When I was a kid, Halloween was my favorite holiday. Going to my aunt’s house for her annual Halloween party—witch included a makeshift haunted house in the damp basement—was always the highlight of my year. There was nothing more exciting, or scary, than dipping my hands into a bowl of cold spaghetti brains or grabbing peeled grapes I imagined were eyeballs.
As an adult, Halloween is still my favorite. I love how imaginative, silly, and creative people get. I also love that increasingly, people are thinking about how to make Halloween less wasteful and more mindful.
There are a lot of ideas and resources out there; here are a few to spook some inspiration:
- Costume yourself for a cause. Make a statement by dressing up to reflect an issue you’re passionate about and spark conversation over the punch bowl.
- Reuse your costume from last year, or refashion one from materials lying around in your house. Tree Hugger has some creative suggestions for DIY duds.
- Plan a charitable contest. This could mean hosting a competition for the greenest costume, and/or donating proceeds to a charity of the winner’s choice.
Green your party
- Go batty with eco-friendly decor. Browse Etsy for handmade creations, or try making your own from found materials.
- Support healthy, local food. Green Halloween has lots of ideas to make your party a delicious, gh’oul time.
- Use reusable or recycled bags. And then save them for next year.
- Walk or bike instead of driving. Besides saving your car from messy pranks, you’ll be helping reduce pollution.
- Collect coins for UNICEF. Bring the little orange box along, and be part of a tradition that has been ongoing for 60+ years.
- If you’re staying home, hand out fair trade and organic candy. The Daily Green has suggestions for candy alternatives.
Carve out time to volunteer
- Consider joining your local crime watch. While it’s not as exciting as ghostbusting, you’ll be doing the neighborhood a favor by helping keep kids safe.
- Squash litter bugs. Carry an extra bag, and pick up garbage in between collecting goodies.
- Treat others kindly. Check Idealist.org for local volunteer opportunities and events.
Have more ideas? Leave a comment below!
[This blog entry appeared on an older version of Idealist; any broken links are a result of having re-launched our site in Fall 2010.]