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Creating an eco-friendly and lower toxin Halloween may seem like a pipe dream, but it’s definitely possible to celebrate in a healthy and eco-friendly way!
Halloween is easily one of the most wasteful holidays of the entire year.
Costumes are made from terrible materials that will never break down, that are cheaply made, and full of chemicals.
The same can be said for the infamous orange pumpkin candy bucket.
The candy wrappers and decorations are often made of cheap materials and end up in landfills.
There is a better way to enjoy this fun holiday while feeling good about the products you buy, decorations you use, and decrease the waste and toxicity of Halloween.
With just a little thinking ahead and planning you can have an eco-friendly Halloween!
Let’s start with the costumes.
There are so many ways to make this fun part of halloween better and safer! When it comes to planning Halloween, for many, the costumes are the first thing that comes to mind.
What are you going to wear?
Do your kids have a costume?
What is your dog going to wear?
Well, I don’t have many helpful tips for your pup, though the one I do have is to check Facebook and see about doing a doggy costume exchange in your local area or even check your local thrift store for a used dog costume.
For yourself and your kids, head to second-hand stores and local Facebook groups to find gently used costumes from previous years. Maybe your friends have costumes that their kids have outgrown or you can do a swap.
If that doesn’t work, either look for a costume that can be passed on to future siblings or to friends (so think, gender neutral and not the hot character this year, like the one below!).
Otherwise, after Halloween is over, you can wash your child’s costume and donate it to Halloween costume charities like ‘Ween Dream who give children in the US, who otherwise can’t afford costumes, the chance to dress up.
Don’t forget that makeup, fake blood, and glitter are often quite bad for the environment (and your skin!) too.
Look for alternatives, like making your own where possible. Check out this non-toxic DIY Halloween Makeup for ideas!
It may be that a little makeup and some clothes your kids already own will make the best Halloween costume (and fire up their creativity, too).
I just couldn’t resist adding this fun sweatshirt for mom!
Carry a Reusable Bag
The bucket or container your kids will carry their candy in can often be a last minute decision because in the grand scheme of things it is pretty small and may slip your mind.
But this small detail is usually a haven for cheap, toxic, plastic that can’t and won’t be recycled.
Instead of going the plastic route you could go the traditional route with a pillowcase.
Another alternative is to treat it like a Christmas stocking.
Each child gets one bag, like this reusable produce bag, that they use year after year.
When Halloween is over pack it up with the decorations to be used again next year!
Eco-Friendly Halloween Decorations
When it comes to eco-friendly Halloween decorations there are a number of different routes you can take.
Reusing items you plan on throwing away for DIY projects is a fantastic route.
Use old clothes to make a scarecrow.
Cut up old egg cartons and paint black for bats!
And, if crafts aren’t your thing consider a trip to the thrift store before you go to buy new decorations.
You may find something that fits your needs perfectly for a fraction of the price.
If you do go to the store to buy decorations make sure they are plastic free (like this burlap table runner).
The best option is to go with natural decorations!
You can never go wrong with Pumpkins at Halloween and they’re only the beginning.
Try cornucopias, twigs, and freshly fallen leaves.
You can even check your backyard or go on a fall scavenger hunt to find natural items for free!
Natural decorations bring a festive fall feeling without all the added chemicals, too.
If you and your kids are planning on leaving your neighborhood for trick or treating consider how you plan on getting where you’re going.
Is it close enough you could walk or maybe ride bikes?
If not, can you arrange a carpool with parents of your children’s friends or neighbors?
Fewer cars on the road also mean it is safer for children to be out.
Eco-Friendly Halloween Candy
You don’t have to be the family handing out boxes of raisins to be eco-friendly at Halloween.
However, you may not be the most popular house on the block with these.
So, if you want to give out treats, consider the packaging.
Treats wrapped in paper or cardboard are the most eco-friendly (or you can grab these organic fruit chews that come in compostable cellophane).
You can even take it to the next level with unbleached paper products!
Besides that, you can also look for non-GMO, Organic treats like YumEarth Organic Pops which are healthier!
There are lots of ways for you to make sure you have an eco-friendly Halloween. If your child gets Halloween candy that isn’t eco-friendly you can turn it into a teachable moment.
You can even encourage them to donate the candy to a number of charities that will give it to troops or sick children at your local children’s hospital.
Just be sure if you do that you have an extra bag of some eco-friendly candy leftover for them!
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