Eco-Friendly Living

How to be green this Halloween

As much as I adore Halloween with every fibre of my being, it is a big environmental hazard. With so much cheap, over-processed single-use items plaguing the season, I’d say it’s just as bad as Valentine’s Day for the environment. The only reason it’s probably just behind Christmas is because we don’t gift people things they don’t need, in non-recyclable wrapping paper. Here’s my tips for an eco-friendly Halloween:


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Halloween is probably the biggest night for single-use costumes. I love good Halloween costumes as much as the next person, but buying an outfit and wearing it for a few hours once is not sustainable. The environmental impact that goes into making just one outfit is huge, so at least get the wear from your wardrobe!

I’m not saying you can’t dress up. I start thinking about my costume very early in the year, I’m just suggesting to be more considerate with it. Most single-use Halloween costumes are so cheap and flimsy they don’t even look that good!

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I always try to use things I already own as part of my Halloween costume, for example, when I was Veronica from Heathers I didn’t need to buy a single thing because all the clothes were either mine or my sisters! For other costumes I bought accessories to accompany things I already own, like buying the wig and bullet belt for Black Widow, and the wig, gloves, feather boa, and cigarette holder for Cruella. When I buy new things I always get something I feel can be used for another costume down the line or I’ll actually wear again. Last year I was Esmerelda, and only had to buy the corset and skirt, which I would actually wear in my day to day life. This year, I only bought secondhand; I got the red blazer on Depop, and I’ll pick up a sword in a charity shop. Everything else was something I already owned, the shirt for Elizabeth and Esmerelda are the same!

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zero waste chocolate apples for halloween

Unfortunately most wrappers from sweets aren’t recyclable, if you stop and look at the waste that washes up on the beach, a lot of the single-use plastic is decades old. Halloween candy is no different, if anything the fact that these companies make new packaging for Halloween is a big waste of plastic.

I’m not saying the solution is to hand out loose fruit, because the kids will throw it back at your house. I think the solution is to track down sweets in sustainable packaging – which is few and far between right now. Chocolate brands like Seed & Bean have biodegradable packing, and the bonus of no palm-oil, that you could make chocolate covered apples with!

At the very least, if we can’t get to zero-waste or plastic free, then avoid palm oil.


pumpkin jack-o-lantern with green smoke halloween

I love seeing Halloween stuff in stores, and usually buy at least one thing a year, but I only buy good quality things I love and actually keep them out all year. A lot of decorations are low quality and won’t make it until the next Halloween. Get things you can reuse the next year.

The most important decoration after all is the pumpkin, which is already biodegradable.

Better again, DIY some decorations, Pinterest is a goldmine for these kinds of projects.


13 thoughts on “How to be green this Halloween

  1. I don’t really do Halloween costumes because my clothes are so out there and unique that it’s like Halloween every day for me. One other thing I thought about for environmentally friendly Halloween costumes that anyone can do without buying anything is Disneybounding, where you wear outfits inspired by Disney characters colour schemes. Like for a Winnie the Pooh Disneybound wear yellow and red and for Piglet wear pink. This could work well in a friends group.

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  2. I love this! I haven’t seen anyone go over how to be green this Halloween yet. I always do DIY costumes with clothes I already have, I think its funner and more of a challenge (and they look better than store bought that way). I also get a few things each year; usually ceramics or investments. Now times have changed it is a bit strange seeing so many throw-away plastic masks and things of that nature. Pumpkins really are the best Halloween decorations for their eco friendly nature! (I especially like going to pumpkin patches; seems extra authentic that way!) Great post and tips 🙂

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  3. We try and DIY for Hallowe’en as much as possible – pumpkin carving and making our own sweets. But I do know what you mean, the majority of crap that’s pushed at us for what’s essentially one night is dreadful! Great eco-tips here 🙂 Lisa x

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  4. Loved this post! I always try and reuse or repurpose costumes – and I agree with the point about wrappers being tough to find eco-friendly alternatives, but avoiding palm oil is a good start!

    Jess xx

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  5. Such a great post! I love Halloween, but always feel a bit strange about all the plastic decorations etc.. It’s definitely a good idea to buy something that’ll last, rather than some single-use poorly made decorations 🙂 I’m going as Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery services this year – just a black dress, some red shoes and a red bow, super easy c:

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  6. This is a great post and a topic I haven’t seen discussed before. We love Halloween in my family and try to get costumes we will reuse, or use items already in our wardrobes. One thing I have tried before is making our own chocolates or cupcakes, which is a great alternative to anything store bought. The kids loved them. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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