Halloween is a fun holiday and one that has picked up quite a bit on the consumerism side. It can generate scary amounts of waste. And while it’s really fun seeing all the houses decorated and the kids dressed up in costumes, avoiding waste is still a worthwhile goal. You can green your Halloween if you remember to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Just don’t buy so much stuff.
If you have Halloween decorations, use them of course! If you’re bored with yours, see about trading around with other family members or friends. You can make things look different without buying a lot of new things.
When you do buy new decorations, make sure they’re things that should last for years. Quality matters. If something is going to wear out after just one use, what’s the point?
Consider natural decorations. It’s also an excuse to not rake the lawn for a little, if you like. Hay bales, gourds, and pumpkins can be used as decorations beyond just a jack o lantern.
A dried gourd can be reused from year to year. My husband has some he carved up like you would a jack o lantern, and they look amazing. They will last for many years to come.
Think more carefully about how many treats you need for trick or treaters. How much overage do you really need anyhow? If you’re really into it, look into fair trade or organic candy.
You also don’t need to buy special buckets for trick or treating. Pillowcases have worked well in that area for many years. Any reusable shopping bags you have may also work well. They hold more candy too, which the kids will love.
If you’re having a Halloween party, send invitations by Evite, email or text message. Do your best to keep the waste of the party down to by using regular dishes where possible. Markers to label disposable cups will help people keep track of those if they’re necessary.
I said it before: reuse the decorations you already have. But if you really need new ones, think about making them. Some construction paper, glue, markers, paint, or other art supplies you may have around the house can combine well to make creative Halloween crafts to decorate your home inside and out.
You can also find Halloween costumes or parts to create your own at thrift stores or your own closets. A homemade costume will stand out far more than one of the many store bought ones. It’s a lot of fun planning costumes. My son has a steampunk costume he improves a little bit each year, for example. By keeping it to accessories he can attach to his clothes, he can use the dress shirt and pants for holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas as well.
Another option for costumes is to do a costume swap with friends. Arrange costumes by size and see who can get a new to them costume out of the deal. This can also work for kids’ dress up clothes throughout the year.
If you do buy one from the store, try to be sure that you either send it to the thrift store after or get one good enough that the kids can play dress up in it after Halloween. Why buy a costume to be worn only once?
Start with your pumpkin. Roast the seeds and consider saving some if you want to grow your own pumpkin next year. Make sure its remains make it into the compost bin rather than the trash.
Halloween only creates so much recyclable trash, but keep your eyes open for possibilities. If you aren’t going to reuse those costumes, send them off to the thrift store and maybe someone else will.
If you made your own decorations with paper, make sure that any that aren’t in good enough condition to be reused next year hit the recycle bin.
Dead leaves can make for great Halloween decorations, then be composted as well.
What other ideas do you have for a green Halloween?