With the oppressive summer heat finally waning, autumn is upon us, which means that Halloween is rapidly approaching! Whether you take your Halloween festivities casually or seriously, we have some tips for making your celebration more eco friendly and sustainable.
Make your costume with clothes & makeup that you already own
Don’t buy expensive, poor-quality costumes from big box party or Halloween retailers. Not only is it the easy way out, it’s also environmentally-unfriendly. Instead, use materials you already own to make a fun and original costume. Test your imagination and see what you can create. Secondhand stores are also a great place to look for potential costume ideas.
Bonus tip: Host a costume swap with friends. Last year’s costume, doomed to the trash or the basement and never to be worn again, can be someone else’s brand-new outfit.
Buy your Halloween pumpkins locally, from a family farm or farmer’s market. By purchasing from a nearby producer you are reducing farm-to-home travel time, which means less shipping and less environmental impact. After you’ve carved your pumpkins consider repurposing the seeds, perhaps using them for cooking. Finally, once the holiday is over, be sure to compost them.
Consider eco-friendly packaging & buy organic and fair trade
Consider packaging when purchasing your treats. “Fun size” packages of candy, consequentially, are often not fun for the earth. Reduce waste by giving out homemade treats (like caramel apples) or non-edible goodies (like pencils) instead. If you can’t shake your sweet tooth, fair trade and organic candy is a great idea, though it is a bit more expensive.
Bonus tip: Consider trick-or-treating for a cause. UNICEF, for example, encourages revelers to skip the candy in favor of small donations, which provide basic resources to children living in areas stricken by war, poverty, and natural disaster. Alternatively, collect candy and send it to troops overseas through Operation Gratitude.
Minimize your footprint if you’re having a party
Skip paper invitations by harnessing the power of social media and e-vites to gather and update your guests. To decorate, use energy-saving LED lights and candles for your home to create a spooky mood. Finally, avoid plastic or styrofoam dishes and paper towels, and use re-usable dishes or biodegradable paper ones instead.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be sure to have a safe, fun, and eco-friendly Halloween!