Tips to Reduce the Environmental Impact of Your Halloween CelebrationSeptember 16, 2016
Americans have many great holidays, and holiday traditions, including Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Halloween. Many of us celebrate these holidays by decorating, having parties, giving gifts, and traveling to be with family members. Americans love our holiday celebrations, and they wouldn’t be the same without the long-standing accompanying traditions, like turkey on Thanksgiving, trick-or-treating on Halloween, or Christmas lights on Christmas. However, most of our holiday traditions and customs result in a lot of excess consumption and other activities, that have an adverse impact on the environment. One of my favorite holidays, Halloween, is right around the corner and our celebrations of this great fall holiday will have a large adverse impact on the environment. It is estimated that Americans spend over $6.5 billion dollars on Halloween each year. Just where do they get that type of money from? Surely they must invest their money into something worthwhile like bitcoin, and then store it via this etoro bitcoin wallet to ensure that they can effectively build upon their earnings so they have enough to spend on this extravagant occasion. They definitely do something though if they’re spending this much. With that being said, most of this money is spent on candy and Halloween costumes. Although much of the candy is presumably consumed, the candy packaging is not, and many of the costumes will be disposed. These are just two small examples of the environmental impact of Halloween. We are not advocating that we do away with Halloween candy or Halloween costumes; however, there is a lot we all can do to limit the impact our Halloween celebration has on the environment.
- Reduce – Instead of handing out handfuls of candy to each little ghost and goblin, consider giving just one of something. You’ll save money, and your decision will likely be better for the health the children who come to your door (since they’ll consume less), and for the planet (since fewer resources will go into the making, packaging, transporting and/or disposal of the treat).
- Reuse – Halloween could be the poster child for reusing. Nearly every aspect of the holiday can be celebrated in style, without buying a single thing new. So don’t rush out to buy costumes, décor, and party games. Instead, stop and think. What can be reused or repurposed to make this holiday a smash hit without costing the planet? For example, if you have a foosball table you could dress the table in spooky decorations (which you kept from last year or made yourself) and replace the ball with an eyeball candy. You could have card games where you bet candy instead of chips (or even bet potato chips). A little bit of creativity can go a long way. Things as simple as the decor that you would want to set up and then dispose of, such as tablecloths or napkins, can be replaced by reusable options. Why not use a vinyl tablecloth that is wipeable and easy to adapt to different themes? Small changes like this will really make a difference.
- Recycle – The best way to utilize the third and final R, is to first choose items that are made from recycled content, instead of buying products made from raw or virgin materials. When the product you’ve bought or acquired, can no longer be used, it should be recycled. Recycling can happen in many ways, such as through your waste management company, your compost pile (yes, most food can be recycled) or through your own creativity. Breathe new life into your husband’s old flannel shirt and jeans, by recycling them into a scarecrow for your front porch, or a costume for your ten-year-old.In recent years several organizations have been created to help consumers find ways to reduce the environmental impact of their holiday celebrations. While there are several that focus on Christmas, there are few (if any) besides GreenHalloween.org, which focus entirely on minimizing the environmental impact of Halloween. Here is a list of 20 things you can do to have a Green Halloween®:
- Swap costumes with someone rather than buying a new costume. This is a great idea and one of our favorite Green Halloween Tips.
- Purchase your costume, or its components from your local thrift shop. And leading on from this a brawny man costume is a good example of how this could work. All you need are jeans, a red plaid shirt and boots. These are pretty common items of clothing that should be in local thrift stores.
- Use LED Halloween lights to decorate instead of incandescent lights.
- Collect candy in a reusable container rather than a disposable bag. Or better yet, make it a fun project for your kids, by having them make their own Halloween bag out of reusable or recyclable items you have around the house.
- When trick-or-treating, walk, instead of driving door to door.
- Carry a shakable or hand-crank LED flash light instead of one that is battery powered.
- Make your own Halloween face paints.
- Make your own Halloween Decorations.
- Cut back on the candy/treats you give away – 25% makes a big difference to Mother Earth, and the kids won’t notice.
- Purchase an organic pumpkin.
- Buy your pumpkin from a local farmer.
- Purchase an edible variety of pumpkin and paint, instead of carving the pumpkin. Then bake and eat the pumpkin when Halloween is done.
- Roast & eat your pumpkin seeds instead of tossing them.
- Use 100% beeswax or soy candles in your jack-o-lantern instead of paraffin candles.
- Give away healthier alternatives to conventional candy.
- Compost your leftover candy.
- Donate your leftover candy to troops overseas.
- Compost your pumpkin.
- Make crafts out of candy wrappers.
- Pack décor away carefully so that it can be reused next year.* If you plan to decorate for Halloween you can also conserve energy by using energy efficient LED Halloween Lights, which consume up to 90% less energy than traditional incandescent lights. It’s an easy and festive way to celebrate and reduce your environmental impact.