WAYS TO STAY GREEN DURING HALLOWEEN
We LOVE Halloween. The candy. The ever-so-slight hint of fall in the air. (Hey, we live in Texas. We take what we can get.) The adorable trick-or-treaters. The candy. The fun parties.
Day-after-Halloween candy sales. The candy. But, we are also relentless in our pursuit of sustainable practices that are better for the planet and for our health.
We want to have fun while also making a positive impact in our communities and leaving the earth in better shape than we inherited it, so our kids can enjoy it, too.
As a company, we at Evergreen Promotions want to increase awareness about the ways consumers can make choices that help, rather than hinder, the earth, and to support you in your desire for products that reflect these same values.
Keep reading for more Green Halloween inspiration.
CANDY OPTIONS AND ALTERNATIVES
When tens of millions of kids are getting buckets full of individually wrapped candies, a lot of waste is generated.
Unfortunately, most of that waste is either plastic, or otherwise unrecyclable, and it all ends up in landfills or polluting our groundwater and oceans.
We love Twizzlers and Smarties as much as the next person, but there are options available that are more eco-friendly, and we hope you’ll join us in seeking out as many of these alternatives as possible.
The easiest and most affordable option is to make sure that the candy you hand out to all of the little Elsas and Mauis that come knocking is packaged in either recyclable or biodegradable packaging.
Candies like Nerds and Junior Mints are packaged in cardboard, while taffy and gum are usually wrapped in waxed paper or foil. While most of this does end up in landfills, it is biodegradable.
Another option is to purchase candy that uses ingredients and packaging that is ethically sources. This will take some research, but there are plenty of companies offering organic/non-GMO/natural ingredients, or Fair Trade chocolate, or even compostable wrappers.
Finally, while giving away non-candy items gets a bad wrap, there are dozens of options for that as well.
Raisins, which are packaged in cardboard, are a healthy alternative to candy, but you could also give away pencils and/or erasers with fun things printed on them that you could procure easily at your local dollar store.
Our favorite non-candy giveaway, though, are the cutie Jack ‘o’ Lanterns. This could be a fun project to do with your kids before going out trick or treating for the evening.
Just buy a bag or two of the Little Cuties oranges, which are available at most grocery stores, and draw Jack ‘O’ Lantern faces on them with a marker (non-toxic, of course).
Oranges come pre-packaged in biodegradable wrappers, and are much healthier than any candy could ever be.
ECO-FRIENDLY COSTUME IDEAS
Children’s costumes are notoriously wasteful. Because kids grow so quickly, they are not worn for very long, and they often rely heavily on plastic.
The best way to avoid this waste is to commit to either buying only used costumes or by making your own.
Starting in mid-September, thrift stores will start putting out the costumes they’ve gathered throughout the year.
The selection varies from store to store, and inventory is usually updated daily, so if you’re not successful on your first trip, try again in a few days.
You can also purchase used costumes on eBay, but if you prefer to purchase locally, check Facebook Marketplace or other Buy/Sell groups you might belong to online.
If you are feeling really ambitious, you could organize a costume swap in your community, where parents could trade last year’s costumes for this year’s size.
Another way to avoid plastics and other non-recyclable waste, is to make your own costume.
This is limited only by your imagination. You can piece together a decade costume from a thrift store, or sew a princess dress.
You can use recycled materials to make something unique. Here are some of the favorites we’ve seen in recent years…
- Cardboard Robot (Amazon boxes are easy to come by these days.)
- Pizza Delivery Guy (a hat with a fictional pizza logo drawn on in, and a pizza box to receive candy.)
- Hobo (beard drawn on with makeup, and a cardboard sign reading “will work for candy.”)
- Rosie the Riveter (a red bandana and lipstick. That’s it.)
This isn’t just for kid’s costumes. Be creative and spend time designing and making the perfect costume for you.
You’ll find that you get more enjoyment out of it than you would if you went to a Halloween pop-up store and spent $100 on a single-use costume that dozens of others in your community also purchased.
It seems like there are more of those inflatable yard decorations every year. Sure, they can be cute, but they use a lot of electricity, and all of that PVC ends up in a landfill after a few years of use.
While we can’t deny the convenience of a plug-and-play decoration, there are plenty of options that are more eco-friendly and creative.
One option that is appropriate for both Halloween and Thanksgiving, is to go more of the harvest/fall route in your decorations.
Things like pumpkins and other gourds, corn stalks, hay bales, and the like are all natural, biodegradable items that you can purchase locally at stores or farmer’s markets.
These items can be easily disposed of or composted when done.
If you want to focus on the spookier decorations, it’s easy to make your own. From the classic Jack ‘O’ Lantern, to flying ghosts made out of old sheets, to trash bag spiders on yarn webs, it’s easy and fun to make eco-friendly decorations.