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Keep It Green On Halloween
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With Halloween right around the corner, many adults and children alike are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to dress up and have a great time with friends and family. However, with many heading out to buy home decor, getting those finishing touches for a cool costume, or stocking up on candy, it can be easy to forget how much waste we might be producing. From store-bought costumes only worn once to non-recyclable plastic decorations, the real spook can be the environmental harm from our festivities. 


Looking to keep it green on Halloween? Here are some tips on how you can reduce your impact without losing out on any of the fun on the 31st!  And whether you’re trick or treating or planning a small family gathering, please be sure to also check out LA Public Health’s community guidelines to ensure you stay safe and healthy this Halloween. 


Trick-or-Treating: Keep the streets clean & opt to walk

  • Turn your trick-or-treating into a neighborhood cleanup! Bring some gloves and a small trash bag to pick up candy wrappers or any other waste you come across. You can even turn your cleanup into a friendly competition of who can pick up the most trash
  • Leave a waste bin on the curb. This way trick-or-treaters have a place to properly dispose of candy wrappers while snacking on the move
  • Opt to walk around your neighborhood instead of driving if possible


Decorations: DIY & shop secondhand

  • Before sending boxes and cartons to the recycling bin, why not turn them into a fun craft? From cardboard tombstones to cut out ghosts, the options are endless! You can also get creative with what you do own, like turning old tights into spiderwebs. Not feeling creative? Check out Crafting a Green World for some inspiration!
  • If you do want to buy something, try checking out your local thrift store first — you never know what you’ll find! And be sure to save whatever you use for next year
  • Be conscious of any decorations you leave outside. Things like polyester spider webs and plastic props can easily get blown away and make their way into our local waterways and wildlife habitats


Costumes: Get creative with what you already own

  • Some of the best costumes are made by repurposing clothing you already own. Plus, this guarantees that yours will be a one-of-a-kind
  • Host a costume swap with friends & family. You can make a fun afternoon of it complete with warm apple cider and baked treats


Treats: Shop consciously

  • Seek out treats that are locally made, organic, and are made with sustainably sourced ingredients (look for “fair trade” labels, especially on chocolate goodies)
  • While plastic candy wrappers are important for hygiene reasons with trick-or-treaters, skip the candy for the household and bake some fun cookies (decorating them can be an activity in itself!). Taste of Home has recipes for adorable and delicious cookies, or you can take your favorite recipe and come up with your own designs


Pumpkins: Perfect for decorating, eating, and composting

  • Buy from a local grower. Pumpkin patches or your nearest farmers’ market is sure to have your perfect pumpkin. P.S. Funky gourds also make great decorations
  • If you’re carving your pumpkin, save the seeds to roast later and compost the rest when it’s time to part with your jack-o-lantern
  • If you opt to not carve your pumpkin, consider cooking it up into delicious soup or muffins


Essentially, Halloween can be much more environmentally friendly by making some slight tweaks to our usual October traditions. Plus, a lot of these options aren’t just great for the earth, but also can save you some cash and provide opportunities for fun activities with loved ones. In addition to all of the activities mentioned above, check out our Halloween-themed coloring page for even more fun this spooky season.


Get creative, shop responsibly, properly dispose of any waste, stay safe, and have fun!

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