Green Halloween: How to Have a Sustainable Halloween

Kaylee Brzezinski | October 25, 2022 | 3 min read

Celebrate Halloween With Our Eco-Friendly Halloween Guide

Halloween is one of the most fun holidays of the year! But all those tricks and treats can add up to a hefty impact on our planet. In fact, the spookiest thing about Halloween might just be the amount of waste that is produced as a result of the holiday. One 2019 study estimated that around 2,000 tons of plastic waste is generated from disposable Halloween clothing in the UK alone. And while halloween waste data is harder to come by in the United States, we can safely assume that the impact is significantly higher. So don't be a monster (unless that's your costume) and make your Halloween a little more green this. year!

Need some inspiration? We got you covered. Check out our All About Pumpkins activity kit for kids, and these 9 ways to have a green Halloween. 

Sustainable Halloween Costumes

DYI Halloween Kids Costume

1. DIY Costume

Making your own halloween costume is a great way to reduce waste. Chances are there is SOMETHING in your closet right now that you can use to transform into a creepy creature. Not feeling creative? Go with the classic sheet ghost look. You probably have a closet full of Halloween costumes from years past. And when in doubt, there are always DIY ideas online.

dressed up 50s style

2. swap costumes with a friend

Is your old halloween costume so last year? Then it's time to gather up a few friends for a Halloween Costume Swap! Mix up some spooky cocktails, crank up the chilling music, and have fun trying on eachother's costumes from years past. Even if you don't find the perfect fit, you're sure to have a laugh!

halloween costumes

3. Purchase a sustainably produced costume

If you have your heart set on a specific, or new, costume, you can still make a greener choice. Either purchase from a sustainable fashion brand, or carefully look into the materials used to make sure that they can be recycled. This means avoiding petroleum-based plastics, polyester, and other non-recyclable materials. 

Make Eco-Friendly Halloween Decorations

halloween decor

4. UPCYCLE YOUR DECOR

Before you go all out on the halloween decor, think about what you can repurpose to create a sustainable alternative. There are several ways you can accomplish this. Upcycle and paint used cardboard for wall decorations, or cut spiders and ghosts out of old magazines or newspapers. Refer to pinterest fo plenty of spooky upcycled ideas!

Halloween pumpkins

5. Buy locally grown pumpkins

Support local businesses and farmers by shopping local for your pumpkins! The pumpkins that you find at a big chain store are likely shipped from far away. Find a local farm and make a day out of choosing the perfect jack o'lantern. You can also reduce food waste by preparing recipes with the insides, such as pumpkin pie or roasted pumpkin seeds!

Group of kids in halloween costumes holding trick-or-treat buckets

6. Purchase sustainably crafted decorations

Prefer to leave the Halloween crafts to those that actually enjoy crafting? That's totally fine, too! Today, there are plenty of makers that specialize in sustainable halloween decorations. Don't believe us? Head over to etsy, type in sustainable halloween, and prepare to be flooded with inventive options! Better yet, you may be able to pick something up locally!

Sustainable Halloween Treats!

halloween candy

7. ECO-FRIENDLY CANDY

When shopping for Halloween candy, try to get fair-trade, organic options. Not in your budget? That's alright! Just try to reduce waste by purchasing candy with minimal or recyclable packaging — or forgo candy altogether and give the kids something else. They may give you a funny look at first, but they'll probably get plenty of candy elsewhere!

homemade spooky cookies

8. Make Your Own

If you're hosting a Halloween party, forget about filling bowls with packaged candies, and instead bake up some simple, fun halloween treats. Laid out on platters, your spider balls, ghost cookies, and witch hats will make up a boo-tiful display! If you have kids at home, get them involved in the great spooky bake-off — and be sure to snap photos of the adorable memories you'll make together. 

Group of kids in halloween costumes holding trick-or-treat buckets

9. Reusable Trick-or-treat bags

Save your money and re-purpose a tote bag or bucket for trick or treating. Many of the plastic Halloween buckets you purchase in a store only get used one time - now that's scary! Who says using an old pillow case or any ol' bag isn't cool? It's what's inside that counts. Give it new life with some spooky decorations to complete your look.

Hopefully this list has inspired you to green up your Halloween celebrations this year. After all, with all of the ways to be more sustainable during spooky season, green truly is the new black. Want to plant trees in a spooky forest? Plant a tree in Romania's Transylvania region, today!

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

As the need for reforestation is global and ever-changing, we feature where trees are most needed now. For Treecember, we're planting trees that support a global forest fire recovery fund. Learn more

With your help, we will:

  • Reforest lands damaged by record-setting fires
  • Support healthy habitat for iconic biodiversity
  • Plant tree species that will help reduce future fire impact
  • This holiday season, we’re planting trees in areas around the world that have been severely affected by forest fires and aren't able to recover a healthy ecosystem on their own. The most common naturally-caused wildfires occur during droughts or dry weather, and under these circumstances, trees and other vegetation are converted to flammable fuel. Human-caused forest fires can be a result of various activities like unregulated slash and burn agriculture, equipment failure or engine sparks, and discarded cigarettes.

    After wildfires, reforestation is essential in areas where the fire intensity burned off available seed supply within the soil, and/or where there are not enough healthy trees still growing and producing new seeds nearby. Reforestation starts once professional assessments have been made to determine where human intervention would be the most ecologically beneficial. Help restore these vital ecosystems by planting a tree. 🌿
  • Every year, forest fires are increasing in size and severity, damaging vital ecosystems and creating a need for millions of trees. Some major consequences of forest fires include significant loss of wildlife, loss of vegetation, soil erosion, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.

    With so much fire damage, reforestation is essential to catalyze the environmental recovery process. The trees are carefully planted to prevent invasive species from colonizing burn scars and restore quality habitat for native biodiversity. One Tree Planted is connecting with on-the-ground partners to establish viable reforestation projects when the recently affected regions are ready for planting. This fund will contribute to planting projects in British Columbia, Idaho, Ghana, Portugal, and beyond. Let's get to work! 🌲
  • A personalized tree certificate (see gallery) to say thanks for your donation. We'll also send you updates about this project, so you can track the impact your trees are having on the community and environment.
  • To maximize the impact of your donation, our partners on the ground will determine the most appropriate species of tree and shrubs. We only plant native tree species that will restore the local ecosystem, re-establish wildlife habitat, and reduce the likelihood of future fires.

Sign Up to our Newsletter

Get good news, reforestation updates, planting event information, and more delivered right to your inbox.