Make Halloween Green This Year

pumpkinMake this Halloween a little more “green” by eliminating waste, reusing decorations and costumes and keeping your festivities close to home. Check out some specific tips below, courtesy of the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County.

  • Costumes: Make your own costume from things around the house – old clothes, game pieces, sport team items, something from the recycling bin, etc., or purchase items from a resale shop. If make-up is used instead of a mask, purchase non-toxic or hypoallergenic cosmetics.  After using costumes, trade with a friend, start a “costume closet” at school, church or home to share next year, or donate the costumes to a favorite charity.
  • Candy and Trick-or-Treating: When buying candy, look for treats with minimal packaging – or give pencils, erasers or money. Send your children out with a reusable bucket, canvas bag or pillowcase to collect candy. Don’t be a litter bug, dispose of candy wrappers in your bags, buckets or trash cans along the way.  Stay local to trick-or-treat, and bike, wagon or carpool.
  • Pumpkins: Put a soy or natural beeswax candle in your Jack-o’-lanterns, or use a battery-operated light, with rechargeable batteries, of course.  Don’t throw away the pumpkin seeds – bake and eat, or put outdoors for the birds and animals. As your pumpkin grows old, put in into your compost pile.
  • Lighting: Use rechargeable batteries in your flashlight for trick-or-treating. Make your own luminaries from old cans with a pattern of hole punches.
  • Decorations and Parties: Keep Halloween decorations from year to year so you don’t need to purchase new ones each season.  If you are hosting a Halloween party, used reusable dishes, tableware, cups napkins, etc.  Serve from a pitcher instead of individual bottles and cans. Make a mystery punch with your favorite juices/pop, and add dry ice for a spooky effect. Instead of paper invitations, send an electronic invite to your guests.

Do you have tips for making the holidays greener? Send your tips to and the best tips will be posted on Green Buzz and in the City’s sustainability newsletter.

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