Halloween is not a native holiday in my country but I always loved the idea of it and I love the spooky season most, after all!
I was lucky enough to experience a “real Halloween” last year in Scotland. By real I mean that in its native environment, and not at home where it’s only about parties and getting drunk in a witch or a goblin costume.
However, Halloween is one of the most expensive holiday seasons of the year, worldwide according to the National Retail Federation. With the current inflation and more people turning to mindful spending and eco-friendly solutions, there are multiple ways to celebrate the season in an eco-friendly minimalist-based mindset without sacrificing fun.
So just skip the FOMO and enjoy the “secret” satisfaction in indulge in the season’s goods in an eco-friendly way.
- Get back to the roots
After all, Halloween is really about folklore, isn’t it? All the horror stories and ghost legends have their roots in folk tales. There are 2 major ways to get back to the folk origins: Through literature and reading stories to each other as in the good old days, or through the modern story telling medium—film. You can enjoy reading stories or poems or watch a spooky movie daily by yourself or you can share it with your family, friends or community by organizing reading events or movie nights.
- Plan ahead
Keep a list of things you have/need or want to buy in order to keep yourself accountable. You can keep the list in your pocket and whenever you get an impulse to buy something just check if it’s on your list (do you really need it?) and if you can get it somewhere else for less.
- Recycle, upcycle, reuse
During Halloween, the most money is spent on costumes, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Most of us discharge our old costumes because we wore it already or because they didn’t endure the time and the partying. There’s no need to throw them out: you can create a new costume from several old ones, get a “new” one from a secondhand or charity shop or re-conceptualize your old but still wearable costume. You can even DIY your own from recycled or repurposed material. The second thing people spend most on is seasonal decoration. You can reuse the decorations from previous years or use simple, natural items as dry leaves or twigs, pumpkins that can be eaten later but can serve as decoration.
- Look up free events nearby
I’m always amazed how many free events are held in our area and most people don’t even know about it. Somehow many of my acquaintances like to attend events with an entry fee and totally miss out on the wonderful free programs which are usually even held outdoors, so they can enjoy the closeness of nature as well. If you find an overwhelming amount of events, you can still narrow it down to your favorite ones without the fear of missing out on anything. To avoid feeling alone, why not invite your friends or relatives to go with you instead of showing up and waiting to see if anyone you know pops up? Or if you’re adventurous you can go purposely alone with the intention to talk to at least 3–5 strangers and make new friends.
- Throw your own green party
It can happen that there’s zero or not enough eco-friendly or free events around, especially if you live in a rural area. Throwing your own green Halloween party will ensure you have fun without harmful effects to the environment. Start by sending electronic invites. Use glassware and washable utensils or look for recyclable or compostable plates, cups and utensils (there are now even edible plates and cups!). Put out recycling bins for bottles and cans. Buy food for the party that is organic and locally grown, or head to your local farmers’ market.
- Invest in locally grown pumpkins
When you think of Halloween (or me, even if I just think of autumn), you surely think of pumpkins. Lower your emissions by purchasing locally grown organic pumpkins. Remember to compost your pumpkins, save the seeds from carving for roasting them with a little oil and salt, or use the insides for delicious breads, pies, muffins, soups, and other recipes. You can save seeds by drying out them out and planting them later.
- Choose organic candy
Buy candy made from natural ingredients, without artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives for the little trick-or-treaters. Instead of candy, you could consider giving out things like cool temporary tattoos, or other fun treats. Or why not make your very own home-made candy? In addition to reducing the amount of garbage produced from those single-serve packages (which are not recyclable), you’ll provide a healthier alternative to sweets as well.
- Travel differently
Go a little greener in you holiday travel this All Hallows Eve—you could organize carpools to reduce the amount of people driving to your Halloween party. Or even better, eliminate the cars completely. Take the kids trick or treating in local neighborhoods you can walk to or go with bike. You could provide special door prizes for those who show up with proof of an environmentally-friendly way to get to your place—a bus pass, transit transfer, or bicycle, for example.
Wishing everyone the spookiest, most magical season of the year.
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Photo: Lucas Mendes via Unsplash