Halloween is one of our favorite holidays simply because of the sheer amount of fun involved!Unfortunately, the scariest truth about Halloween is the amount of single-use waste generated in a single night. Take a stroll down your favorite store’s holiday aisle and you’ll understand how plastic seems to be the Monster to Halloween’s Dr. Frankenstein. But how to host a Halloween shindig without falling prey to the horror of trash that hangs around landfills forever? From green decorations to wrapper-less treats, we’ve got a few tips to help you throw a sustainable scream of a Halloween get-together!
Send Online Invites
No matter how cute your paper invitations are, we guarantee they’ll end up in the garbage at some point. Using services like Paperless Post, Evite, Punchbowl, or Greenvelope to create beautiful (some even animated!) digital invites will even make your job as host a bit easier since most of these sites keep an online RSVP list so you don’t have to! Plus: there’s no chance of “oops, I lost my invitation!”
Get your DIY Costume On
Hit your local secondhand and thrift shops or raid the closet of a friend with kids (trust us, SOMEONE will have a tutu or an 80s blazer…) and you’ll be sure to put together the ultimate green costume high on fun and quality. Not to get too Full house on you, but putting together your own costume instead of buying one you’ll wear once will be a lot more fun. Added bonus: when people ask you where you got your rad Halloween duds, you’ll be able to proudly say “I made it!”
Ever wonder which recycling bin to toss your rubber rats and spiders? Yeah… there isn’t one. This year, instead of buying new decorations that will end up in the trash, invest some time in creating a reusable Halloween wonderland with thousands of DIY tutorials all over Pinterest! Cut out bats and cats from black cardstock and hand from light fixtures using twine. Place tea lights in halved milk jugs with spooky for funny faces drawn on for a festive and safe path for trick-or-treaters. Pumpkins and gourds are the ultimate natural Halloween decoration. Carve and let sit for the big night, then compost, let the squirrels go to town, or use as a starter for your springtime flower and vegetable beds. (Just make sure you haven’t sprayed or coated your Jack-o-Lanterns with anything “funky” beforehand!)
Say NO to Paper, Plastic Plates, Cups, and Cutlery
Hate to clean up after a crowd? Searching high and low for autumn-colored tableware? If you absolutely must use disposable materials, stick with BPA-free plastics, paperboards, or woods that all can be recycled. Place a large recycling bin nearby and maybe post a decorative sign on the table encouraging your guests to be mindful of their trash. But Goodwill and other secondhand shops are bursting with orange, black, purple, and green colored plates, trays, cups, and more around this time of year. Simply purchase, set out, reuse, and then store with your décor for next Halloween. Try your best this year to party sustainably and embrace loading up the dishwasher after a night of howling good, green fun. You’ll feel great after doing a good thing!
Safe, Green Trick-or-Treating
If you’re chaperoning the kids around the neighborhood this year, do so safely and sustainably by ditching the traditional glow-stick accessories and plastic candy-collection buckets. Not only are glow necklaces and bracelets made of single-use plastic (straight to the landfill with you!) but they also contain yucky chemicals (mainly phenol) and dyes that can irritate the skin should the tube leak or break. Similarly, most run-of-the-mill cheap plastic buckets and decorations leech BPAs… and we use those to hold our CANDY… Instead, grab a couple of LED flashlights and reuse some old pillowcases for Halloween adventuring purposes!