Do you like to celebrate Halloween, a pagan holiday for children of all ages? Well, here’s how to do it in an eco-friendly way.

1. Affordable or free, 100% eco-friendly costumes

Apply the 4Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose, rather than purchase expensive costumes every year for you and your family.

For an affordable costume:

  • Check out the nearest thrift shop
  • Scope out garage sales and flea markets
  • Go to used clothing stores for great deals

For a free costume:

  • Are you good with your hands? Why not make your family’s costumes yourself. Instead of buying new fabric, use old clothes – an old evening dress can quickly become a princess gown, much to the delight of your daughter.
  • Is sewing not your thing? Ask around, you might know someone who would be happy to do this for your family.
  • Rummage through your grandmother’s old chest or wardrobe!
  • Don’t forget YOUR closet or your spouse’s: who knows what you can find?!
  • Trade costumes with family and friends.

Too busy? Consider renting costumes.

Avoid masks, not just because they are made of plastic, but they hamper your vision. Use non-toxic, washable make-up.

For trick-or-treating, use pillow cases or reusable bags, or make your own by stitching together bits of fabric. Leave the plastic pumpkins at the store.

2. Reusable decorations

Buy your pumpkins from a local farmer. While you’re there, pick up some squash, bales of hay and cattails for a unique, inexpensive decor. The bonus is that after Halloween, you can cook the pumpkins and squash. Nothing is lost!

Use beeswax candles from a local merchant to light your pumpkins instead of regular petroleum-based ones that pollute more.

You could also use battery-less flashlights or rechargeable ones, or even better, energy-saving LED lights.

Be sure to reuse last year’s decorations – that spooky plastic spider doesn’t have to be replaced.

Use a white sheet to make a ghost. You most likely have an old one stowed away in a closet somewhere.

Do you have too many decorations? Pass them on to other families, much to the delight of their little ones.

3. Locally-sourced, fair-trade candy

Give fair-trade chocolate and be sure to explain the advantages to your children.

Hand out locally-sourced candy made of honey or maple syrup.

Rather than hand out small individually wrapped candy, hand out candy in a larger format. Give less, give better.

Every holiday is an opportunity to remind ourselves that it’s possible to have fun and be kind to the environment at the same time. Trick-or-treat on foot and not with your car. But what if it’s raining? So what, you’re not made of chocolate!

Happy Halloween!