How to Celebrate Halloween the Eco-Friendly Way, from Spooky Decor to Costumes

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"Low-waste decorations, eco-friendly Halloween candy, sustainable costume options, and more ensure a fun and eco-friendly holiday for all."

Time to bring out the pumpkins, cobwebs, and creativity, because spooky season is finally here!

With Halloween right around the corner, people are displaying festive decorations, finding fun ways to make seasonal treats, and figuring out which costume to wear. While the holiday brings so much joy and laughter, it’s also important to take note of the large amount of waste that’s being produced from candy wrappers, plastic decor, single-use costumes, and beyond.

With that being said, there are numerous ways you can make Halloween more eco-friendly. Here’s everything you need to know in order to have a more sustainable Halloween.

Eco-Friendly Halloween Decor

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.

We have an entire list of DIY Halloween decorations (check it out here!), but here are a few to get you started.

1. Pick Pumpkins

A trip to the pumpkin patch is usually on everyone’s to-do list once October hits. Taking a trip to your local pumpkin patch is a great way to minimize emissions while finding the perfect gourd.

Whether you decide to carve or paint your pumpkin, there 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’re using a non-toxic option.

2. 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—things you probably already have at home. Check out this DIY spider web tutorial, which was created by one of Brightly’s Scouts, Kyrah.

3. Craft a Mason Jar Lid Pumpkin

Photo: The Country Cook

If you’re someone who has tons of Mason jar lids lying around, be prepared to get crafty because you can assemble them to look like a pumpkin.

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 for both Halloween and Thanksgiving

4. Transform Milk Jugs into Ghost Lanterns

eco-friendly halloween

Instead of purchasing 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 instructions on how to make these glowing spirits. If you want, you can also go the other route and use tin cans.

Low-Waste Halloween Costumes

diy halloween costume
Photo: A Beautiful Mess

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, it can be wasteful to buy a new costume every year that you only sport for a few hours.

DIY Instead of Buying

Instead of buying a costume, make your own. There’s nothing better than bringing out your creative side and putting something together with things you already have, and we have 12 DIY Halloween costumes you can make with things you already have at home. (Click here to see them!)

Costume Swap

Host a Halloween costume swap with a group of friends to put your previously-worn costumes to use. We have all the instructions you need right here, from how to set a date and secure a location to swapping rules and how to organizethe racks. It’s fun, easy, and keeps old costumes out of landfills. 

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, if you’re trying to stray away from plastic wrappings, there are still plenty of ways to be less wasteful on Halloween night.

Halloween Candy Alternatives

Fruit

Some fruit comes with its own natural wrapper—no plastic packaging needed. Look for mini oranges, apples, bananas, or other options.

Other Treats

You can also opt for other eco-friendly treats, like natural fruit leather, popcorn, granola bars, trail mix, and more. One thing to note: If you happen to go the DIY route, please label everything so parents can ensure items are safe for their kids to eat (free from allergens, etc.).

Eco-Friendly Halloween Candy

If you’re looking for something that doesn’t contain any animal-derived ingredients—which tend to be more unsustainable than plant-based ingredients—vegan candy is the way to go. Better yet, there are accidentally vegan options available at every grocery store.

You can also keep an eye out for organic lollipops and Fair Trade chocolates. You can also find a wide range of eco-friendly Halloween treats at health food stores. Just keep in mind that while the ingredients are more sustainable, they may still come in plastic wrapping. Opt for boxed versions whenever possible.

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, tote, drawstring bag, or even a backpack. You can even get crafty by buying plain canvas totes that can be decorated for Halloween night and reused year after year.

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 without excess plastic and waste.


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Low-waste decorations, eco-friendly Halloween candy, sustainable costume options, and more ensure a fun and eco-friendly holiday for all.

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