20 Spooktacular Tips For a Green Halloween
by Tara Heiser
Back in the day, we celebrated Halloween the eco-friendly way before we knew what eco-friendly meant. Costumes weren’t bought in a bag, they were made. Halloween treats were usually homemade and gobbled up as soon as they were dropped into our Halloween sacks (aka pillowcases). We would bob for apples, snack on popcorn balls, tell scary stories, and play flashlight tag in the dark.
Admittedly, times have changed and there are some safeguards that we must now take to keep our children safe. But we can still make this a green Halloween with a few easy tips.
Candy – Kids expect candy but we can deliver on that in a responsible way.
1. Yummy Earth makes truly yummy lollipops that are certified organic. Pomegranate Pucker is my fave. You can find Yummy Earth Lollipops in nearly every grocery store but if you can’t find them near you, they are currently offering free shipping if you buy on their website.
2. Endangered Species Chocolate sells individual milk and dark chocolates wrapped in festive orange and brown wrappers for Halloween. These chocolates are all-natural and ethically traded. Plus, 10% of their net profits are donated to help support species, habitat, and humanity.
3. Panda Licorice is made in Finland with all natural ingredients. We conducted an entirely non-scientific taste test in our home and the former household champion, Twizzler, was beat hands down by Panda Licorice.
4. Newman’s Own Peanut Butter Cups are simply yummy goodness.
5. Don’t want to dispense candy this Halloween? Why not give unexpected goodies like soy crayons, smencils made from recycled newspaper, stickers, or other spooktacular goodies.
Costumes – Steer clear of the costume-in-a-bag and get your child’s creative juices flowing.
6. Make your own costume from items in your closet or garage. It’s amazing what you can create with a large box and your imagination.
7. If you’re not feeling creative you can buy a used costume at a 2nd hand shop or find one on Craigslist.
8. Organize a costume swap with your friends, family, and neighbors.
9. Keep those batteries out of the landfills and use a crank powered flashlight to light the way during trick-or-treating or for a game of flashlight tag.
10. Bust out an old pillowcase for trick-or-treating instead of buying a plastic candy pail.
Decorations – Please forgo the disposable paper and plastic Halloween decorations and invest in spooky decorations that you can use year after year. Or go all-natural!
11. Decorate your home, inside and out, with locally grown pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn, and brightly colored fall leaves. These natural decorations will provide a splash of season-appropriate color all the way through Thanksgiving.
12. Make homemade luminaries to light your pathway or place along your windowsills. Save a few tin cans, wash well, fill with water, and put in freezer. Once frozen, you will be able to pound a simple pattern into the can using a hammer and a nail. The ice will keep the can from collapsing as you create your masterpiece. Make simple jack-o-lantern faces, a cat, the moon, or the word “BOO”. When finished carving, remove the ice and dry well. Put some sand, dirt, or rocks in the bottom to weigh down. Place a tea light candle or a glow stick inside. Note: if you use a candle, place your luminaries up and away from your Halloween traffic. Windowsills are the perfect location for these recycled luminaries.
13. There are many solar-powered Halloween lights on the market. These are great because you aren’t using energy to light them and you don’t have to worry about extension cords.
14. Make a simple ghost for your yard by putting a bike helmet on a hat stand. Attach a broom or a long stick to form a cross. Drape a white sheet over the hat stand and say “boo”.
15. Create a scarecrow with jeans and a shirt, stuffed with old newspaper, straw, or leaves. Leave it headless for a scary version or add a pumpkin on top with a funny face.
16. Find other home décor items made from natural materials, like Acorn Baskets made from natural seagrass. These are not only adorable but functional and can be used year-round.
17. Banish the home fragrance sprays and fill your home with the scents of homemade cookies or a fresh-baked pie. Don’t have time? Light a fragrant soy candle with all-natural essential oils. There are several mouth watering holiday scents.
18. Light the path for trick-or-treaters with an orange CFL bulb.
19. Add your post-Halloween pumpkins to your compost pile. If you can accommodate it, ask your neighbors to donate their jack-o-lanterns to your compost as well.
20. Clean your used costumes and pack away for next year’s costume swap. Or add them to your kid’s closet for dress up games.
Have a safe and happy GREEN HALLOWEEN!
About Tara: As a new mom, I want to make the world a better place for my children to enjoy with their kids. I’m not an expert on the environment but I am a concerned Mama who is aware of the impact we are placing on our one and only home. My goal for my blog is to educate and inspire. If everyone in the world made ONE small change that would add up to about SEVEN BILLION changes. I think that could make a difference, don’t you?