Although Halloween is pretty known for tons of waste it doesn’t have to be! Follow these 3 tips to keep your Halloween green this year.
Besides Christmas, I’d say Halloween is a close second on my son’s favorite holiday. He decides on a costume months before Halloween and unlike most kids his age, he sticks with it. I’m sure candy plays a huge role in his excitement for Halloween but dressing up is most definitely the highlight.
This year he has decided to be a Ninja. I’m almost certain that the idea sparked within his little head after reading, “Jack B. Ninja” from the library. Since blue is his favorite color, naturally he wants to be a blue ninja.
As for my daughter she just turned 2 and does not care what she dresses up as. I figure this is the last year I’ll get to pick her costume but part of me hopes she will match her brother for at least a few more years because I can’t resist. I’m sure she will be just ecstatic dressing up as a ninja with big brother Wyatt.
Although Halloween can be a lot of fun, part of me is almost disgusted at the amount of waste it produces. Between plastic candy wrappers, costumes, and cheaply made decor it can be a natural disaster for the environmentalist. Thankfully though, it doesn’t have to be!
My goal in writing this post is to encourage you to choose more “green” options this year for Halloween. We can’t be perfect but if everyone would do just a little to help it would make a huge difference.
Go Green For Halloween Video
Tip #1: Avoid Plastic Candy Wrappers
Choose Candy In Recyclable Packaging
I’d say the most cringe worthy part of Halloween is all of those tiny plastic wrappers. After the fun of going trick or treating you are left with gobs of candy wrappers. Most of these cannot be recycled so just about all you can do is toss them.
These are not your only options!
After browsing at my local Kroger I came across an assortment of candy in recyclable boxes. Aside from the Skittles I purchased everything else had zero plastic! I’m currently munching on Gobstoppers as I write this post guilt free. They are 10 for $10 at Kroger currently!
Non Traditional Food/ Baked Goods
I would only encourage this if you personally know your trick or treaters well. Otherwise they will likely end up in the trash. It is a scary world we live in now and as a mom, I wouldn’t feel comfortable giving my children cookies from people I didn’t know.
When I was a kid I had a couple of houses that were my favorites because I knew that my brother and I would be getting something different other than the typical snickers and kit kats. The first gave out Pepsi and a bag of popcorn and the second made the BEST fudge I’ve ever had. 10/10 would rather have both of those then all the candy in the world.
You can’t go wrong with fruit either! Depending on the child you will probably get mixed reviews on this one but I know my kids would love to receive apples, bananas and oranges.
Non Food Items
When I think of non food items the first thing to cross my mind is the teal pumpkin project. This is a great idea to do for children with allergies! Crayons, colored pencils, chalk and play dough are all great eco-friendly ideas. You could also hand out painted rocks to look like pumpkins or ghosts!
Tip #2: Don’t Purchase New Costumes
Shop Consignment Stores
With all the consignment stores out there I personally see no need in purchasing brand new costumes. Most of these are used 1-2 times and then tossed to the side. For the easy going child who will go with just about anything, this is the perfect way to go about choosing an outfit. Bring them along with you to a second hand shop and let them decide what they want!
Now if you have a very particular child like mine this probably won’t go over well. This brings me to my next idea…
Make your own! I’ve done this just about every year since I was in middle school. Part of the fun of Halloween for me was getting creative and coming up with costume ideas that aren’t exactly the typical. Goodwill is full of clothing that can be easily made into costumes or you could always come up with something from things you already have around the house! One of my favorite costumes was when I was a freshman in highschool. I was gum under the table and all I bought was a pink jumpsuit which I was able to re wear for years after!
Of course since having my own kids I continued the tradition of homemade costumes. When Wyatt was 2 and Wren was a baby they were a mouse and a cookie from the children’s book, “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.” Everything was thrifted or homemade except the mouse ears which I made for about $4.
Last year Wyatt wanted him and Wren to be part of the Paw Patrol. He was Rubble and Wren was Sky. Nearly everything was made from cardboard or clothes we already had. I did buy the construction hat new as well as felt and a t-shirt for the vest but we have got multiple uses out of everything for dress up play!
Tip #3: Be Mindful With Decor
Use Compostable Decor
Fall and Halloween Decorations is something else that can potentially be a huge waste. One of my biggest temptations is going to Hobby Lobby. As always they go overboard on holiday decorations months ahead of time. Between Hobby Lobby and watching home decor videos on YouTube I could have easily impulse bought several items I didn’t actually need. I see a few problems here.
1.) It creates clutter.
2.) Many items are made from plastic
3.) Must find room for storage.
Instead of going all out on decorations, sometimes simple is key. Real pumpkins and gourds are cheap, compostable and adorable.
Make Your Own
Making your own decorations is satisfying, fun and also cheap! I’ve seen really cute signs made from painted pallets and leftover wood. Wreaths can be made from grape vines, and you wouldn’t believe what all can be made from simply cardboard.
Of course, I know that everyone doesn’t have the time to make their own decor or maybe you prefer something that can be reused year after year. In that case, buy from secondhand stores or try Facebook Marketplace. People are always getting rid of stuff.
Have A Wonderful Halloween!
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