What’s spooky, sweet, and green all over? An eco-friendly Halloween of course!
Halloween is a big deal. With costumes (and the pet costumes),candy, and decorations, Americans spend upwards of $6 billion on Halloween each year. All of that fun stuff comes with a lot of waste, unfortunately. Individually wrapped candies sold by big companies with exploitative labor practices and cheap polyester costumes manufactured under unethical conditions make for a scary holiday..
So instead of going for the usual drugstore bags of bulk candy and a brand new costume from the generic pop-up Halloween store, we challenge you to celebrate this spooky holiday in a more sustainable fashion. You can still trick-or-treat without adding a pile of plastic to the landfill and you can still win the costume contest with something used or upcycled–all it takes is a little creativity.
Ok now, are you ready for our super fun, budget-friendly, and totally sustainable Halloween tips? Let’s go!
1. Creative and recycled costumes. There are many options for Halloween costumes that do not require you purchase a brand new outfit, only to wear it once. Try looking in your closet to see if you can use something you already have, raid your friends’ closets, craft a costume by hand, buy something secondhand, or simply borrow one! Here are some fun costume ideas that are easy to pull together, eco-friendly, and won’t break the bank:
1. Ace Ventura: Gel up your hair, borrow a stuffed monkey toy, and wear a Hawaiian shirt.
2. Neo or Trinity from The Matrix: Black trench coat. Perpetual look of confusion on your face.
3. Cher and/or Dee for Clueless: Matching plaid. Cute hat. Knee high socks and an old cell phone.
4. Dwayne The Rock Johnson: Turtleneck tucked into your pants, a chunky silver chain and a fanny pack
5. Richie Tenenbaum: Sport coat, sweat band, tennis racket and glasses.
6. Avril Lavigne: So many bracelets. Tank. Black eyeliner and a loose tie.
7. Flavor Flav: Make a clock out of a paper plate and wear a track suit
8. Randy Savage: Sunglasses. Bandana. Wrist band. Deep, growling voice.
8. Jennifer Lopez: Skin-tight all white outfit with a half up, half down pony, add a white bandana, and don’t forget the hoops!
9. Any of the Euphoria characters: Buy some biodegradable glitter and have fun!
10. Cameron Diaz in There’s Something About Mary: Grab some hair gel and recreate this photo:
11. Dwight from The Office: Borrow your Dad’s old khaki pants and an oversized button-down shirt, add a large tie, some glasses, and a messy hairdo.
12. A Hogwarts student: You definitely know someone who owns a Harry Potter themed scarf. Borrow that, add a black cloak, a tie, and a wand.
13. Pop art: Paint your face in bold graphic designs with natural face paint and you’re good to go!
2. Palm-oil & plastic-free treats. It’s easy to pick up a bag of bulk candy at the drugstore, but an eco-conscious Halloween asks for a little bit more effort. Most of the common trick-or-treating candies are made with palm oil in them, an ingredient that we avoid in skincare because it is harmful to the environment. Thankfully, this list of palm-oil free candies includes some of our Halloween favorites (Jolly Ranchers and Dum-Dums, anyone?), while this list by our friends at Selva Beat suggests a few eco-friendly, vegan sweet options, too.
Unfortunately, even these palm-oil free Halloween treats can come wrapped in plastic. If you can’t find something that comes in a recyclable or biodegradable package, then you can at least opt for something with minimal plastic packaging. Dove chocolates are sold in a plastic bag, but are individually wrapped in foil, which is recyclable. The same thing goes for Hershey’s Kisses, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, and York Peppermint Patties. Even better, Nerds, Red Hots, Raisinettes, and Goobers all come packaged in a cardboard box!
3. Biodegradable decorations. Instead of cobwebs made from polyester or fake spiders to spookify your home, go for something natural. Pumpkins look great carved, painted, or lit up from inside. Other squashes and gourds make for edible table decorations, and branches or leaves add an autumnal touch. We also love this idea for making confetti from recycled paper!
Celebrating Halloween is a great time to embrace all things spooky and have some creative fun! But that shouldn’t mean the planet has to suffer while we party. What sustainable Halloween ideas do you have? Let us know in the comments!