It’s that time of year again, when pumpkins and ghostly yard décor show up outside every doorstep. Halloween is such a fun time for kids and adults alike, and what could be better than a holiday that’s so heavily focused on treats? One aspect of Halloween that’s often overlooked is the use of decorations and costumes that are discarded after just one use. Luckily it’s easy to have a greener holiday, and actually save some money and be friendlier to the environment in the process! Here are several ideas to green your Halloween.
Use Every Part Of The Pumpkin
Nearly everyone who celebrates Halloween carves a pumpkin. Rather than throwing the guts and seeds in the trash, set the seeds aside and compost the guts. The seeds make a delicious snack when they’re salted, oiled and baked in the oven! Once your pumpkin starts to rot, you can compost it as well instead of throwing it in the trash. Make sure you save your pumpkin carving tools to reuse in years to come!
Bring Homemade Treats To Parties
Unless you personally know every kid who’s stopping by, it’s generally not a good idea to hand out homemade treats to trick-or-treaters. Unfortunately, there are plenty of reasons to not trust homemade candies from strangers. However, you can cut down on treat packaging by bringing homemade bars, candies or other treats to any Halloween parties you might be attending. The wrappers for individually wrapped treats can add up quickly, creating a lot of trash. Homemade foods are usually healthier than store-bought ones too, even if they’re sugary.
Buy Costumes Second-Hand
Lots of pre-made costumes are available, but you can often get more creative when you assemble your costume from second-hand store finds, or even your own closet. Pre-made costumes are often made with cheap materials that aren’t meant to last for more than one use anyway, making it necessary to throw them out. Plus, buying brand new supplies each year can create a lot of extra waste if you only plan to use it once.
Save Costume Supplies For Next Year
If you do get a nice collection of costume items that are high quality, you can use them again year after year. You never know what supplies could work for something entirely new the next year! If you don’t want to keep everything, consider donating reusable or useful Halloween items to a thrift store for someone else to find.
Many people do save their decorations to be used for years. However, some decorations just aren’t meant to last, or are used once and thrown out anyway. Paper streamers, fake spider webs, flimsy cut-outs and inflatable yard decorations are often difficult to save if they fall apart. If you have plastic decorations that have broken, see if they can be recycled and dispose of them properly.
Use Durable Trick-Or-Treat Pails
Plastic pumpkins are one of the most popular containers for carrying candy. However, they seem to be made thinner and flimsier each year, making them less durable. Rather than a cheap plastic pail that will potentially break after one night, consider going for a heavy-duty cloth bag or choosing another sturdy material that can be used for years to come. Kids might even enjoy decorating their bag to make it their own.
Make Sure It’s Built To Last
A lot of Halloween supplies – and supplies for other holidays – simply aren’t meant to last. It may make cleaning up more convenient, but disposable décor, wrappers and costumes can create a lot of waste. Spending a little more money now on something that will last for years will save you a lot in the long run. Just imagine how expensive holidays would be if you had to buy all your festive supplies brand new each year!
Make Halloween Sweet For A Local Child
Around any kid-focused holiday, it’s good to be reminded that not every kid just gets to be a kid on Halloween. Many children facing life-threatening medical conditions may be undergoing treatment that keeps them from enjoying the same carefree day that other kids get to have. Luckily, organizations like Make-A-Wish are there to help give these kids something to look forward to.
One way you can help Make-A-Wish this Halloween is to donate your car to Wheels For Wishes, the car donation program that benefits local chapters of Make-A-Wish. We offer free vehicle pick-up or towing and provide you with a tax deduction for your donation. Vehicles are either auctioned or recycled, and the earned proceeds will go to your local chapter of Make-A-Wish.
We also invite you to take our quiz: How Charitable are You?