Halloween has transformed from a spiritual celebration of the harvest and a time to pay respect to departed relatives into a more lighthearted day for kids and adults alike. Billions of dollars are spent every year on everything from Halloween candy to costumes. Halloween may not be the most eco-friendly day of the year, but there are ways to make this beloved holiday a little less taxing on the environment.
Investigate the ways items can be put to use year after year rather than having to buy entirely new items each Halloween. It’s estimated that Americans use more than 380 million plastic bags every year, according to About News website’s environmental issues experts. Reusable tote bags have helped cut down plastic bag consumption when shopping at stores, while cloth or canvas bags also can make for eco-friendly alternatives to traditional Halloween totes. Have kids get into the habit of decorating their own canvas Halloween totes with fabric paint and other embellishments. The bag can be packed away with Halloween decorations and used year after year.
Another way to reuse this Halloween is to store costumes and decorations properly so that they will not become damaged. Trends come and go, so a costume that was used a few years ago may be useful again in due time. Take proper care with decorations so that they can be used for years to come.
Cut energy consumption
Halloween is an easy time to reduce energy consumption at home. Fortunately, shadows and darkness fit with the theme of the holiday, so dim the lights or leave them off and use soy candles to create that spooky ambiance.
Reduce energy consumption during manufacturing and importing costumes by trying your hand at creative costumes made at home. Many craft items and older clothing can be repurposed into clever costumes for people of all ages. Arrange for a costume swap with other people so that costumes can be rotated and used again.
Halloween is largely about the treats. The candies and other items handed out at the door also can be customized so that they are more eco-friendly. Choose treats with minimal packaging or packaging that can be recycled. When possible, purchase treats from local stores, as this reduces fuel consumption and can help boost the local economy. Many organic and eco-friendly candy options are now available, so shop at organic grocery stores or health food stores to browse their selections.
Walk Halloween night
Stay close to home and do all of your trick-or-treating on foot to reduce fuel consumption. If rural conditions make it difficult to walk the neighborhood, plan a gathering where kids can trick-or-treat in one location, such as in a school parking lot or auditorium. When driving is an absolute must, carpool as much as possible.
Use safe makeup
Face paints and other makeup can transform ordinary people into just about any persona. However, very often makeup can contain lead or other metals, which not only can be harmful to personal health, but also the environment. Be sure to read the ingredients on makeup used and look for safe or even organic products.
Halloween is awash in purple, orange and black. But this beloved holiday can be enhanced with a little green thinking as well.