We all love Halloween, but with the excessive consumption the holiday generates every year, its safe to say that the environment might be feeling the pressure. Not to spook you, but many of our favorite aspects of Halloween are unsustainable! But never fear, keep reading to find some eco-friendly, not to mention money saving fixes for the occasion. 

Dress it Up 

Everyone knows all the fun of Halloween lies in the costume costume. Unfortunately most costumes on the market are made cheaply of plastic and are wrapped in even more plastic. Many of these costumes are essentially single use and also contain pthalates, which have been linked to environmental damage and health issues. Not so fun. To avoid these, try getting creative with clothes you already own or raid your roommates' closet. Consider building something with items you have around the house: pizza boxes, old sheets, anything! If you're missing pieces, check out your local thrift stores for an inexpensive and ecologically gentle option. If you're local, check out Gainesville's The Repurpose Project. They have everything under the sun including a curated Halloween shop and costume making workshops. 

pumpkin, vegetable, squash, gourd
Helena Lin

Keep it Simple

If you didn't use your old pizza boxes or sheet, great! Now its their time to shine. You can skip the Jo-Ann's junk this year and cut down on plastic by making your own repurposed decorations. Used cardboard can become tombstone decor and an old sheet can be painted for a spooky table cloth. Another great way to decorate is with soy or beeswax candles -- they can really create a spooky ambiance. Trade your plastic trinkets in for decorative squash found at your grocery store or farmer's market. They'll last till Thanksgiving and you can supplement your compost bin with them when they reach the end of their lifespan. 

candy, jelly beans, sweet, gelatin
Christin Urso

Make it Sweet 

Halloween wouldn't be Halloween without an abundance of processed sugar. So yeah, we're gonna ignore the drawbacks of that in terms of our health, but we should still be conscious the planet's health. Consider for a moment all the plastic wrappers that come with a big bag of individually wrapped sugary goodness. Luckily bulk goods are on the rise so you can bring your own containers and stock up on the sweets guilt free. Chains like Lucky's, Whole Foods and Sprout's all have a handsome selection of bulk candy for purchase. Another way to sustain the sugar rush without the plastic and maybe even without the palm oil is to make your own Halloween treats! Try this vegan candy corn recipe or these homemade candy bars to skip out on wrappers and unsustainable ingredients. 

pumpkin seeds, pumpkin
Maria Hernandez

Pump(kin) it Up 

WAIT -- don't throw out those pumpkin seeds!! Pumpkin carving is a surprisingly wasteful activity (albeit its plastic free status). In order to cut down on waste, try giving your pumpkin guts some life after death. First, try separating all those seeds and turning them into next week's snackage. Roasted pumpkin seeds make a nutritious addition to trail mix or cereal or maybe even a nice peanut butter alternative.  Now, make like Frankenstein and create something new and delicious with that healthy orange goo: perhaps some pumpkin preserves or a pasta dish. If you really hate the pumpkin guts, put them in your compost. If you have a garden, try saving some pumpkin seeds to sprout your own baby plants.  

Halloween doesn't have to be scary for the Earth, we just need to get creative! Rethinking small traditions on big holidays can  make a powerful difference for the planet.