How do you “green” your Halloween?

Pumpkins, photographed in Canada.

Image via Wikipedia

  • Use the whole pumpkin: Most everyone buys a pumpkin to celebrate the holiday, and we all end up tossing it in the trash in November. However, avoiding that waste is easy by using the pumpkin for both food and decoration. It’s easy to bake the seeds with a little bit of salt for a tasty and healthy snack; or, puree the freshly cutout pieces for recipes that call for fresh pumpkin – avoiding canned pumpkin. All other parts of the pumpkin can be added to a compost pile.


  • Skip the expensive plastic costumes: Put less stress on your wallet by opting for costumes made of reusable or recycled materials. Incite your family’s creativity by constructing a unique, exciting costume from scratch. Sites like TreeHugger ( offer free instructional videos on how to make popular costume ideas for $10 or less.


  • Use recyclable bags for your Trick-or-Treaters: A fun family activity is to create a unique Trick-orTreat basket, or simply put a reusable bag to good use. Avoiding the plastic Jack-O-Lantern type containers will avoid clutter, save money, and add a dash of originality to your Trick-or-Treaters’ costume.


  • Candy options are out there: When stocking up for Halloween, look for candy brands that donate part of their profits to environmental causes; Fair Trade-sourced chocolates; or sweets made with pure cane sugar, fruit juice, and natural colors. There are a number of different eco-friendly candies now available at your local grocery stop, health food stores or co-ops. These organic candies can provide Halloween treats that are a little friendlier for your trick-or-treaters and are produced using methods that are gentler on the environment. If you’re skipping candy for health reasons, try handing out small toys, pencils, or soy crayons. In addition, don’t forget to buy in bulk to avoid the packaging waste!


  • DIY Decorations: Making your own decorations provides yet another money-saving, eco-friendly opportunity. Must-haves like plastic spiders, witches and ghosts can be a one-time purchase saved for use, year after year. When possible, look for reclaimed material; if you’re buying things you know you can’t keep – like streamers or paper plates – be sure to look for brands that are both recycled and recyclable.

About craigruark

Craig A. Ruark is a freelance writer, journalist, and marketing and PR professional. In 2008, Craig became one of the first non-technical persons to become an Accredited Professional by the U.S. Green Building Council for ‘Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design” (LEED AP). Over the years he has immersed himself in the subject of “sustainability” and by combining this knowledge with his expertise in marketing and advertising, has published a book titled “Marketing Your Green Side,” which is available through Amazon. Craig is an avid fitness participant, sailor, SCUBA diver, enjoys singing Karaoke, listening to jazz, and is working on his next book.
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