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How to have an eco-friendly Halloween on a budget

How to have an eco-friendly Halloween on a budget

pumpkin pot bursting with bats, spiders and treats

Are you ready to get your spook on? We know we are! There’s just something about Halloween that makes it feel different to any other time of year. Cover yourself in face paint and slime. Dress up in clothes you had deemed only suitable for the bin. But the best part; eat all the sweets treats in sight. There are so many traditions that come along with Halloween, carving pumpkins, hosting parties and of course, trick or treating. Although we know this year will be different due to social distancing restrictions there’s no need to dismay, there are still plenty of ways to have an eco-friendly Halloween.



Last year, over 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste was created from Halloween (the equivalent to 83 million plastic bottles). As a nation, we seem to go crazy for the cheap plastic decorations that we dispose of as soon as the day is over. While we know that Halloween is a time for fun, it shouldn’t come at a cost to the environment which is why this year, we’re bringing you the complete eco-friendly Halloween experience. There’s no need to rush out and buy costumes, decorate with tacky fake spiders or even buy a box full of sweets. We’ve thought of everything.

Eco-Friendly Halloween Trick or Treating from a distance

Possibly one of the biggest challenges to overcome this year will be trick or treating. The bags of sweets that we buy, all individually wrapped, are great for this year’s safety theme. However, most of that plastic ends up on our streets harming our wildlife.

Many communities around the country are organising an alternative way to trick or treat as a way to remain distanced and safe. Instead of knocking on doors, people are taking part in spooky trails. Put a spooky pumpkin in your window or outside your door to show that your house is taking part. Then, kids will go around the local area, seeing how many pumpkins they can spot. Add the totals up at the end and provide the number of sweet treats accordingly.

We suggest making your own spooky treats such as these eerie eyeball pops, spider biscuits, or candy apples. These treats are easy to make at home, but they’re also free from plastic. You’ll be able to trick or treat safely, and your children will still be able to enjoy the sweet taste of Halloween!

Suppose you can’t find a local community taking part in such an event. In that case, there are other creative ideas that ensure the safety of your community, family and environment. We’ve seen some interesting ideas such as Matt in Michigan who created a zip line to deliver sweets (and beer!) from a safe distance. You could even do a Halloween themed ‘easter egg’ hunt in your garden and home.

Use a pillowcase as an eco-friendly swag bag!

If you do go trick or treating, we know it’s challenging to reduce the plastic that other people hand out with sweets. So, make sure your swag bag is eco-friendly by using a pillowcase! Buying the plastic tubs for Halloween is the perfect example of using an item once, and discarding it, because they often break before you can use them again. Not only are pillowcases fun to decorate with blood and slime – they tend to hold more sweets too!

Eco-Friendly Halloween costumes

It’s estimated that around 7 million Halloween costumes are thrown out each year! Which is why this year, creating an eco-friendly costume is our priority. Let’s be honest, the ones we buy tend to break as soon as we put them on, or they don’t last the evening. There’s little to no hope of saving them for the next year so let’s save the hassle of shopping for a costume and get creative instead.

Use your old clothes as costumes

Old clothes… how many have you thrown out since your deep clean during the summer lockdown? Well, don’t throw out the last few bits just yet – you can make them into a costume. Cut some holes, rub some dirt in them, pour some red food colouring on them and you have your zombie outfit sorted! Simply paint your face a ghoulish green, and you’re ready to go.

Use old towels and bedsheets as costumes

“But we’ve done the ghost look so many times!” We hear you cry, but bed sheets and towels can be used in more ways than just ghost costumes. Do you have a little warrior in your home? Perhaps you could use an old bedsheet to make a toga. Remember that costumes don’t need to be spooky, you can dress up as anything and make it ‘dead’ by adding some whacky face paint and fake blood.

Another option is to rip the sheets and towels up and use them as wraps, linking pieces with safety pins. It is the perfect eco-friendly mummy costume! At a time when toilet paper sits in high regard, wasting it on a costume is not wise. Better yet, you can recycle this idea and play mummy wrapping games at home too!

Make your own mask

There are so many plastic masks that make it hard to breathe, are uncomfortable and let’s face it, often come off after the first few minutes of wear. So this year, instead of sending more plastic to landfill why not make your own using paper?

It’s simple to do and makes a great activity to do during the day. Kids can enjoy personalising their mask and drawing as many creepy spiders as they want. Just cut some eye holes and tie some hairbands on the end to act as ear loops and you’re good to go!

Choosing the right costume

We know that not everyone has these options available to them, which is why we’re also sharing other eco-friendly ideas. Instead of buying a costume, why not rent one from a fancy-dress shop. The majority are local small businesses who will have struggled due to the lack of social gatherings this year. Renting a costume is a great way to reduce your waste but still have a great time getting dressed up as your favourite spooky character.

On the other hand, you could invest in a long-lasting costume so you can wear it for multiple occasions year after year. If you’re going to invest, invest in something that doesn’t restrict you to Halloween. You could buy the costume of a famous character and dress it up spooky for Halloween with face paint and then wear it again for another fancy-dress party (when they’re allowed again).

See Also

Eco-Friendly Halloween decorations

Suppose we’re trying to kick our habit of buying into plastic at Halloween. In that case, we know our decorations of tiny plastic spiders and cauldrons are possibly our biggest culprit. At the end of the day they’re cheap to buy and we can reuse them if we store them safely for next year, but if we’re honest, they’re a waste of our money and not exactly eco-friendly. So, we’ve got some other suggestions to try out.

Our first suggestion is to use your old glass jars. While we love that many of you recycle them, have you considered how amazing they could look as decorations? Transform them into mummies, paint them to create characters, or pop a candle inside and switch off the lights to create a spooky atmosphere.

If you feel like your home is missing out on little black spiders around the house, start saving your bottle tops! Whether they’re plastic or metal, you can paint them black and attach some black pipe cleaner legs and have them creeping around the home.



There are even ideas out there that involve using old egg cartons to transform into spooky bunting. Cut the boxes into ghost and bat shapes, paint and string together with some twine—the perfect finishing touch to your front room where the Halloween fun and games can begin.

There are so many ways to have an eco-friendly Halloween. No matter what activities you’re doing, what you’re dressing up as or how you decorate your home, there is always a green option. Even switching one of your typical actions for an eco-friendly one can make a big difference. Now you have enough ideas to transform your spooky day for years to come.

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