How to Go Green This Halloween

The chill is in the air, costumes are being fitted, and decorations are being hung: Halloween is right around the corner for everyone’s delight. Regardless of whether you’re decorating the whole house or just handing out candy, it is still possible to enjoy the fun yet stay green for Halloween. Here are some sustainable Halloween tips for you.

Create Your Own Decorations with Recycled Products

Don’t let mummies be the only undeads roaming around your house this Halloween — you can use objects that have served their purpose to create new decorations. Here are three simple DIY projects for making fun decorations from discarded items you probably have around the house.

1) Flying Black Bats

You can create flying bats for both your indoor and outdoor spooky decor with the help of some empty egg cartons and other household items.

What you’ll need: Use discarded cardboard egg cartons, split-shot weights (often used for fishing), black spray paint, hobby glue, fishing line, and crafts store “googly eyes”.

How to prepare:
  • Remove the top from a cardboard egg carton, and recycle. Do not attempt to use styrofoam cartons; this material will “melt” if you attempt to spray paint it.
  • Save the bottom and cut egg “cups” into four sections of three cups each. The center cup will serve as the flying bat’s body, while the outer cups will become the wings.
  • With the bottom of the cups facing up, draw serrated bat wing designs into the open end of the two outer cups. Use scissors to cut these shapes out.
  • Place ample plastic or newspaper outdoors and spray all sections, inside and out, with flat black spray paint. Allow to dry.
  • Once sections are dry, glue googly eyes to the center cup. Allow to dry.
  • Using a safety pin, make a small hole in the “top” (former bottom) of the two outer cups.
  • Thread a long section of fishing line into a split-shot weight. Crimp the weight with pliers, to secure it in place and cut away the excess at the short end. Thread the line up through the hole in one of the “wings”. The shot should prevent the line from pulling free.
  • Thread the other end of the line into the top of the cup at the other end, and crimp on another shot to help keep the line in place.
  • Hang your spooky bats indoors or out!

2) Milk Carton Glowing Ghosts

This is one of the simplest, most satisfying crafts possible. It requires little more than a collection of used, clean plastic one-gallon milk jugs, some indelible black markers, and a strand of battery-powered lights.

How to prepare:

  • Using indelible black marker, draw a spooky ghost face design on the front of each jug. Color in eyes, mouths or eyebrows with black marker.
  • Have an adult cut a small circle into the bottom of each jug. Remove plastic disc and discard.
  • Thread a battery-powered light into the bottom of each jug, and assemble a line of jugs, each fitted with a light.
  • Place this collection of whimsical ghost faces in a line along your driveway, front porch, or even in a front window.

3) Mummy Mason Jar Luminaries

These fun little decorations are made from gauze, mod podge, and the ever-popular googly eyes -- you can use any that are left over from the Flying Black Bats project, above. Add some battery-powered votive lights and you are good to go.

How to prepare:

  • Apply “Mod Podge” to the outside of your clean Mason jar(s). Mod Podge is a crafts store staple; a water-based substance that serves as sealer, glue, and finish.
  • Wrap the jar with a layer of drugstore gauze wrap, and then add another layer of Mod Podge. Allow to dry.
  • Glue googly eyes to the upper third of the jar.
  • Insert votive light(s) in bottom of jar(s), and display.

Don’t Get Tricked — Have Sustainable Halloween Candy on Hand

What would Halloween be without tasty treats for trick-or-treaters? Of course, candy of all types and sizes is available virtually everywhere. But some choices feature more sustainable ingredients than others. Why not take the plunge and stock up on some sustainable Halloween candy that is not only good tasting, but good for the planet? Here is a list of things to consider when gearing up for trick or treaters:

  • Choose candies packaged in small paper boxes or organic wax paper - Not only are small boxes of Milk Duds or Nerds cute, but they are also a great way to beat the plastic pollution. You can still buy these candies in bulk -- just make sure the packaging is recyclable.
  • Spring for non-traditional treats - Consider stocking up on items beyond candy. Wooden pencils now come in all types of fun shapes and colors. Temporary tattoos are also a great option, as many companies make the products with recyclable paper backings and eco-friendly dies.

Use Recyclable Batteries for Your Indoor Light Strings, Dolls, and Spooky Decor

What would Halloween be without the fun animatronic decorations and creepy lighting? Many people worry about the waste involved with the batteries used to power these devices, but you can still enjoy these items without taxing the environment. Add eco-friendly, sustainable batteries from Better Battery Co. to your shopping list and keep your holiday lights and other powered decorations going all night long. Our batteries are recyclable and the carbon emitted during the entire product life cycle is offset, so you don’t need to worry about the spooky environmental footprint of your decor this year.

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