Halloween can be one of the most fun and festive times of the year for some people. It is the time to get a new costume, eat as much candy as possible, and fill your home with ghoulish decorations. Then, add in trick-or-treating, parties, and pumpkin carving, Halloween is a spooktacular time. However, there is also a downside to the holiday.
October 31st isn’t the friendliest In terms of sustainability and being environmentally-conscious. There are newly bought costumes and decorations, candy wrappers, and plastic cups, plates, and other materials. Together, these items create tons of waste that is put into landfills, causing environmental impacts. These spine-chilling realizations can be fixed. There are many ways for Halloween to be a sustainable and environmentally-friendly holiday, including these tips.
Reuse as much as possible when it comes to decorations and costumes. Household items can easily be turned into creepy creations. For example, cardboard boxes can be made into tombstones and jack-o-lanterns. Netting from bags of oranges, leaves and branches from the yard, toilet paper rolls, tin cans, plastic bags, and laundry baskets are great materials to use. One easy idea is using a hula hoop, black string, and paint and turning the objects into an eerie spider web. As always, don’t buy new decorations each year. If you want something new from a store, see if you can’t make it from the materials you already have at home.
As for costumes, make your own, as well, or borrow from family and friends.
Cut old clothes, sheets, etc. into outfits. Glue craft supplies to old sheets, paint the costume the color of your choosing; there are numerous materials you can use to build your outfit with just a little creativity. If you do need to get a new item, visit a rental shop, thrift store, consignment store, or Facebook marketplace before shopping at a big-box store. Also, don’t be afraid to break down old costumes and use various pieces to form new ones. Let your and your kids’ imaginations run wild and you never know what you may come up with.
Trick-or-treat bags are another Halloween mainstay that can be homemade or used year after year. Maybe your child’s trick-or-treat bag is a plastic pumpkin that is several years old. Pillowcases, buckets, canvas bags, or upcycled paint cans make great options. Another twist is by sewing pieces of fabrics together in a fun, Halloween shape. A favorite among many people is to make a duct tape bag. Duct tape is a multi-purposed object. It can be transformed into hundreds of items. I have seen wallets, shoes, and bookmarks, and more. To make a duct tape trick-or-treat bag, all you need to do is choose two rolls of tape to use. First, lay strips of one roll facedown, side by side on a flat surface. Then, lay the other pattern, design side up, across the other pieces. Once you have a large rectangle, trim the edges and fold in half. Using additional pieces of duct tape, seal the side edges. You will need to push the corners to the inside of the bag. Also, add duct tape across the inside corners of the bag. Finally, place one strip of duct tape around the top of the bag and cut four pieces of duct tape to make the handles. Place two strips of tape back to back and then attach to the inside of the bag in an upside-down U shape for the handles.
Carving pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns is a tradition that dates back hundreds of years. However, it is a tradition that can create some problems after the holiday is finished. First, buy your pumpkin from a local farmer or farmers’ market. Your pumpkin will more than likely be fresher and riper than purchasing it at a grocery store. Plus, you will be helping local business owners. Once October 31st ends, don’t throw away your jack-o-lantern. Instead, remove all the seeds and compost it. You can also reuse it as food for local wildlife, feed the seeds to birds, or roast them for yourself.
While Halloween is a mysterious, ghostly, and lively night, it can have some negative impacts on our world. By applying these three ways, October 31st can become an eco-friendly and still creepy, fun night.