Sustainable Living & Sustainable Lifestyle

Going green on Halloween doesn't have to be a scary endeavor, just follow these tips.

A Guide to Going Green on Halloween

Screams of torture ring out through the night, children are running around on sugar highs and your doorbell won’t stop ringing.  No, this is not a bad dream, it is just time for Halloween again.  Yes, time to get dressed up and do your best to scare the neighbors while taking candy from them.  Through all of the fun and excitement there are some other more scary monsters lurking in the corner.  They go by the names of global warming and toxic pollution – two costumes you probably won’t see at the local Target.

Don’t Panic! A Green Halloween Can Be Simple

Going green on HalloweenThe farthest thing from your kids mind is how they can be more environmentally friendly during Halloween, so I guess it is up to us to help make that happen.  Keeping  it simple is the key to winning the going green game, it doesn’t have to take much time or cost money to make a difference.  Help the little ghouls, ghosts and goblins breathe a breath of fresh air for generations to come by following these top going green on Halloween tips.

  • Reusable Jack-O-Lanterns:  Take a quick moment and think about how many families celebrate Halloween by carving a pumpkin or two, just to trash it when done.  Energy was used to grow those pumpkins, transport them to and from the store and to haul them to the trash.  Try a re-usable jack-o-lantern, using candle power or an LED light.
  • Don’t Buy Costumes:  Talk about a waste of money!  You are paying to cover your body with cheap, toxic plastic materials that often have a carbon footprint larger than a couple week’s worth of driving.  Bring the creativity back and make your own costumes or raid the local Goodwill and find something really spooky, like last year’s fashion.  If you did buy costumes, don’t dump it – donate it to local charities or hand it down to a younger neighbor.
  • Try Something Other Than Candy:  Small, individually wrapped candy is the pinnacle of waste on Halloween.  So many other options are available with a lower carbon footprint and are far more useful.  Try pencils made out of recycled paper, art supplies or even homemade cookies, if you know the neighbors well.
  • Reusable Bags Are a Must:  Reusable bags are not just for grocery shopping, they an help cut down on the landfill waste produced during Halloween.  If you want a festive bag vs. the standard shopping bag then purchase one that is made of bio-degradable material and save it to use year after year.
  • Use a CFL Bulb On The Porch:  Often overlooked, the porch light is what lets the little trick or treaters know you are open for business.  Take a look at the light you have in the fixture and make sure it is an energy saving CFL bulb or LED bulb.  This will cut energy usage while the light s on for a few hours.

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An eco-friendly Halloween is one that parents and kids alike can enjoy and feel good about helping create a sustainable earth at the same time.  The sugar highs will wear off and the vampire makeup will wash away, but the impact you have on your environment is here to stay.  So let’s make it a positive impact together this Halloween.

This article was co-authored with my daughter Isabelle, she is 7 years old and wanted to contribute to a Sustainable Earth.  I’m a lucky parent and the planet is already in safer hands with her around.


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