With roughly 41 million kids out trick-or-treating last year, it’s no wonder that Halloween has become nothing less than a nightmare for the environment! How can you join in on the Halloween fun without the guilt? Read on for some tips on how to experience the best of the season’s tasty treats, creative costumes, and spooky decorations while still doing your part to reduce your impact on our planet.
1. CRAFT ON: For many of the holiday’s enthusiasts, decorating is one of the most important parts of Halloween, and your festivities don’t need to suffer just because you’re trying to do right by mother nature. Making your own jack-o-lanterns is a no-brainer – you can even roast the pumpkin seeds afterwards for a tasty snack. Just don’t forget to compost your pumpkins once November rolls around! Assorted gourds aren’t the only way to make your decor environmentally friendly – old stockings can be used to create spooky spider webs, and you can save your old cardboard boxes to make tombstones. When Halloween is over, don’t forget to pack your non-perishable decorations away so that you can use them the following year!
2. THROW A GREEN HALLOWEEN PARTY: Ditch the paper invites, and use an online invitation service instead. Cut down on waste with reusable plates, cups, and utensils, or if you have to go disposable, make it compostable! Consider picking up your food from the local farmers market, and make sure to recycle your bottles and cans when the party’s over.
3. GOODWILL HERE WE COME: Leave the toxic costumes on the rack! Many store-bought costumes are often made up of non-recyclable petrochemical-based plastic and synthetic fibers. Those Halloween costumes can include one of the scariest plastics—polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a soft plastic and known carcinogen that releases harmful toxins in its creation and breakdown. A great way to avoid these chemical-ridden costume options is to look outside the traditional costume shop, and visit your local thrift store! Whether you’re shopping for a full outfit or just some scrap fabric to make your own, your local Goodwill might have just what you need.
4. FLEE FROM FRIGHTENING FACE PAINT: Many face-paints sold to children can contain toxic ingredients like formaldehyde, parabens, and phthalates that can be absorbed into the skin or accidentally ingested. When you’re picking supplies for the perfect mime or Joker costume, make sure to look for products that contain natural pigments and labels that say ‘non-toxic’ or ‘paraben-free.’ Similar to face paint, fake blood can contain ingredients that are a little scary, so if all you need is a little extra gore, consider making your fake blood own from cherry juice, cornstarch, and natural food coloring!
5. GET OUTSIDE: This one is a no-brainer! Trick or treat by walking around your neighborhood instead of driving to another destination. Find out who your neighbors are, and at the same time reduce your carbon emissions!
Most of all… have a safe Halloween!