As you can see from walking into any store in October, Halloween is a bit of a nightmare for the environment. And similar to other holidays such as Christmas and Valentine’s Day Halloween is a fest of consumerism and waste. But I love Halloween and don’t want to be the loser sitting at home with the lights out so here are some tips for a green Halloween.
- Green Halloween costumes: Many store-bought costumes include no recyclable petro-chemical based plastic and synthetic fibers. Those costumes can include one of the scariest plastics- polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a soft plastic that is a known carcinogen. Try to avoid these costumes by making your own from recycled household supplies or buy costumes made of natural fabrics and materials. Or arrange a swap with your friends. Most costumes are only worn for a couple hours so swapping with a friend can save money and lessen the environmental impact.
- Use the whole pumpkin: Start by purchasing a local or organic pumpkin preferably from a farmer’s market if possible. When carving you can roast off the seeds to eat later and save the pulp to use in pies, muffins or soup. Then once you’re finished using the pumpkin compost the remains.
- Make your own green decorations: If you do buy new items, at least choose durable non-petroleum based items that will last for many years. Otherwise, reduce your waste by creating your own homemade decorations with recycled household items. Check out some great ideas here.
- Give candy wrappers a second life: If you just have to eat candy during Halloween try something different with those pesky wrappers. For those crafty people, maybe you can integrate it into cute collages or use them for a cute pouch.