In this article, we share our top 8 tips and tricks for a more sustainable and eco-friendly Halloween this year.
As one of the most popular holidays, Halloween is celebrated by nearly all age groups in some form. While this holiday has long been commercialized, it’s time we push for a more eco-friendly Halloween in 2022.
1. Create Your Own Halloween Costume
Halloween costumes are often cheaply made, of poor quality, and have questionable ethical practices underlying their production. Instead of purchasing a Halloween costume from the standard costume retailer, make your own unique Halloween costume.
A combination of planning, thrifting, and crafting can create an eccentric, unique and amazing piece (even if your artistic abilities are sub-par). A homemade Halloween costume requires some time to plan, prepare, and gather supplies for your costume, depending on the complexity of your idea. There is a wide array of costumes you can make that take little to no effort as well as an endless number of intricate options which will blow everyone else’s Halloween costumes out of the water.
In creating your own Halloween costume, you can utilize your own wardrobe, borrow from friends, if possible, check out second-hand stores, and for any other details and missing pieces, supplement with DIY. For the DIY side, you can get inspiration by searching for your costume ideas online. It can be helpful to gain inspiration from photos and other documentation people may have already available.
2. Get Crafty with Your Halloween Decorations
On the same note, you can end up with a great mix of eco-friendly Halloween decorations with a combination of DIY Halloween decorations and finding others through second-hand means. This can be turned into a fun arts-and-crafts project for children and adults.
As the second most decorated holiday of the year, depending on where you live, you will likely be able to find decorations from years past at thrift stores and yard sales. There is no need to buy massive amounts of new non-recyclable plastic decorations every year. If finding second-hand decorations isn’t possible, use other sustainable decorations such as pumpkins and gourds, which are biodegradable.
Here are some sustainable and eco-conscious decoration ideas and tips for your Halloween 2022:
- Collect plastic gallon jugs that can be decorated with paint and turned into ghoulish ghosts or spooky pumpkins.
- Use household items like glass, cloth, etc. Think cloth bats, lanterns with candles in them. Find materials throughout the year to repurpose into other spooky ornaments.
- Old pantyhose and stockings can be made into spiderwebs.
- Homemade candles to add ambiance (for more on this, jump to tip 7).
Here are some more articles to get you inspired:
- 7 Upcycling Ideas for Home Decor
- What is Upcycling? A Guide to Repurposing Used Materials
- Homemade Glue: Non-Toxic Craft Glue for Kids
- What is Glitter Made of and Does It Harm the Environment?
- Potato Printing: How to Make and Use Potato Stamps
3. Throw Your Own Sustainable Halloween Party this Year
The best way to ensure sustainability is by taking the lead. It’s rare and arguably impossible that every social circle is perfect in being eco-friendly when getting together, so it can be reassuring and inspiring when some make the push and set responsible examples when it comes to social gatherings such as Halloween.
Here are some tips for making your Halloween party in 2022 more sustainable:
- Instead of using single-use supplies like plastic, use reusable dishes, glasses, and hand towels. If possible, go to reasonably-priced thrift stores to stock up on some of these supplies. This way you can have all the provisions you need without breaking the bank and you likely won’t be as upset if something breaks. Another good and easy option is to ask your friends if they can lend you some of theirs.
- Set out clear bins for glass, aluminum, plastic recycling, trash, and compost to make it easier for guests to sort bottles, cans, and other waste responsibly. This will also help you have an easier clean-up.
- Utilize those handmade decorations and show off your artsy side!
- Provide some of your amazing homemade dishes made using plant-based, sustainable, in-season, local, or organic ingredients and encourage others to bring some of their own if they wish.
Check out our guides on how to cook these typical autumn dishes:
- How to Make Pumpkin Dip: All Natural Recipe
- Easy & Delicious Vegan Pumpkin Cake With Frosting
- Roasting Pumpkin Seeds In The Oven: Quick & Easy
- Pumpkin Recipes: 3 Easy and Healthy Alternatives to Soup
4. Choose Locally Grown Pumpkins
Pumpkins stay good for weeks if not months into the winter. So, if you choose not to carve your pumpkins, you can still use them for delicious recipes. Use them for your Thanksgiving recipes like pumpkin cheesecake. We also don’t blame you if you prefer to carve a few pumpkins a year, but you can still roast your pumpkin seeds and pumpkin skin for a delicious and healthy snack.
Each fall season, in many regions of the country, you can find festivities like pumpkin patches and corn mazes that farms put up to get in the spirit of Halloween. You can’t get much more eco-friendly for your Halloween than supporting a local organic farmer. In addition to bringing kids or friends here for a day out, you can source your pumpkins from these local pumpkin patches.
If you don’t know how to find local farms, check with your local farmers’ market and keep an eye out for roadside pumpkin stands where you can acquire local pumpkins first-hand and get tips on how to find festive pumpkin patches.
Tip: Pumpkins will always biodegrade within the year in compost. If you have livestock, such as goats, horses, cattle, and sheep, you can even give your leftover pumpkins to them. It’s important to note that setting out pumpkins for wildlife and other creatures isn’t recommended as it can contribute to imbalanced ecosystems that may cause future problems.
5. Use Reusable Buckets or Bags for Trick-or-Treating
Reusable buckets, bags, or sacks are good alternatives to single-use plastic bags. Pillowcases are also quite popular for many children as trick-or-treating bags. Their benefit is they can pack in a lot of candy and most households already have extra pillowcases on hand.
You can also check second-hand stores. Halloween supplies from previous years do not just disappear. They show up in second-hand stores and yard sales. Keep your eye open and your kids can still enjoy the festive plastic cauldrons and pumpkins of years past.
6. Make Your Own Sustainable Halloween Treats
When buying Halloween sweets, go organic if possible. Non-GMO is the second-best option and minimal packaging is always an important variable to consider.
An even better option is to make homemade candies and sweets using quality ingredients and not package them at all. Instead, you can just give these treats out to kids from a tray and it is likely they will be too excited about the homemade sweets to not eat them immediately.
Tip: Halloween 2022 is the best time to finally try our vegan gummy bear recipe.
7. Use Sustainable Candles for Halloween
Need more ideas for Halloween decorations? Candles can add a spooky ambiance and picking the right candle material is important when considering sustainability. If buying candles, source ones that are made of (organic) beeswax or plant-based such as soy. When buying or making candles, choose either unscented options or candles that are scented with essential oils instead of synthetic fragrances.
Find some guides for making your own candles below:
- DIY Candles from Leftover Wax
- DIY Scented Candles
- How to Make Soy Candles at Home: Step by Step Guide
You can even reuse the candle jars for your next festivities’ decorations, or find out what you can do with leftover candle wax so that nothing goes to waste. And in case some of it gets on your clothing while you’re crafting, check out our guide on how to get candle wax out of clothes.
8. Halloween Doesn’t Need to Be a Holiday of Excess
Halloween might not seem like the best time to transition towards a lifestyle that is more minimalist. However, we collectively have little time to waste to push for a healthier climate. No one is exempt from the sacrifices that will be required for the planet’s sake in the future. For this reason, more and more people are seriously considering a lifestyle that limits consumption in general.
This can be applied to Halloween in the case of sweets, the number of decorations and costumes you need each night and each year, how much alcohol you consume, and whatever else might be your vice.
This is the best advice we can apply to our lives regularly, and it is especially applicable to the holidays when consumption levels normally skyrocket.
Cheers to practicing more sustainable and eco-friendly habits regularly and incorporating these into our beloved holidays! What better time to start than on Halloween 2022?
- Food Waste: 10 Pro Tips for Reducing Food Waste
- 5 Creative Egg Carton Crafts for Kids
- How to Plant & Grow Pumpkins: All You Need to Know
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