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Tips for a Sustainable Halloween 2022 (Checklist Included!)

18 October 2022 | By April Scholz

The spookiest time of the year is right around the corner. This Halloween let’s keep the scary times where they belong: in movies and haunted houses, and away from the environment!

Luckily, we’ve compiled our best sustainable Halloween tips and tricks so that you can enjoy a spooky AND sustainable lifestyle this year. Download our checklist and invite your friends to participate – maybe make it a competition! Who can check off the most first and be crowned the ultimate sustainable Halloween champ?!

In with the old, out with the new

When it comes to purchasing new decorations, new costumes, and all that candy, Halloween can actually be a pretty expensive time of year. Not only that, but by buying brand new each year, you’re putting a strain on our environment. Why not save money AND the environment at the same time? Here are some ideas to get you started:

– Organize a costume swap with your friends, family, neighbours, and co-workers. You may not want to re-wear that costume you wore last year, but maybe someone you know does!

– Thrift! Thrift! Thrift! Thrift stores get a lot of Halloween donations, both costumes and decorations. Why not visit your local thrift store before buying anything new?

– This one’s easy, but take good care of the decorations you already have! The environmental impact of decoration production is huge, especially considering most decorations are plastic-based. This year, when you pack away your Halloween goodies, make sure you treat them with kindness!

– And finally, why not get creative and make your own decorations! Use twigs and sticks from your yard to make your very own witch’s broomstick; make trick-or-treat bags from old t-shirts; use leftover craft paper, newspaper, etc. to make papier-mâché pumpkins, ghosts, you name it!


Zero waste candy

Who doesn’t love candy? It’s the staple of most Halloween celebrations! Unfortunately, a majority of the candy handed out is wrapped in non-recyclable, non-compostable, single-use plastic. Despite this, there are still some ways that you can include zero-waste candy in your festivities:

– Hosting a Halloween party? Swapping candy with your family or co-workers? Instead of buying wrapped candy from the grocery store, visit bulk stores and bring your own container! You can still enjoy your favourite candy without contributing to waste.

– Reach out to your trusted neighbours and friends and organize a zero-waste candy route! On this route, houses can give out homemade treats, containers of bulk-bought candies, anything that isn’t single-use.

– Purchase candy packaged without plastic! Some candies, like Smarties and Nerds, come in cardboard boxes that are both recyclable and compostable.


Use your pumpkins wisely

The best part of fall: picking and carving pumpkins! Unfortunately, even though pumpkins are 100% edible and compostable, almost all pumpkins purchased end up in landfills. How can you use your pumpkins sustainably?

– One of the easiest ways is to ensure you’re purchasing locally grown pumpkins! This way you’re limiting the amount of greenhouse gases produced in delivering them to the store. Try to visit a local farm in your province that grows and sells pumpkins and enjoy a beautiful fall day with the family!

– Once Halloween is over and your pumpkin looks like it needs some TLC, opt for composting your pumpkin instead of throwing it in the trash. If you don’t have access to home composting, see if any farms or community gardens in your area will accept them!

– We wrote a blog post last year on how you can fight pumpkin waste! Check it out for some great ideas on how to get the most out of this festive fall staple.

Sometimes sustainability just requires a little creativity, so get creative this Halloween, consider our tips and tricks, and help our planet!

Development Officer – Earth Day Canada

April Scholz

For as long as she can remember, April has been an advocate for living a sustainable lifestyle and working together to protect our natural environment. Having grown up in Hamilton, Ontario (the Waterfall Capital of the World) and currently living in London, Ontario (aka the Forest City), April has been surrounded by beautiful natural areas her whole life! If she isn’t at home caring for her plants, you may find her in the woods looking for birds and identifying native trees and plants!

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