Halloween is just around the corner, and many families are excited to celebrate the holiday in full force for the first time in two years. Last year we shared how to sustainably dispose of post-holiday waste, and this year, we bring you six more ways to green up the special occasion.
It’s not just plastic wrappings that make Halloween candy unsustainable. Many varieties are also made with palm oil and other unsustainable or unhealthy ingredients. Green up your household treats with candies that are fair trade certified. Commercially wrapped candies are a necessity for trick-or-treating, but candies that come in cardboard containers, like Nerds, Milk Dudes, or Junior Mints, or foil wrappings, like Hershey’s Kisses, are more sustainable than plastic-wrapped varieties.
Opt for other treats
Wrapped candies are great for trick-or-treating, but if you’re hosting a Halloween gathering, you can make your own plastic-free treats to serve to guests. Festive cupcakes, cookies, or even homemade candy are all great choices for a sustainable (and more delicious) dessert.
Pick your own pumpkin一then compost it
Just like other produce, pumpkins which travel long distances to get to your front porch are more environmentally taxing than those grown in your own neighborhood. If you don’t have the space to plant your own pumpkins, opt for a u-cut option or a local farm that grows their pumpkins nearby. When your pumpkin reaches the end of its life, be sure to compost it or place it in the green waste can to prevent it from contributing to food waste in landfills.
Get crafty with your costume
Buying a brand new costume may be the easiest option, but it’s certainly not the most sustainable. Put together a costume with items you already have in your closet, or borrow from friends to complete any outfit. Thrift stores and online marketplaces are also great options to find second-hand costumes, and if you have kids, consider hosting a swap meet with other local families to exchange old costumes your kids have grown out of.
Go waste-free with decorations
Plastic decorations may look spooky, but they’re even spookier when they end up in a landfill for hundreds of years. Use fall leaves to make homemade wreaths or repurpose materials you already have at home. An old cardboard box makes a great fake tombstone while paper bags are effective candle votives. Everyday fall plants like hay, pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks, pinecones, and acorns also make for enchanting and compostable decor.
Plastic cups and plates are easy and disposable, but not great for the earth. If you don’t want guests using your dishes, invest in a set of reusable plastic cups and plates, or head to the local thrift store to buy a cheap set of dishes to use for parties.
We hope these tips and tricks help you enjoy a green Halloween. For more advice, check out our article on how to make your jack-o-lantern last longer.