Hot on the heels of Greta Thunberg’s Canadian visit, we are trying to step up our game and make better choices for the future and our little ones.
Halloween is around the corner and while this super fun holiday is one of our favourites, there’s an overwhelming amount of waste that typically accompanies it…but it doesn’t have to be that way!
Here are some ways to bring an eco-friendly mindset to this holiday and reduce your environmental impact but not your fun.
Trick or Treat
Eco-friendly trick-or-treating doesn’t have to mean foregoing sweets. If you choose to hand out candy, go for options with paper packaging that can be recycled (Like Pixie Sticks, Nerds, Junior Mints, Milk Duds or Dots).
If you’re looking for alternatives to sugar, we love the idea of little gifts. Look for items that aren’t single use and don’t have excess packaging. Here are a few ideas:
- Halloween Erasers & Pencils
- Seed packets, seed paper & seed bombs
- Art supplies like crayons or sidewalk chalk
- Coins (Hand out nickels, dimes or quarters for those little piggy banks)
Let’s not forget nature’s candy! Opt for tasty sweet treats that pack a vitamin punch. Choose fruit with a peel like tangerines or clementines, apples or raisin boxes.
Activity: Turn everyday tangerines into adorable little jack-o'-lanterns with your little ones using a black sharpie!
Activity: Instead of sending your kids out trick-or-treating with a plastic pumpkin carrier, decorate re-useable canvas bags or pillowcases with markers, stamps or paint. Put on some fun Halloween music to really get festive and finish off with a little Monster Mash.
Enjoy all the dress up fun without the plastic waste from prepackaged costumes shipped from across the globe. Get creative with one of these alternatives to cheap, single use costumes.
Raid your closet. Surf the internet for inspo then dig deep in your wardrobe for items that can be used as key pieces in a costume. Think about how accessories could change the items you already have or what pieces could be created or sourced to complete the look.
Scour your local thrift store. Your local thrift store will likely have, not only a selection of gently used costumes for adults and kids but also a variety of regular garments that have costume potential. These will often be featured at the front of the store at this time of year.
Host a costume swap. Invite your friends and crack the vino for a costume swap for adults or get together with parents from play group, school or sports teams to swap costumes for your kids.
Buy online. Second hand doesn’t have to mean you’re limited to thrift stores anymore. Locate a previously loved costume from the comfort of your own home. Try a search on Craigslist and Kajiji for your geographical area, Facebook marketplace, Facebook local community buy and sell pages or post an ISO with a photograph for a specific item you desire or a generalized request.
Pumpkins are a beloved Halloween staple but in order to meet demands, crops are often sprayed with pesticides to grow bigger and faster then shipped over long distances. Remember to go local and organic for gourds you can feel good about.
Pro tip: Repurpose your decorative pumpkins after October 31st as the feature in a delicious dish. A simple Pinterest search for healthy pumpkin recipes yields delicious options from curries to overnight oats and beyond. Some other ideas include soup, chili, ravioli, energy balls, and smoothies. Don’t forget to compost the remains!
Most Halloween decorations are low quality items that are made from and wrapped in unrecyclable plastic, then trashed immediately after use. Look for paper decorations that can be recycled or buy nicer decorations that will be reused year after year. A great option is to make your own decorations for your home like Halloween luminaries made in used jars for ambiance or classic ghosts made with white sheets.
Activity: Crafting is a great way to create memories while making meaningful decorations you will want to keep and reuse. Get creative and make everything from jack-o'-lanterns, skeletons and bats to posters, garlands, and anything else you can dream up! Do a quick online search for eco-friendly Halloween crafts and challenge yourself to reuse items you already have in your house.
A little mindfulness can go a long way and we can’t wait to dive into these feel good, eco-friendly, fun and festive Halloween ideas this fall!