The volume of resources used and waste created at Halloween can be scary! But it doesn’t have to be. Make your spooky season eco-friendly.
Get your costumes ready
People dress up for many events, festivals and occasions, not just Halloween: Burning Man, Pride, Purim, Navratri, Mardi Gras and Mummers (to name a just few!) Check out these easy, inexpensive and — you guessed it! — eco-friendly options for costumes.
Borrow or swap with friends and family or through a buy nothing group. Mine thrift stores. Hone your sewing skills. Reuse things you already have at home. Search online for DIY ideas. See if there’s a costume rental company where you live.
Use non-toxic cosmetics and eco-friendly hair dye or make your own! Many online DIY recipes use simple ingredients such as vegetable glycerin (found in health food stores), cornstarch and food colouring.
DIY with what you already have at home (e.g., boxes, bed sheets, etc.) or can find outside (e.g., fallen leaves, twigs and branches). Store these to reuse year after year!
Use locally made beeswax or soy candles to light carved pumpkins. Conventional candles are made from paraffin wax, which comes from petroleum, coal or oil shale and can be toxic.
Pumpkins are edible! Choose an organic and/or local pumpkin if possible (U-pick can be a good idea). Scoop out the seeds and roast them in the oven. Pumpkin flesh can also be eaten, but only eat the parts recovered from carving while the pumpkin is still fresh. Make cakes, pies, muffins, soups — even a pumpkin-spiced latte! Get more scrappy cooking tips!
After Halloween, compost your vegetable art.
To reduce packaging, buy treats in bulk. Opt for fair-trade, organic or vegan chocolate and candy. A less expensive option is to buy from a large wholesale or bulk food retailer.
Consider giving out non-candy alternatives, like pencils or erasers.
If possible, leave the car at home and walk door-to-door. Or carpool with your children’s friends or your neighbours.
Collect treats with a reusable bag or container. (A pillow case is great!)
After Halloween, re-use wrappers and packaging in creative kid activities. Search online for ideas!
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