10 DIY Ways To A Waste-Free Halloween

Itís time to pick up those heavy Halloween footprints and celebrate the holiday sustainably. Here’s why finding ways to honor our planet, is a ghoulish goal worth bobbing for:

According to the EPA, household waste increases more than 25 percent between Halloween and New Yearís Day. The US spends a whopping $6.5 billion on candy, costumes and decorations. Thatís a whole lot of spooky and unnecessary waste. Actually, itís a carbon footprint more like a Loch Ness monster than a dainty Halloween bat.

So does this mean landfills are clogging up like arteries after a fry-fest? Yep. Plumping up your local landfill for years to come is not the friendliest way to invest local, or the healthiest legacy to leave our little trick-or-treaters.

But wait, hold those red-dyed #40 bloody ladyfingers, I see a green light beaconing out of that jack-o-lanternÖ

We talk a lot about what we can do to clean up the planet, but itís what we donít do that creates the most impact. Letís not perpetuate the waste of Halloweenís past. Letís promote healthy, eco-alternatives that are not only good for the planet, but they teach children that even fun holidayís like Halloween, can present new opportunities to care for the Earth. This year, DIY your way to a green Halloween:

10 Ways To A Waste-Free DIY Halloween

1. Ditch the cheap mass-produced non-recyclable polyvinyl chloride (PVC) costumes. Dig through your closet (or a friends), or take a spin through vintage clothing stores, resale shops and flea markets for Halloween inspiration. Here are a few DIY ideas.

2. Plastic Halloween bags can be easily replaced by reusable bags. Encourage trick-or-treaters to carry a reusable tote bag. They are generally much sturdier. Here are 3 DIY reusable bag tutorials.

3. Light the way and tread lightly on the environment with a not-so-spooky LED lighting alternative – create Halloween luminaries.

4. A healthy Halloween almost sounds like an oxymoron, with the brew of trans fats, high-fructose corn syrup, sodium, and dyed confectioneries making their way into the bellies of trick-or-treaters. Try some sustainable treats from Care2 here: Halloween Fair Trade Treats, Sugar-Free Treats, Halloween Cookies-Wheat Free.

5. Kids love to channel their costume character. Makeup often completes the look. But, some makeup is known to be toxic to adults. And who needs all that excessive non-biodegradable packaging? Here is a makeup recipe that uses a few simple ingredients.

6. Most decorations are made from non-recyclable plastic. As with most costumes, decorations end up in landfill. A carved pumpkin is synonymous with Halloween. Hereís some awesome DIY pumpkin-carving inspiration.

7. Make the most of your pumpkin by using the flesh inside for a hearty soup, stew, pumpkin pie or cookies. Here are 11 ways to use a pumpkin. Consider growing your own pumpkin for next year.

8. Create a greener Halloween house party by swapping out disposable plates and cutlery for the real thing. Worried about having your good stainless or china thrown out by a little goblin? Then, head over to the thrift store. Often, for the same price as disposable plastic, you can purchase used cutlery and plates that can be reused for future parties.

9. Want to wear your green heart on your sleeve? Check out these Eco-Themed Halloween Costumes. Next year, plan a costume exchange and swap party to recycle those outgrown costumes.

10. Need party invitations and greeting cards? Head over to Care2ís free Halloween e-card collection.

Hereís a glimpse of my little zombies (who are not so little anymore) and some random Halloween sightings. For more eco-Halloween ideas, check out Practically Greenís Green Halloween badge.


Jennifer C.
Past Member 6 years ago


Heidi R.
Past Member 6 years ago

We always used pillow cases to collect our sweets when trick or treating. Memories.

Michele Wilkinson

Thank you

John B.
John B6 years ago

Thanks Ronnie for sharing these great suggestions.

Terry V.
Terry V6 years ago


May Howie
may Howie7 years ago


Deborah L.
Deborah L7 years ago

Those are all the things we did as children. I guess it's back to the old days for the best ways .

Marilu A.
Marilu A7 years ago

i loved this was all on one page - i hate paging thru 12 pages some ideas are great, some obvious - but good article - thanks

Carol Laronga
Carol Laronga7 years ago

Thanks for the great tips!

Chris J.
Chris J7 years ago

Thought this was neat as well for very crafty type people:
Very impressive stuff to do with candy wrappers!