After renting apartments in big cities for the past 10+ years, my husband and I bought our first house and are about to officially move to the ‘burbs… which most likely means that for the first time in our adult lives we might get trick-or-treaters!
The idea of meeting new neighbors and passing out treats to costumed kids makes me super excited, but also a little bit conflicted.
My first conflict is the candy – and to be clear, this is mostly for selfish reasons. Candy ruins teeth, spikes blood sugar, and there are all kinds of crazy hidden ingredients in those mass produced candies that are simply best to avoid. While I’m sure kids are not benefiting from consuming boatloads of candy on Halloween – the decision to let them eat it is really up to their parents. The problem for me is that I personally don’t have a lot of self control when it comes to sweets so I’d prefer to not have any tempting extras of that stuff lingering around in our home…
My second conflict is the waste – ridiculous fun-sized wrappers, plastic decorations, store-bought cheap costumes that you only wear once, it’s crazy!
With all of that in mind, I did a little bit of research and compiled a list of the most sustainable treats, decorations, and a few costume ideas for an eco friendly Halloween. Read on for inspiration!
Eco Friendly Halloween Decorations
- PUMPKINS – Decorate with compostable items like pumpkins (bonus points if you roast the seeds and make a soup the day after!). Here’s a simple pumpkin soup recipe that looks pretty tasty!
- PAPER – Using recyclable materials like paper can make an impact at a Halloween party. Last year I decorated our apartment with black paper bats and was able to recycle all of them after we finished celebrating.
- CANDLES – Dim the lights and make things spooky with candlelight instead. Here’s a way to make DIY candles inside old glass jars, all you need is a slow cooker to try it!
- GHOSTS – Use old white sheets, stuff the center with a bundle of leaves from the yard, then tie with a string to form the “head.” Tie these up to tree branches in the yard or in your home if you have high ceilings! (source: The Wilderness Society)
- YARN WEB – Use white, organic cotton yarn to create a yarn spider web in or outside of your home.
Eco Friendly Treats
- RECYCLABLE CANDY PACKAGING – If you’re set on offering candy, choose options that come in cardboard/recyclable containers. Candies like Nerds, Dots, Jr. Mints, Milk Duds, and raisins are easy options to pass to trick or treaters!
- FRUIT – Before you automatically think “lameeee” as you read this idea, hear me out. I saw some hilarious and clever fruit treats like jack-o-lantern mandarin oranges or mini-ghost bananas (probably best to save the banana ghosts for a party, pumpkin oranges would work for a party or a trick or treat option). If you make it fun, then it feels less “lame” and frankly, just writing this made me start to crave a little jack-o-lantern mandarin myself!
- GIFTS – Here are a few options I know I would have been excited to choose from when I was a kid: mini paper puzzle/game books, tiny hemp bracelets, seed packets, polished rocks, crayons, sidewalk chalk, or just straight up money (I know from bribing my baby brother as a kid, they’ll do anything for a coin or two).
- DITCH THE PLASTIC PUMPKIN – Instead of carting around treats in a plastic pumpkin carrier, try stamping pumpkin shapes on a canvas re-usable bag or old pillow-case with some orange paint (what the cool “big kids” used when I was a little trick-or-treater, sans cute painted decorations).
Eco Friendly Costumes
- THRIFT – You already know how I feel about thrift stores shopping, and what better occasion to give it a try than Halloween? Here are a few thrifted costume ideas from Ebay and a bunch of DIY ideas compiled by Buzzfeed.
- FACE PAINT – Choose an organic option or make your own
Other ideas? Leave them in the comments!
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