Happy (Environmentally Friendly) Halloween!

Happy (Environmentally Friendly) Halloween!

Posted by Valerie McTavish on | Green Living

Halloween may be the spookiest night of the year but its impact on the planet is downright scary. Luckily there are a few easy ways to have a happy but environmentally friendly Halloween.

 

Costumes

Over the years, costumes have become more and more of an eco-demon. All too often, kids and adults alike reach for the disposable, plastic costumes that have been shipped across the globe. These have heavy carbon footprints and are often bound for the landfill after one wear. To reduce the impact on the environment, get creative. Take a look through the closet or a thrift store and see what might spark an idea. Pull out the old sewing machine and create your own Halloween fashion piece. If you’re not feeling crafty, invite some friends over and tell them to bring their tickle trunk. Just like a clothing swap, a costume exchange can be a fantastic way to get ghoulish without being ghastly to the planet.

Candy

 It’s hard to avoid the hair-raising amount of waste associated with those bite size treats, not to mention their monstrous carbon footprint. Gone are the days when you could hand out local candied apples or satchels of popcorn but that doesn’t mean you can’t give your trick-or-treaters something a little greener. Think outside the box when it comes to treats and offer up a non-food treat like a small craft kit, art supplies or an eco-toy. If candy is a must, consider organic candy like fairly traded, organic Dark Chocolate Minis from Camino or Yummy Earth’s Organic Lollipops.

For collecting candy; replace that plastic jack-o-lantern shaped bucket with a canvas bag or even an old pillow case.

Decorations

Carving a pumpkin is a long held tradition but the effect on the environment is enough to explain that terrified look on old Jack’s face. Many pumpkins are grown with the help of heavy-duty pesticides and shipped long distances. To make Jack greener, buy locally grown, organic pumpkins.  And, to get a little more out of your pumpkin, use the scooped out pumpkin flesh to make mini-pies or cockle-warming soup. Don’t forget to roast the seeds for a yummy treat.

Start a New Tradition

Many communities are looking to do things differently by replacing the door to door tradition with neighbourhood parties. The idea is to gather at a central location, like a community centre or the school gym, decorate the space and then hold a party often with some sort of ‘haunted house’. Kids still trick-or-treat from station to station which can be anything from a small craft making station to a decorate-your-own cupcake table. At the end of the evening, each child leaves with a goody-bag filled with homemade treats. Not only does this new idea allow for a more eco-friendly, socially responsible Halloween, it also brings back the community aspect of the holiday.

That may seem like a big step, but even with just a few adjustments, this Halloween can be Hallo-green.