5 Tips for a Green Halloween

Halloween can be a sweet holiday, as well as a frightfully wasteful one. But at Keep America Beautiful, we know it doesn't have to be that way.
Oct 20, 2020 3:10 PM ET

5 Tips for a Green Halloween

We know Halloween can be a sweet holiday, as well as a frightfully wasteful one with all of the disposable decorations, packaging, and costumes that come with the season. But at Keep America Beautiful®, we know it doesn’t have to be that way!

While the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to pose unique challenges to us all, Halloween can still be fun and safe, as well as sustainable and eco-friendly. Here are 5 tips to help you add some green to your Halloween festivities.

  1. Reduce, reuse, and re-purpose.
    • When prepping for Halloween, consider creating your costume and spooky decorations from clothes or materials you already own. You can also visit a consignment shop or second-hand store for more options.
    • Get crafty with decorations. Old jars or cans, for example, can be turned into lanterns to light up any space. You can also consider using natural products like pumpkins or gourds in your decor, which can last throughout the autumn season.
    • If you do purchase new items, store them for continued use next year.
  1. Recycle.
    • If you’re having a spooktacular party, set out recycling bins for items, such as plastic beverage containers and aluminum cans. Properly label what can be recycled to make it easy for your guests. We recommend checking state and local health guidelines when planning your gathering, as well as what can be recycled in your local area.
    • If buying candy or other items in bulk, recycle the plastic wrap at a local drop-off location that accepts plastic bags and wrap. You can find a plastic bag drop-off location in your community here. The packaging around the individual candies is not recyclable in the bin. 
  1. Double your actions.
    • Whether you’re attending an outdoor costume party or trick-or-treating with a few friends, bring along an extra bag to collect litter along the way, and always be sure to dispose of your trash and recyclables properly. Litter is costly to clean up and is harmful to our marine life and environment. It’s up to all of us to keep our public spaces clean.
  1. Stay local — and buy local.
    • Due to COVID-19, the CDC recommends hosting activities with only people from your local area as much as possible. The good news is that staying local can help you reduce your carbon footprint.
    • When buying treats or pumpkins, consider local vendors. Buying local not only supports your community, but it also cuts down on your environmental impact. Bonus tip: save the seeds from your pumpkin to make a tasty treat.
  1. Be green every day.
    • Commit to following all of these tips on Halloween in honor of America Recycles Day®, a Keep America Beautiful national program held on and around Nov. 15, by taking the #BeRecycled Pledge. When you take the pledge, you are showing your commitment to learning what materials are collected in your local community, reducing the amount of waste you produce, recycling more, buying products made with recycled content, and encouraging at least one family member, colleague, or friend to take the pledge.

With individual action, we can collectively support a clean environment during Halloween activities and celebrations. In addition, the CDC is offering several tips and considerations to help ensure safety during Halloween and the upcoming holiday season.

No matter how you celebrate, we remind everyone to keep trash and litter off the ground. We recommend that individuals exercise physical distancing and wear a face covering when interacting with others, wash hands often, and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands. In addition, used masks, gloves, and wipes should not be littered under any circumstance and should be disposed of in secure trash containers. These items are not recyclable and should not be placed in recycling collection bins.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram to stay in the know, and be sure to tag all of your recycling-themed social media posts with #BeRecycled!