Halloween is an annual tradition everyone loves. You can't help but cherish the special day that's filled with chocolates and ghouls.
Yet, the scariest day of the year is not without its downsides, and one of them is wastefulness. If you need to buy decorations, food, and other treats on only one occasion, can often end up being a waste if you're not careful.
How will you dispose of everything leftover? Is it better to throw it away or save it for next year?
We can teach you how to have a more environmentally responsible Halloween. Down below, we tell you exactly what you can do this Halloween to make it green.
1. DIY Your Children’s Trick or Treat Candy Bag
First, let's discuss the Halloween plastic buckets that are often used for trick-or-treating and how it's harmful to the environment. In the U.S., people throw away 100 billion plastic bags each year, which is 230 bags for every American. When you buy plastic buckets, you're contributing more waste to the environment.
Truthfully, all plastic is bad for the environment and much of it ends up in our oceans. By buying the buckets for one-time use, you're adding more plastic to the environment.
Consider making your trick-and-treat bags from old t-shirts for a more environmentally responsible Halloween. You can also buy reusable Halloween tote bags, so your children can decorate them to their likening.
2. Use LED or Solar Lights
The science of solar lights allows you to have environmentally kind decorations in your yard. Make use of the power of photovoltaics to help you save money and attract treaters.
If you want to have a more environmentally kind Halloween, invest in LED or solar lights. You can also save money and energy by using candles instead of lights. Just be careful when kids are present.
3. Buy Environmentally Kind Decorations for the Season
Decorating for one day can be wasteful. So instead, start decorating for fall and add a few decorations on Halloween. The bonus of buying fall decor is you can put it up in September and display it until Thanksgiving.
With three months of decorations instead of one day, you'll have fewer chores to do and less trash to dispose of. A win-win situation, right!
4. Use All Parts of the Pumpkin
If you carve a pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern, what do you do with the remains? Do you throw it away?
Most people do this, and the pumpkin looks gross and moldy by the end of the week. Each year the United States produces 1.4 billion pounds of pumpkins, and most end up in the trash. The pumpkin cutting creates food waste, and 40% of the pumpkin is thrown away.
Buying a pumpkin just to cut it up and not eat it is such a waste. Instead, you can make responsible Halloween treats with the remainder of the pumpkin.
Making pumpkin seeds is a healthy snack option instead of discarding the seeds. Also, you can use the jack o'lantern to feed the critters, add it to the compost or make pumpkin stock.
It is possible to make endless recipes if you brought a pumpkin and didn't crave it. Pie, soup, and bread are some of the things you can make with a whole pumpkin.
5. Create Environmentally Responsible Halloween Costumes
Consider making environmentally responsible Halloween costumes you can reuse for more than one year. There are hundreds of ideas online to help you create the perfect costume from old items. But, if you don't have the time or energy to be creative and would instead prefer to buy a costume, find a store that will allow you to rent costumes instead.
Another great idea is to donate your Halloween costumes to Goodwill or daycares. Children love to play dress-up and have fun in scary costumes that someone was nice enough to contribute to them.
6. Try To Stay in Your Area for Halloween
Sometimes it's not possible to stay in your neighborhood for trick-or-treating, and you have to drive elsewhere for your children to have fun. But, if you can stay home and trick-or-treat in your area, then do it.
You don't realize the gas you're wasting every year you go trick-or-treating in different neighborhoods. But, the most environmentally responsible way to celebrate Halloween is to stay in your community and walk around. You also get a great workout if you stay in your area for Halloween rather than driving elsewhere.
7. Throw an Environmentally Responsible Halloween Party
Is throwing a Halloween party at home environmentally responsible? Yes, it is, and the key is to host a party that is as hassle-free as possible.
You can hold a Zoom Halloween party or have a Halloween movie marathon if you want to do this. If you're throwing a regular Halloween party, make sure to avoid any disposable cups, plates, and cutlery. Instead, you can use regular dishes with labels so people can keep track of their items.
8. Bake Environmentally Responsible Halloween Treats
You can bake a few environmentally responsible Halloween treats at home to surprise the kids. Your homemade treats and healthy options decrease plastic waste from single package wrappers, and you can use wrappers that are more environmentally responsible and kind to the environment.
As for the treats, you can make smoothies, cupcakes, cookies, and even pizza. Then, just bring in the fun and excitement of the dishes by adding Halloween into the mix. For example, you can make a silly face smoothie, spider web pizza, or fruit and yogurt candy corn.
But if you prefer not to do all of the extra baking, buy some environmentally responsible treats online on Amazon.
9. Become Creative With Your Halloween Gifts
Give out non-candy Halloween treats this year to change things up a bit. You'll be able to make your Halloween more responsible by reducing trash from non-recyclable packaging.
Instead of sweets, give out spooky tattoos or Halloween crayons. It is best to choose products with fewer packages to help make Halloween more friendly for the environment.
10. Buy All-Natural Face Paint
Halloween face paints are often toxic and if you seek a more environmentally responsible Halloween, skip the paint. In 2009, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found chromium, cobalt, lead, and nickel in face paint products. The products were also labeled as “hypoallergenic” and “FD compliant.”
Five years later, in another test by the FDA, researchers found that children’s face paint was still full of toxins and allergens, with lead being the main product, and in the year 2023, we all know how harmful lead is to our children.
Although the studies are old, it is still disheartening to know companies continue to use harmful products and not produce responsible products. Therefore, to avoid exposing your child to dangerous products, make your own face paint or buy all-natural organic face paint.
Save and Create a Special Environmentally Responsible Halloween This Year
Not only will you be more conscious of your waste this Halloween, but you will also save yourself some money. So stand out and surprise the little goblins by creating an environmentally responsible Halloween this year. It's easier to do than you might think!