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Spooky and Sustainable: Eco-Friendly Halloween Ideas

Sustainable Halloween Decorations_Plastic Detox

As Halloween approaches, the excitement for fun costumes, eerie decorations, and visits to the pumpkin patch is in the air.. However, it's essential to be mindful of the environmental impact that often accompanies this holiday. This Halloween, let's explore some creative and eco-friendly alternatives to reduce plastic waste and make your spooky celebrations more sustainable.

Sustainable Halloween Goodies

Candy can have a bad (w)rap, especially when they are coated in plastic. Wrappers from the approximate 600 million pounds of candy that Americans purchase on Halloween contribute immensely to our plastic pollution problem [1]. To help lower that number, here are some plastic-free Halloween candy ideas for the Trick or Treaters that will come knocking at your door.

Boxed candy—Junior Mints, Milk Duds, Nerds, Sour Patch Kids, and SweeTarts… just to name a few. These are a good option as the boxes are recyclable and the candy inside is just as delicious as the plastic-wrapped ones.

Foil candy—100% aluminum wrappers are recyclable. Many different types and shapes of chocolate are wrapped with foil, such as chocolate coins, chocolate bars (depending on the brand), chocolate kisses, and more. If you can crumple the wrapper into a small ball without it unraveling then it is foil that you can recycle.

Candy alternatives—For the folks who are not fond of candy, there are plenty of eco-friendly alternatives for you too! Plastic-free toys, pencils, woven friendship bracelets (or friendship bracelet kits), soda in aluminum cans (make sure if you’re buying in bulk, to purchase the ones that come in the cardboard and not the plastic bands), and more. Feel free to get creative with your goodies.

Plastic-free treat bag––Reuse a bag you have or try using reusable fabric bags as Halloween candy bags. These can be decorated with spooky designs or easily customized, making them a fun and eco-friendly alternative to single-use plastic bags.

Eco-Friendly Halloween Costume Tips

Sustainable Halloween Costume Tips

Buying used—Thrift or second-hand stores are a great place to find pieces for the perfect costume, and who knows, you may even find your new favorite shirt.

Renting—There are plenty of places to rent costumes, whether that be from a local costume shop or online (just be cautious about the plastic in shipping and travel).

Borrowing—Borrow clothes from friends, family members, or significant others. The options are endless.

DIY/Upcycling—Some of the best Halloween costumes are homemade, and it’s super fun to get crafty!

Decorating Your Space Sustainably for Halloween

Everyone loves some haunting Halloween decor; however, a lot of this decoration can be single-use plastic that gets immediately thrown away in November. Luckily, plastic-free Halloween decorations are more simple than one might think. Here are a handful of ideas to keep your decorations more sustainable:

Buy used—Just like with costumes, you can find plenty of vintage or cool decorations at a secondhand or thrift store. You never know what kind of treasures you may find.

DIY/Crafting—Let your imagination run free and make your own decorations from things you have at home. Dark paper bats, sheet ghosts, cardboard broomsticks… just some quick ideas to keep your decorations more eco-friendly.

Pick some pumpkins—a great option for non-plastic Halloween decorations is pumpkins. They are the perfect decoration since they already have the alignment with Halloween, and they can be easily composted once their job is done. Carve them into spooky faces or use little pumpkins as table decoration. There are many routes to go.

Tips for an Eco-Conscious Halloween Party

Still trying to decide what to serve up at parties? We have you covered with some plastic-free alternatives to traditional Halloween goodies.

Homemade caramels—you can either serve them in a dish or wrap them up with bees wrap wrappers or brown parchment to make cute little candies to hand out. You can also make caramel apples with any leftover caramel in the pot, just make sure to use a wooden stick instead of a plastic one to dip the apples.

Fresh fruit—Buying seasonal, fresh fruit is a sustainable alternative to plastic-wrapped goodies. Carving fruits into spooky characters and shapes to match the Halloween spirit is also fun.

Small goody bags—Many bulk stores have candy that you can purchase (just don’t forget to bring a mason jar or reusable baggies). You can either use leftover jars, reusable muslin bags, or tie up some bee’s wrap and fill them up with different candies inside.

Real pumpkins for pumpkin recipes—Instead of canned purees, using “sugar pumpkins” or “pie pumpkins” is the low-waste way to go. All you have to do is half the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds (and bake them with salt, cinnamon, and oil for a delicious snack), and bake the pumpkin. Once baked and cooled, scoop out the meat of the pumpkin and blend until smooth until you’re left with a homemade pumpkin puree that will rival any store-bought puree. Don’t forget to compost any scraps! You can use this puree for pumpkin pies, cupcakes, muffins, cakes, and more.

Holidays should be a time of joy, not excess waste, and Halloween is no exception. Even by making a small change, such as reducing our reliance on plastic and single-use items, we can collectively transform Halloween into a more environmentally friendly and sustainable celebration. Together, we can ensure that the spirit of this holiday is not only spooky but also eco-conscious.

Don't let plastic haunt your home. Shop our sustainable alternatives and create a plastic-free sanctuary this Halloween and beyond.



[1] Durbin, D.A., & The Associated Press. (2022, October 29). Your Halloween candy wrappers will likely end up in a landfill but don’t blame recyclers: ’It’s got to be profitable. These guys aren’t social workers.’ Fortune.

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