How to Have a Green HalloweenOctober 12 2021
Halloween is a holiday full of fun costumes, decorations, and, (of course) sweets! The down side? One-off costumes, individual candy wrappers, and short-lived decorations can all create significantly larger volumes of landfill waste. In fact, 25 million tons of waste is produced in the U.S. just between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Halloween can still be fun, chocolate-filled, and “green” Halloween while reducing waste and benefitting the planet. And it can be done without a lot of extra work. Check out these tips to easily green your Halloween.
The Halloween party is this evening and you’re already running behind schedule. It can be so tempting to head to the nearest store and grab a pre-made, plastic-filled costume that you know you probably won’t wear next year and will sit in the back of your closet until it finally ends up in the trash.
Instead, try hitting your local thrift or second-hand store. Inspiration will no doubt strike as you’re browsing the aisles and you’ll be giving new life to clothing. If you know you won’t wear the item after Halloween, pay it forward by donating the item again!
If you have a specific costume idea in mind, do your best to use items you already have. These items could be in your closet, but you can also get creative by using old CDs, cardboard boxes, plastic bottles, etc.
If you do have costumes you no longer want, consider donating them instead of throwing them away. You’ll be keeping the costume out of the landfill and making someone very happy next Halloween!
It seems everywhere you go around Halloween there are cute pumpkins, witches, and skeletons that make you want to cover your house in spooky horrors. Unfortunately, so many of these decorations are made out of plastic or foam that won’t last long and will eventually end up in a landfill.
Instead of plastic decorations, consider making your own out of natural materials like cotton, wool, or burlap. Restricting yourself to natural materials also opens up a world of possibilities with real pumpkins, gourds, sticks, leaves, pine cones, etc. You can make plenty of spooky decorations with items right out of your own backyard. Not to mention that carving real pumpkins is so much more fun than carving foam ones!
When the holiday is over and your pumpkins are looking worse for wear, be sure to dispose of them properly. Your pumpkins are natural items that should be given the chance to return their nutrients to the earth. If you can, compost your pumpkins and other natural decorations in your own compost pile. If that isn’t possible, contact your local farmers. Many of them will accept compost material donations or may even have animals that would enjoy them. Make sure to remove any candles or other inorganic materials first.
Much of Halloween candy comes individually wrapped in plastic, creating a ton of waste each and every year. There are ways to prevent this, though.
If you’re having a party at home, consider making your own treats instead of buying them. If you need to have some individually wrapped candy items by the door for trick-or-treaters, only buy candy that comes wrapped in compostable or recyclable packaging. AlterEco’s truffles are always a hit, and they come in backyard compostable wrappers and in 60-count boxes, making them the perfect “Green Halloween” addition.
If you do end up with a lot of non-compostable candy wrappers at the end of the night, there are ways to recycle them. TerraCycle has a box you can purchase specifically to recycle candy wrappers. Spread the word to your neighbors and you can all go in on a box to recycle the entire neighborhood’s candy wrappers.
When it comes to Halloween, a little bit of creativity goes a long way. Flex those creativity muscles and keep your eye on compostable, natural materials and make use of upcycling to have an incredibly fun, incredibly green Halloween this year.