Staying Green on Halloween

Ah, fall. The temperatures are dropping, pumpkins and spooky decorations adorn nearly every front porch, and Halloween is just around the corner. Holidays are a great opportunity to be more sustainable. In fact, the concept of an eco-friendly Halloween isn’t new. Bellevue, Washington mom Corey Colwell-Lipson founded the Green Halloween initiative in 2006. But how do you decide where to start?  

The World Wildlife Organization has several tips on keeping your Halloween festive, yet environmentally-friendly.

  1. Start by making your own costumes. Instead of going for the big-box, chain costume retailers, go local. Get your outfits from second hand stores or yard sales. Check out the Idea Store at their new location at Lincoln Square in Urbana for supplies. You can even give your costume a green theme. If DIY isn’t your thing, organize a costume swap and repurpose a friend’s old costume. You could even repeat some outfits from years past. Trust me, no one is going to remember that you went as a police officer three years ago. Save yourself the extra money and wear it again.
  2. When it comes to parties, make sure there’s as little waste as possible. Use reusable dishes. Put labels on your guest’s drinks so they’re encouraged to stick with one cup instead of unnecessarily wasting several. Maybe setting a good sustainability example will encourage them to make some changes as well.
  3. Use households items to collect candy when you take the kids trick-or-treating. Replace plastic bags with buckets, reusable “guilt-free” grocery store bags, even pillowcases. This is an opportunity to get creative. For example, make a craft project out of decorating plain pillowcases to use as trick-or-treat bags.

These aren’t the only ways to have a more sustainable Halloween. From buying pumpkins at local farmer’s markets to reducing carbon emissions by walking instead of driving, the room for eco-friendly holiday improvement is limitless.

So kick back in your chair, pop a Kit-Kat or five, turn on a scary movie, and remember that sustainability isn’t always the big, time-consuming projects, but the small, day-to-day changes a person makes to show that they care. Help put the “green” in Halloween.