I am so excited for the upcoming fall season since it includes Halloween. As a kid Halloween was always my favorite holiday, and funnily enough it was not because of the candy. I just loved how spooky it was, between the ghosts and witches. I loved watching “Are You Afraid of the Dark” and reading “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark”. When I was a kid I would wear the same witch costume every year for several years. I had a black, partially lacy dress and a black pointy hat that was made of spider filled lace. Somewhere along the way I lost my love for the holiday. Maybe it is because we wouldn’t decorate as much, or there weren't any exciting events to go to. People just made it an excuse to party. Also I find that the holiday became extremely consumerist, needing to buy a brand new costume and new plastic decorations, everything was cheap, single use and would definitely break by the end of the night. The quality of these items were so poor that people didn’t even care if something got lost or ripped.
As someone who is always trying to be sustainable and make conscious decisions, I want to celebrate Halloween as such. Granted, being sustainable is a privilege that not everyone has. So for those who have the time, finances, and will; here are some tips that I think would be a nice way to boost the greenness of this spooky holiday.
The simplest one is, use what you have. That goes for everything. Decorate your home with what decorations you have from years past. You don’t need new decorations to celebrate, plus what’s better than free? Not a whole lot. For your costumes, see what clothes you already have, borrow from someone else in your household to complete the perfect costume! You can even wear the same one you had on last year, or a few years ago! Trust me, people won’t care if you are repeating an outfit, they are all focused on what their own costume is. Last year I dressed up as Bill Nye the Science Guy and wore some clothes that I owned, and borrowed a few final touches from my grandfather. The costume wasn’t any less of an accurate representation just because I didn’t buy the items new and as a set, people still loved it! Plus most costumes that are bought from the typical Halloween store are cheaply made, expensive and will hardly make it through the evening.
Renting costumes at Halloween Costumes https://www.halloweencostumes.com/rental-costumes.html?utm_source=925509&utm_medium=affiliate&network=ShareASale&banner_id=708289&sscid=91k4_n6aiv
If you have a bit more determination and time you can thrift a costume, I find that many thrift stores have costumes during this time, which will also keep these items from going into the landfill and it will be less expensive. Just please keep in mind that many people use thrift stores as a necessity and this is their only option for clothes, including costumes so the more people buy from them the higher the prices will go which will directly affect the people who need this resource. There are some online second hand shops, such as Depop, Swap.com, and ThredUp, so you can try that! You can also look into Ebay to find secondhand items. While you are looking around in the second hand shops, you can also find decorations, or something that you can upcycle into something spooky!
Speaking of decorations, you can buy pumpkins and gourds at your local farmers market (which will both support local farms and cut down on transportation emissions). Nothing like a classic pumpkin carving, plus once the season is over you can compost these decorations which will help the planet and create little waste. While you are at it, you can roast your pumpkin seeds for a fun snack! Also depending on the aesthetic of your decorations you can get some fresh flowers and dry them to hang around your home.
Since we are in the middle of a pandemic, I won’t be talking about solutions for trick or treating, in my opinion we should not risk the health and safety of the children for some treats (or tricks).
But for our own celebration, instead of individually wrapped candy you can find candy in most bulk sections, if not you can find chocolate in foil or paper which both (usually) are recyclable. You can also make your own treats, which is a fun activity plus you will know exactly what is in and you can find sustainably sourced ingredients. Just don’t ask your neighbor for a cup of salt. They may think you are a witch.
For all my PSL folks, here is how to make your own mix!
homemade pumpkin spice mix
4 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Since sweater weather is approaching here is a sustainable and hand-spun yarn company for all you knitters, crocheters, and fiber artists! Siren Spun is naturally dyed, sustainably sourced and uses minimal packaging (also a friend of mine).