6 Tips for a Green Halloween

Everyone’s Halloween celebration is going to look different this year. There won’t be the usual Halloween costume parties or scary movie marathons at your local movie theater. Luckily, by switching around our habits and focusing on small and intimate get-togethers, we have the chance to have ourselves the best Green Halloween ever! Here are six tips to make your Halloween celebration as eco-friendly as possible:

 

1. Thrift Your Costume

I know this year isn’t exactly calling for big Halloween costume contests or parties, but thrifting and playing dress-up with your close friends or family can be really fun! Look at your local Goodwill or thrift store for pre-loved costumes or for items to make your own. You don’t want to buy anything new, especially if you’re only going to use the costume once. sustainable clothing rack Photo by Charles Etoroma from Unsplash

2. Scare Up Some Healthy Treats 

Halloween is practically built around having all kinds of deliciously unhealthy treats, but who said healthy treats are meant to be bad? Try your best to limit or eliminate processed foods and refined sugars, as these are often made at large plants that damage the environment. Instead, go for some dark chocolate covered fruit, homemade pumpkin muffins, green smoothies, energy bites, or fruit parfaits (just to name a few). 

 

3. Burn Soy Candles

When burned, wax candles can unleash a mix of chemicals that is equivalent to diesel exhaust. Try filling your Jack O'Lanterns and home with soy or beeswax candles. These natural candles will still give you the ~spooky vibes~ you want without polluting the air.

jack-o-lantern pumpkins Photo by David Menidrey from Unsplash

4. Buy Local

Do your best to not buy pumpkins and gourds at supermarkets, shop for them at your local pumpkin patch, Farmer’s Market, or Fall Fair. You should also consider getting natural decorations from these places such as leaves, corn stalks, and hay to make your Halloween celebration even more special and festive!

 

5. Focus On Eco-friendly Trimmings 

Forget about plastic plates, party bags, straws, and cutlery. Instead, use biodegradable plates and other items that are ethically sourced and can be composted after use. You can also invest in glass or ceramic dishware to avoid waste altogether. 

slice of pie with whipped cream on ceramic plate near coffee Unsplash / Element 5

6. Donate Come November 1st 

If you don’t plan to reuse your costume next year, then please donate it! You can drop it off at any of your local donation bins or donation centers. Alternatively, you can organize a costume swap with a group of friends or family members. This is a great way to avoid throwing away clothing, which can take between 20 and 200 years to decompose.

 

These tips for a green Halloween will significantly reduce all the waste and unhealthy habits that always resurface every October. Opting for eco-friendly alternatives will even help you save money, which as college students, I think we can all really use. No matter what your celebration looks like this year, have fun, be safe, and try to minimize your environmental foot-print this Halloween!

a girl in a chair saying halloween is cool The Walt Disney Company / Giphy