Go green all year long! Sometimes, at holidays people find it hard to be green because they are so used to family traditions. Here are some Eco-Friendly Halloween Ideas to make into new family traditions that are more mindful of the earth! You will find lots of eco-friendly Halloween costumes, decorations, crafts, party tips, and more. They are all easy eco-friendly choices that will help you enjoy Halloween as much if not more while saving resources and money.
Earth-Friendly Halloween Ideas
The supernatural focus of Halloween brings an inherent focus on the natural as well. The creepiest Halloween displays often depict things we know very well but have no control over. This is why spiders, gourds, harvest vegetables, and leaves are such a big part of the decoration inspiration for the holiday. With earthy elements being at the heart of the Halloween season, it makes sense to make your celebrations as environmentally friendly as possible. There are a lot of ways to do this, whether you are going out with the kids or throwing a party at home.
Eco-Friendly Halloween Costumes:
Arguably the most important aspect of Halloween is the costume. Consider these ideas for eco-friendly Halloween costumes.
- Re-purpose clothing and accessories you already have to make kids Halloween costumes
- Buy items that you will be able to re-use.
- Get environmentally friendly face paint and hair products.
- Use boxes and paint to create original costumes such as robots, lemonade stands, or popcorn containers.
- Arrange a costume swap at work or your kids’ school. Most people don’t dress up as the same thing every year, but there’s no reason for last year’s costume to go to waste. Bringing a bunch of costumes together may also inspire an excellent new costume idea.
Instead of a plastic costume, opt for a homemade costume. It doesn’t have to involve lots of sewing and it doesn’t have to be hard to make. The best way to ensure you have eco-friendly Halloween costumes is to make them (try these easy DIY Cosmo and Wanda costumes) or buy used ones at a thrift store or through a swap.
This Halloween, help save money, closet space and the environment by making your own Sid the Science Kid costume! Most of the materials are compostable and reusable, and can be found in your kid’s closet or your local craft and clothing stores.
1. Start with a red hoodie, blue pants or jeans and red sneakers (the outfit can be re-worn after Halloween).
2. If a colored wig is too much for your little scientist, you could try creating Sid’s hair by using some thick lavender-colored yarn in organic/biodegradable varieties.
3. Cut the yarn in long lengths that can reach ear to ear over your child’s head. Cut enough pieces to cover your child’s head. Use a shorter piece of yarn to tie all the pieces together in the middle.
4. Fasten your Sid “wig” to your child’s head using hair clips or bobby pinsMake y and trim the bangs as needed so your child can see.
5. Be sure to color your child’s nose orange, just like Sid!
What’s scarier than a ghoulish ghost on Halloween? The amount of harsh chemicals found in children’s face paints! A study conducted by The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found that 10 out of 10 children’s face paints tested contained levels of lead, and many others contained misleading claims such as “hypoallergenic.” Dr. Sears Family Essentials suggests you keep your kids safe from harsh chemicals and skin allergens by making your own eco-friendly and all natural face paint at home:
Mix 1-2 teaspoons of Dr. Sears Family Essentials Diaper Rash Cream, 1-2 drops of natural food coloring and about a teaspoon of cornstarch, and you have a fun and family-friendly costume cosmetic!
Go Green For Halloween Decorations:
- Shop at local farmer’s markets for gourds, pumpkins, cornstalks, hay bales & Indian corn bunches. Use them whole as is or carve a jack o lantern. If you are carving a Jack O Lantern, just remember to roast the seeds and eat them or to compost them. Any carved pumpkin scraps can also be composted as can the shell itself when Halloween is over.
- Re-purpose old sheets, shirts, pants to help dress your scarecrows or for eco friendly Halloween costumes.
- Thrift stores are always full of preowned Halloween items and really, all you need is a bunch of preowned black and orange material to turn anything into an eco friendly Halloween decoration.
- One of the most memorable Halloween parties I went to as a kid was at my elementary school when I reached into a box of human brains (leftover school lunch spaghetti).
- Make your own decorations from things you have around the house and reuse them each year. You will love this easy felt bat garland and these spooky window silhouettes.
Eco-Friendly Halloween Trick-or-Treating
When going out trick-or-treating, there are a lot of actions you can take to instill eco-friendly habits in your children. These can include:
- Using re-useable trick-or-treat bags. The best option is to use pillow cases or something else you already own, such as re-useable shopping bags. You could also buy bags specifically for trick-or-treating, but decorating something you already have and using it for multiple purposes is the most sustainable way to go.
- Walking or Carpooling. Save gas and get to know your neighbors by trick-or-treating within walking distance of your house. If you live away from other houses or know of an area that is further away that you would like to visit, then carpool with other family members or friends.
Eco-Friendly Halloween Candy Alternatives:
“Magic Beans.” Parents can get a pack of organic beans or pumpkin seeds from their local garden store. Then, they print out a post-card size story about Jack in the Beanstalk along with a few beans and instructions on how to grow the beans. The kids can then plant the seeds in cups at home and watch them grow.
Buy a big bag of crocus or daffodil bulbs, wrap each one in a bit of tissue paper and include a note that tells how to plant it, and to look for the flower in the Spring!
This Halloween, children, organizations, and businesses across the U.S. will help children forced to labor on African cocoa farms by participating in the 5th annual Reverse Trick-or-Treating campaign. By handing out informational cards along with organic, Fair Trade chocolates from West Bridgewater, MA-based Equal Exchange when they go trick-or-treating, participants bring attention to the thousands of children who have been trafficked and forced to work in exploitative conditions on West African cocoa farms.
Sustainable Halloween Parties:
For many, Halloween parties are the highlight of the holiday. Take these suggestions to ensure that your party doesn’t result in any unnecessary waste.
- Make sure that recycling and compost bins are available and clearly marked.
- Use actual dishes instead of paper products. If you really don’t want to clean the dishes, then choose eco-friendly tableware (2 suggestions below).
- Offer small portions so that people are less likely to take more than they can eat. They can always go back for seconds.
- Avoid individually packaged servings. Party-sized options are not only more economical, they also produce considerably less waste.
- Decorate with natural, biodegradable items such as leaves and harvest vegetables.
- Use dim lights and candles to set the mood and save electricity.
- Go paperless: Use digital invitations to invite your guests and eCards to thank them for coming.
Perfect for eco-friendly parties and events, palm leaf plates from Eco Gecko! These biodegradable plates are a natural and renewable resource. Naturally discarded sheaths of the leaves of the Adaka palm tree are collected from the forest floor. No trees are cut down. The plates and the disposable cutlery are even compostable!
VerTerra Dinnerware – Environmentally-friendly plates, bowls and serving dishes are made only from two products: fallen leaves and water. Sustainable convenience for every occasion. Verterra’s environmentally-friendly products are non-toxic, biodegradable, compostable, durable, lightweight, convenient and downright stylish making them a chic, all-natural choice for party-ready dinnerware.
Eco-Friendly Halloween Crafts:
Instead of buying new Trick or Treat bags, why not spend a day with the kids decorating used pillow cases to make unique and green goodie bags.
Idea from StayVocal ReUse Aparrel
Here is a fun craft you and your kids can do to reuse old fabric scraps and make your own Halloween decorations- Flying Ghosts.
Try these Halloween Milk Jug Luminaries.
Eco-Friendly Halloween Treats:
Milk Chocolate Rainbow Drops are the only better-for-you chocolate non-GMO candy free of both food dye and titanium dioxide. The new Rainbow Drops are colored with vegetable juice and are made with premium milk chocolate, real vanilla and pure cane sugar. Great for putting into bowls at Halloween parties.
Orange Spiced Cider Cocktail Recipe
1 Eco-friendly Numi Orange Spice Tea Bag
8 oz. Apple Cider
2 oz. Ron Abuelo Añejo rum
Heat Cider until very hot. Steep 1 Tea Bag directly in Cider for 5 minutes, covered. Uncover, add Rum and stir. Garnish with Cinnamon Stick.
Sweet Potato Date Pecan Bread
This recipe is scrumptious, easy to replicate, family friendly and eco-friendly because it is free from animal products.
Surf Sweets Snack Pack multi-packs of Gummy Bears and Sour Berry Bears are the perfect addition to a Green Halloween celebration because they’re made from organic and natural ingredients without any artificial colors, flavors or GMOs. Also, Surf Sweets organic ingredients are free of harsh chemicals and pesticides and are grown in an earth-friendly, sustainable manner.
Make these fun Ghoulish Grin Snacks!
Instead of buying individually wrapped snacks, just slice some organic apples and insert little marshmallows between the slices to get a fun ghoulish grin!
There are a lot of simple ways to lessen your impact on the environment and have a spook-tacular Halloween. Hopefully these suggestions have helped you get a start on your planning. If you have any other ideas, feel free to add them to the comments. These are only a few of the many Eco-Friendly Halloween options you can use; the sky’s the limit!