Who says Halloween can’t be green? Well, whoever said it never knew how to celebrate a green Halloween! I dare to say that a green Halloween is much better than an orange Halloween. Yes, I said it! There are many ways to celebrate Halloween while thinking about the environment. Like every holiday, Halloween will soon be upon us with all its colors, candy, and children looking for tricks and treats. We all know how much garbage this scary holiday can have on the earth with all its non-degradable plastic costumes and decorations, as well as all the candy that rots teeth and contains all kinds of chemicals. So what should an eco-family do on Halloween? Here are five tips to make your Halloween much more eco-friendly.
Serve organic treats
Treats are the most important part of the night, aren’t they? Kids love all kinds of candy for their night, so instead of the usual old chocolate, why not serve them organic, over-the-counter chocolate – it tastes like regular store chocolate, without all the chemicals and preservatives. Choose candies made with natural juices, cane sugar and natural colors so that the kids get quality treats. If you don’t want to hand out candy, make your own toys to hand out, or useful items such as pencils or even soy crayons.
Costumes that go up in line and then give away
We all know that these cheap costumes in the store are made of non-biodegradable materials, made with dangerous chemicals that are harmful to children. Instead of buying, there is a lot of material in your own home that can be remade into great children’s costumes. For example, old pillowcases can be turned into superhero capes, and recycled cardboard can be cut into all sorts of shapes. And don’t hesitate to go to your local thrift store for costume ideas, or to get extra material for all your ideas.
Use natural and/or recycled decorations
Like the costumes, Halloween decorations are made of non-recyclable materials that can be harmful in the long run, so the rule is not to buy them at all! Natural products such as corn husks, straw bales, squash and, yes, even pumpkins are great decorations, and can be added to the compost heap as soon as the holidays are over. Keep an eye out for reusable decorations made from recycled materials that can have a long life and can reduce waste in general.
Follow the trick-or-treating route
Walking your children around the neighborhood to please them is not only good for you, it’s also good for the environment. Instead of driving your car, take a greener attitude and walk your kids around the neighbourhood. You may also get to know your neighbors better. Your children will be able to see other people’s costumes and this will help them bond with your children.
Install solar lights in and around your home.
What better time than in the fall to permanently install these solar lamps that light the way to your home. This will let the kids know that there are treats to be found, and you’ll save a lot of money in the long run. Installing solar lights on the front of your house is also a good idea to save even more money.
Whether it’s Halloween decorations or party supplies, paper is the best choice. It’s affordable and most importantly, recyclable. There are many choices of garlands, banners, tablecloths and window decorations; all are good choices for an environmentally friendly Halloween party. For fun, use Halloween-themed paper cups, plates and napkins for your party. They’re easy to clean, just throw them in the recycling garbage can and you’re done! Don’t forget aluminum cans, plastic utensils and bottles, which can all be recycled.
For your own trick or treat
If you have children who are planning to pick up Halloween treats, give them a Halloween-themed gift or treat bag to use to collect their candy instead of the traditional plastic pumpkin. The pumpkin is usually discarded after a while anyway. A Halloween-themed gift bag makes a perfect « one-time » candy holder that can then be easily discarded and recycled.