it’s that time of year where you see the halloween pop-up stores and isles at the grocery stores full of costumes and decorations that are hard to ignore.
while the next movie character costume can be tempting, try heading to the thrift stores and checking out facebook to find gently used costumes from previous years. maybe your friends have costumes that are outgrown or you can do a swap. if you must have the newest and coolest, try searching diy’s online. getting creative is much more fun than using store bought costumes. after halloween is over, you can wash your costumes and donate it to halloween costume charities like ‘Ween Dream who give children in the US, who otherwise can’t afford costumes, the chance to dress up.
don’t forget that makeup, fake blood, and glitter are often quite bad for the environment (and your skin!) too. look for alternatives, like making your own where possible. check out this non-toxic DIY Halloween Makeup for ideas! it may be that a little makeup and some clothes you already own will make the best halloween costume (and fire up your creativity, too).
the bucket or container your kids will carry their candy in can often be a last minute decision because in the grand scheme of things it is pretty small and may slip your mind. but this small detail is usually a haven for cheap, toxic, plastic that can’t and won’t be recycled. instead of going the plastic route you could go the traditional route with a pillowcase. i always thought the pillowcase was what the cool kids did and plus you can carry more candy!
here are some cute reusable felt bags: https://www.ecopartytime.com/halloween-treat-bags/. when halloween is over pack it up with the decorations to be used again next year!
when it comes to eco-friendly halloween decorations there are a number of different routes you can take and they’re more authentic! reusing items you plan on throwing away for diy projects is a fantastic route.
use old clothes to make a scarecrow.
cut up old egg cartons and paint black for bats!
and, if crafts aren’t your thing consider a trip to the thrift store before you go to buy new decorations. you may find something that fits your needs perfectly for a fraction of the price. if you do go to the store to buy decorations make sure they are plastic free.
obviously, the best option is to go with natural decorations. you can never go wrong with pumpkins at halloween. try cornucopias, twigs, and freshly fallen leaves. you can even check your backyard or go on a fall scavenger hunt to find natural items for free! natural decorations bring a festive fall feeling without all the added chemicals, too.
if you and your kids are planning on leaving your neighborhood for trick or treating consider how you plan on getting where you’re going. is it close enough you could walk or maybe ride bikes? if not, can you arrange a carpool with parents of your children’s friends or neighbors? fewer cars on the road also mean it is safer for children to be out.
and if you are going out to party, find a dd or call an uber. don’t be stupid.
you don’t have to be the family handing out boxes of raisins to be eco-friendly at halloween. one alternative is to give out something different like these fun pencils or stickers. however, you may not be the most popular house on the block with these.
so, if you want to give out treats, consider the packaging. treats wrapped in paper or cardboard are the most eco-friendly (or you can grab these organic fruit chews that come in compostable cellophane). you can even take it to the next level with unbleached paper products! besides that, you can also look for non-GMO, organic treats like these YumEarth Organic Pops which are healthier!
there are lots of ways for you to make sure you have an eco-friendly halloween. if your child gets halloween candy that isn’t eco-friendly you can turn it into a teachable moment. you can even encourage them to donate the candy to a number of charities that will give it to troops or sick children at your local children’s hospital. just be sure if you do that you have an extra bag of some eco-friendly candy leftover for them!