By Olivia Bernheimer:
Halloween is days away, and that means haunted houses, fun costumes, and lots of candy. For most families around America they won’t be thinking about the impact of this holiday on our planet, but the waste of candies, pumpkins, decorations, and costumes all come at a cost. Here are some tips to celebrating a more eco-friendly Halloween without losing its festive nature!
1) Save your pumpkin guts
Instead of throwing away your pumpkin guts, remove the seeds and roast them!
Here is a recommended roasted pumpkin seed recipe.
2) Buy a used costume
Expect to spend a bit more time than just going to the Halloween store to find that perfect something. Getting to know the store owner and/or employees can help. If you're looking for something specific, they can help keep an eye out for you, and might even give you a call when something you're looking for comes in.
Online clothing exchange services can be great, especially for kids' costumes. You could even host your own costume swap!
In Santa Barbara, check out second-hand clothing stores like, The Closet Trading Company, Crossroads Trading Co., Assistance League of SB, and Alpha Thrift Store.
3) Buy or make eco-friendly decorations
When shopping for eco-friendly decorations look for natural, repurposed, or recyclable materials. For natural materials think pumpkins, gourds, and hay for Halloween!
The sky's the limit when it comes to repurposing and materials abound! And there are endless sources of inspiration for all holidays on Pinterest and online.
When you must buy new, select the items that can be used year after year, or are made of recycled or recyclable materials.
4) Try organic or natural candy and hand those out for Halloween
Head to your local natural foods store. You're more likely to find “good" candy there.
When shopping, read ingredient lists. Check to see what the source of sweetness is; HFCS lurks in the oddest places, and organic sugars are preferable. Also read about the dyes. Natural dyes made of things like beets, carrots, and annattos are great replacements for artificial dyes.
Natural foods markets sometimes sell affordable private-label options. Bulk versions help cut down on packaging and will be cost efficient when buying for all those trick-or-treaters!
For more tips and tricks, check out our Green Your Halloween campaign. No matter how you decide to “eco-fy” this Halloween, just know you are one step towards making our sustainable future!