Halloween is a favorite holiday for those who like to explore the spookier side of life. But often the most terrifying part of Halloween is the amount of money and resources wasted on plastic decorations and cheaply-made costumes.
The best part of Halloween is getting together with friends to plan creative costumes, food, and decorations. If you’ve been looking for a way to get into the spooky spirit without terrifying the planet, here are some tips for hosting a greener Halloween party.
>>UP Next: Natural Decorations1. Hunt For Natural Decorations
Most of those cheap Halloween decorations you see in the store are manufactured in China or another country. They’re also full of petroleum and scary chemicals that poison our air and water, and can irritate sensitive skin. Think about gathering yard clippings and dried leaves and stuffing them into old clothes to make a scarecrow instead. Twigs, gourds, brightly colored leaves, and other natural decorations will transform your home into an Autumn wonderland for a night, and can be composted the next day.
Up Next: Healthier Treats
Image Credit: Flickr - rreihm
2. Skip The High-Fructose Corn Syrup
Conventional Halloween candy is full of high-fructose corn syrup, a sugar substitute that is hazardous to human health. Think about choosing organic candy, or making your own with honey or real cane sugar instead. Cookies, popcorn, pretzels, sunflower seeds, or non-edible treats like crayons make a healthier substitute for trick-or-treaters.
Up Next: Green Costume Ideas
Image Credit: Flickr - juushika
3. Recycle Your Costume
Forget those pre-packaged costumes available at the Halloween party store. There are more creative costume materials waiting in your closet or at the local thrift store. An old white sheet can be cut into strips for a mummy costume; black clothes and a mask can turn anyone into a ninja; a flannel shirt, overalls, and a straw hat make a perfect farmer outfit. And remember, a little bit of non-toxic face paint can zombie-fy any costume!
Up Next: Pumpkins With Purpose
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4. Carve, Then Compost
Carving jack o’lanterns is a favorite Halloween tradition, but often these winter squashes are tossed into the trash to rot as soon as Halloween is over. Painting faces on with non-toxic paint means the pumpkins can be washed and used to make soup or bread when the party ends. If you’re going to carve, be sure to set aside the seeds to make a healthy roasted snack, and put the pumpkin carcass in your compost pile when it’s done frightening the little ghosts and ghouls.
>>Up Next: Low-Waste Dishware
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5. Ditch The Disposables
If you’re hosting a Halloween party, you might be tempted to load up on pumpkin-colored paper napkins and paper plates. While these disposables might make clean-up easier, they support deforestation and make up a huge portion of unnecessary landfill waste. Think about asking each guest to bring their own glass or napkin to cut down on paper waste, or think about choosing a biodegradable servingware option instead.