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Tips for an Eco-friendly Halloween

By Mary Ripley on  October 20, 2017

Holidays are so much fun. And no holiday is more fun than Halloween. We decorate our homes with spooky things and dress up in our most frightening outfits to show the spirit of the season. But when Halloween’s over, the decorations get thrown out just as the costumes that kids outgrow from year to year. In an effort to be just a little bit kinder and gentler to our world, it’s time to start thinking consciously about all of the waste generated by our love of Halloween. Here are some handy tips for having a great Halloween that’s also a better for our environment.

UPCYCLED HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS
Close-up view of pumpkin isolated on white

It’s not necessary to spend a ton of money each year on Halloween decorations, only to throw them out at the end of the season. There are great decorations you can make for little to no money, and the best part is…you can use stuff you already have. There’s always the tried and true pumpkin that is the staple of all things Halloween. But don’t just throw out those pumpkins when you’re done with them! Roast the seeds for a healthy and delicious snack. And don’t forget to save a few seeds to plant next spring, so you can grow your very own Halloween pumpkin!

For some DIY fun, make Rustic Pumpkins using some old pallets. Or take old wine bottles and paint them white with frightening faces for a spooky ghost display. There are tons of ideas for cheap DIY Halloween home decorations that you can upcycle from things you’d probably just throw away. Check out some of these awesome ideas on Pinterest.

DON’T BUY A COSTUME 
Happy children on Halloween party

Halloween is a multi-billion dollar industry and most of that money is generated from costume sales. The majority of Halloween costumes are sold in pop-up Halloween stores that sell cheap costumes that barely qualify as clothing because of the poor quality materials used. On top of that, the average costume runs about $30. And because of the quality and materials used to make these costumes, many of them don’t last more than one Halloween season.

Break the cycle of disposable Halloween costume consumerism. Use what you already have in your closet to play dress-up for Halloween. Be creative. Throw on a black dress and be Holly Go Lightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Take the sheets off the bed and sash it with a rope for an instant toga. Or find a big box, cut out holes for your arms and legs and wrap it to be a present. There are many things you can find lying around your house that can be used for Halloween costumes. The only limit is your imagination!

But say you absolutely do not have anything in your closet or in your home that would work for a Halloween costume. Go thrifting! Before you go, do some research as to what you’d like to dress up as for Halloween. Have at least two ideas, so if you can’t find anything to fit that first choice, you have a fallback idea. At a thrift store, you’ll pay a fraction for a Halloween costume than what you would at a costume store for a less well-made costume that is basically disposable.

Halloween is a fun, spooky time of year that everyone loves to enjoy. If we enjoy it responsibly and cut down on our waste during the holiday, our world will be a much healthier place for it.

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