13 Tips for a Green Halloween

These tips for a green Halloween will reduce the plastic disposable junk that surfaces every October 31!  A green Halloween won’t have you buying all the expensive, unhealthy, and clutter-creating stuff, opt for a eco-friendly All Hallow’s Eve. You’ll save money and feel better about how you’re living on our planet with these green Halloween party, costume, and trick or treat snack ideas.

Before the tips, a spine-chilling Halloween quip:

” ‘Tis now the very witching time of night, When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out Contagion to this world.” ~ William Shakespeare

Some people believe the Contagion is the plastic junk that’s so bad for our environment! For more tips on Halloween costumes, parties, and more, read Halloween How-To, A: Costumes, Parties, Decorations, and Destinations.

And here are my tips for a green Halloween…

13 Tips for a Green Halloween

1. Find a costume exchange party. I’ve never done this – but it sounds like a blast! Some community centers, nonprofit organizations, or schools host Halloween costume exchange parties. Take all those old costumes and trade them with other people’s used costumes. It’s inexpensive, and a great way to make your Halloween costume eco-friendly.

2. Have fun with green Halloween costumes. Dress up as a treehugger, Al Gore, a trendy cloth bag, a compact fluorescent light bulb, or Mother Earth. But don’t buy anything new – that doesn’t make for an eco-friendly Halloween – instead, look in second-hand stores, your friends’ and relatives’ closets, and your basement or attic for costume ideas.

3. Indulge with fair trade, organic chocolate. Many mainstream and health food stores sell eco-friendly bonbons made without preservatives or chemicals. In Canada, the TransFair logo certifies that cocoa products are directly traded, fairly-priced, environmentally-protected, and worker-friendly. Since giving away fair trade, organic chocolate to trick or treaters may be a little pricey, consider buying local candies.

4. Explore vintage shops for recycled jewelry and accessories. “Real” jewelry – when improperly obtained – can damage land, impact ecosystems, and harm miners. Instead of buying manufactured accessories for your Halloween costume, go green buy shopping at vintage or second-hand stores. Or, ask elderly family members if they want to recycle their classic treasures to help you have a green Halloween.

5. Scare up some healthy treats. Miniature muffins, dried pineapple, yoghurt covered raisins, trail mix and reduced-sugar granola bars are kid-friendly favourites. Don’t give them out on October 31 (most parents won’t let their kids eat goodies that aren’t pre-packaged) – but do serve them at Halloween parties. Limit (or eliminate) refined white sugar products, which are often processed at plants that damage the environment.

6. Walk with your trick or treaters. To have a green Halloween, walk with your kids instead of driving them from neighborhood to neighborhood. Walking also cuts down on the number of houses your kids hit – which reduces the amount of process sugar and fat they’ll be eating through November.

7. Burn soy candles in your Jack O’Lanterns. Wax candles are made from petroleum that, when burned, unleashes the equivalent of diesel exhaust. Natural soy or beeswax candles will help you have a healthy green Halloween without polluting the air.

8. Buy local pumpkins. Instead of shopping for your Jack O’Lantern pumpkins at a nearby superstore, go to your local pumpkin patch, Farmer’s Market, or Fall Fair. Making your Halloween green includes using natural decorations, such as squash or large fall leaves.

Tips for an Eco-Friendly Halloween Party

9. Send e-mail or eco-friendly invitations made of hemp, banana stalks, organic cotton, kenaf or bamboo. The most green Halloween party invitation option is e-mail.

10. Suggest ride sharing to your Halloween party. Encourage fewer emissions and more parking spots by including on the invitations the names, phone numbers or email addresses of guests who live near one another.

11. Quench thirst with eco-friendly drinks.  Serve organic vodka, gin, cider, wine or beer; buy local if possible. Instead of bottled water, freshen tap water by filtering and adding squeezed lemons, limes, or oranges.

12. Use eco-plates and cutlery that can be composted afterwards, or rent plates and cutlery. Avoid paper or plastic dishware; even the paper ones aren’t eco-friendly if they’re coated in petroleum-based wax.

13. Focus on green Halloween party trimmings. Forget about plastic party bags, processed junk food and supermarket chocolate bars. Instead, go for ethically sourced party bags, biodegradable balloons and eco-friendly paints and recycled paper for party crafts. Lower the heat before the guests arrive (bodies create warmth), and enjoy the natural light of beeswax candles.

For some Halloween party tips, read Extreme Halloween Decorations and Tips for Halloween Parties.

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7 thoughts on “13 Tips for a Green Halloween”

  1. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    One of my favorite tips for a green Halloween is a Halloween Costume Exchange Party. I love the idea of sharing previously loved Halloween costumes, instead of letting them get all old and mothball-y in storage!

  2. I did a segment on bringing treats to school that were more about the holiday and less about the sugar. I have all the seasons on the table, but for Halloween, my kids and I made ghosts taking a white hankie and sewing two black dots for eyes and filling it with coins for a head and tying it with a recycled gift bag orange curl. I took a salsa glass jar and glued reused Halloween tissue paper on it and made a pencil holder and filled it with Halloween pencils. I had a group of Halloween erasers in a reused piece of white twill with a tie on it for Halloween.

    We have painted rocks with the child’s name and words like Happy, Halloween, and Boo. We wrap the rocks in either tissue paper, fabric scraps, old sheets cut into strips or reusable Halloween or clear fabric bags. We have also taken fabric markers on a white hankie to write: Happy Halloween Child’s name and decorate it with stickers and fabric markers.

  3. Another green Halloween activity is to participate in the Reverse Trick-or-Treating campaign. Google Reverse Trick or Treating.org

    It is a nationwide, grassroots public education and action program designed to tackle the twin problems of forced child labor and extreme poverty amongst the world’s 2,000,000 cocoa farmers – the farms that ultimately make possible all that Halloween chocolate we enjoy.

    The name comes from the fact that as kids go door-to-door to collect candy they also give to each household one information card that introduces the child labor problem, and the Fair Trade chocolate alternative. The card also carries a piece of organic Fair Trade chocolate.

    In the end neighbors teach neighbors, and children here in the U.S. and Canada help other children around the world.

  4. Green Halloween has tons of great ideas for creating a healthy and eco-friendly holiday.

    It also has a free “kit” you can download to get your neighborhood/ school/ office on board.

    Also, the founder just co-athored a new book called “Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Friendly Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family.”

    I think it has a whole chapter on Halloween with ideas that are not on their site…

  5. Great tips. Considering in the US we spend $2 billion each year on Halloween candy alone, maybe we can cut back our consumption in other areas.