As an eco-conscientious mother, Halloween haunts me long before it arrives! Halloween is a disposable holiday filled with single-use costumes, plastic accessories, and loads of waste from candy packaging to the pumpkins! Eek! All these one-use items are hard on the wallet and the planet which is why I make every effort to shop locally and source items that can be reused over and over. I'm sharing my top tips for adding some green to your Halloween:
Choose New-To-You Costumes:
Since the summer, my kids have been talking about what they'd like to be for Halloween. Their ideas change on the regular, which is why I wait to shop for Halloween costumes until around mid-October. Costume shopping is an easy way to save money by being less wasteful. First, I look in my children's dress-up bins to see what we already have that can be used for the costume and then I search for used Halloween costumes and accessories to complete the look via my local UsedEverywhere site. You can search here to find your own UsedEverywhere.com site. If my children need a touch of make-up, I avoid the Toxic Ten ingredients found in cosmetics and head to my pantry to make my own using these simple makeup recipes for fake blood, wounds, and glitter.
Pumpkins and Jack-o-Lanterns:
Pumpkins are more than the blank canvas upon which to create scary Halloween decorations. I like to head to a pick-your-own farm or stop at a roadside stand to support my local farmers and help grow my children's food literacy by seeing where their food comes from. We usually choose the smaller pie pumpkins to harvest the flesh before we carve them into jack-o-lanterns; it's an economical and eco-friendly way to make the most out of a Halloween tradition! Pie pumpkins are sweeter that the larger pumpkins making them great for pumpkin pies or pumpkin smoothies and roasting the seeds to toss on salads. Once Halloween is over, place your pumpkin in your city's organic waste bin or in your backyard compost.
Depending on what's available, I look for organic or fair-trade candy in bulk to reduce packaging or support local businesses by buying their Halloween treats. Instead of plastic pumpkin shaped buckets, When it's time to head out the door trick-or-treating, we grab one of our reusable bags, turning it inside out so that it's plain and an LED-powered flashlight!
By following these above tips you can go along way to having an eco-friendly and fun Halloween!