mix
If you happen to go the DIY route with any treats, please label everything so parents ensure items are safe to eat for their kids (free from allergens, etc.)
Eco-Friendly Halloween Candy
While some folks may not be completely sold on staying away from candy, there are still a couple alternatives you can implement. If you can, keep an eye out for a selection of organic lollipops, vegan gummies and fair trade chocolates at your local store. There are also some eco-friendly halloween treats and brands you can look up if you’re wanting to explore that route. Please keep in mind while most of these treats are made using Fair Trade practices and organic ingredients, some might come in plastic wrapping.
Choose Reusable Treat Containers
Last but not least, don’t buy plastic trick-or-treat buckets! One easy and simple solution for an eco-friendly Halloween is to use reusable bags and containers to collect candy. Instead of buying those cutely decorated characters to store your child’s Halloween goodies, go for a brown paper bag, pillowcase, a tote, drawstring bag or even a backpack. You can even make it fun and buy plain canvas totes you can decorate for Halloween night.
Have Fun and Celebrate Responsibly!
Whether it be zero waste spider webs, a costume swap or providing kids with useful halloween goodies instead of treats, there are many ways you can have fun on Halloween, plastic and waste free. With the ongoing pandemic, it is important for everyone to take extra precaution and socially distance yourselves while partaking in outdoor activities. Stay safe everyone and have a Happy Halloween!