From Halloween to Hallow-green eco-friendly ideas for celebrating the spooky season

Getting ready for Halloween? Celebrating with an environmentally friendly mindset is not always easy, as any festivities can come with high consumerism and can produce a lot of waste. The good news is you can still celebrate Halloween with minimum environmental impact. From costumes and decorations, to trick-or-treats and the party, here are tips on how to celebrate in a fun and sustainable way! 

For Decorations:

1. Upcycle DIY Decorations from old clothes. Decorations made of textiles can be stored and used again in the coming years. Use old black socks to create spiders or bats, torn stockings to hang as cobwebs, or old white bedsheets as ghosts.

2. Create DIY decorations from biodegradable materials. You can draw on eggshells to turn them into mini skulls or create a jack-o-lantern by carving a real pumpkin instead of buying a plastic one. After the party, these decorations can be used as compost.

For Costumes

3. Check what you already have in your closet. Before buying new costumes, check your existing wardrobe for options. Upcycle old clothes with your sewing skills and play around with fake blood and makeup, let your creativity flow through!

4. Donate your old costumes or host a costume swap with family or friends. This way, the costume pieces are not just wasted in landfills because textiles can take up to 200 years to decompose. Another option is that you can exchange last year's costumes for a "new" outfit with family or friends. Aside from reducing waste, it’s free! A win-win for everyone.

5 If you're buying a new costume, consider pieces that would fit more than one character. For example, a long black dress can be used to portray a witch, a vampire, Morticia Addams, or an evil fairytale villain. Just style it differently every year!

portrait of a lady holding a jack-o-lantern

For trick-or-treating

6. Make your own trick-or-treat bag. You can upcycle an old pillowcase by redecorating or painting it to suit the Halloween mood! The treats bag can be stored away after the occasion and can be used again next year!

7. Consider the packaging for your candy. Candy wrappers are usually made of non-biodegradable materials, and since they are generally small, it can be easy to lose them, so they end up as litter. Check your local guides for how to sort candy wrappers in your region to make sure to collect and dispose of them properly.

8. Make your own treats and wrap them in sustainable packaging. This way, you are helping cut down the trick-or-treat waste. For example, you can bake your own Halloween cookies and place them in little paper boxes.

For the party:

9. Serve food and drinks in non-plastic wares. It is always best to use actual crockery, silverware, and glasses. But if you really must use disposable wares, consider biodegradable options made of wood and paper. You can also serve food that can be consumed using only wooden sporks, skewers, or chopsticks. Make sure that these materials are properly disposed of after use.

image of Halloween marshmallows

10. And last but not the least, recycle empty drink containers from your Halloween party. Allocate one bin or garbage bag where your guests can collect all the used drink containers, so they can be returned for recycling after the party. Doing this enables your guests to share the responsibility of making the cleanup easier for you.

To simplify everything, just remember to keep waste organized for collection and disposal, minimize single-use materials as much as possible, and reuse or donate. Celebrating Halloween is possible while being mindful of the environmental impacts – and taking measures to reduce waste is the key to enjoying the occasion without the ghosts of litter and waste haunting you for the coming days. Have a Happy Hallow-green!

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