How to have an eco-friendly Halloween

Halloween is fast approaching and the decorations are coming out. Halloween decorations and costumes can be fun, but they can also be costly on the wallet and take their toll on the environment as well. Here are a few ways to do Halloween this year in an eco-friendly way and without breaking the bank.

Decorations
Nature provides so much natural beauty during the fall, why not tap into it and use what Mother Earth has already given you? Use pumpkins, squash, and other various gourds to decorate, along with corn stalks. You can get corn stalks at most pumpkin patches set up during the year. Halloween is a creepy time, so why not use broken tree branches as your decorations as well? Get a reusable vase from the dollar store and put some leaves and broken tree branches in it to create a ghostly effect, and the vase becomes reusable for other holidays as well. Got old wine bottles lying around? Peel the labels off and have the kids help paint them in fall designs, such as pumpkins, ghosts, and other fall colors for an easy and reusable decoration.

Costumes
Costumes can be pricey to buy each year, so take a look in your closet to see what else you can make out of what you already have. As the kids grow out of clothes through the year, save them to possibly use for a Halloween costume. If you have clothes that you’ve grown out of, cut them up and make them dirty and you’ve got yourself a hobo costume. You can also use old items that you would otherwise recycle or get rid of, such as plastic or cardboard. Save things throughout the year to use next year towards a good Halloween costume. You can also find a lot of good costume items at your local thrift store, instead of paying full price for a costume that comes in packaging. If you need face paint or fake blood for your costume, make your own instead of purchasing some that has nickel and cobalt.

Halloween Treats
Prepackaged candy to hand out for Halloween can be costly and the wrappers become trash in a landfill. Instead, this year, hand out more economical treats, such as fun pencils, erasers, bubbles, or temporary tattoos. You could also make your own treats to hand out, such as popcorn balls, which may make it cheaper and more cost effective.

Trick or Treating
Send your kids out trick or treating this year with a reusable bucket, such as pumpkin that can be found at most stores. They can also use a pillow case or canvas grocery bags. Are the containers too small for the kids? Send them back home to empty and go out again for more!

Pumpkin Cleanup
After Halloween and after the pumpkins have served their purpose, it’s time to recycle them. Gut them out and save the seeds for roasting with oil and salt. They make a great snack! Save the pulp for soups, pies, and other baked goods. Use the shell as compost with your raked leaves and some grass clippings. In the spring, you will have great compost to use in your garden.

Halloween is a great holiday and the kids love it. But make sure this year to take the steps to make sure the environment loves it too and you’re reducing your carbon footprint. Happy Halloween!

If you have any questions about how to have an ecofriendly Halloween, contact Papillion Sanitation here with questions.