What’s so green about them? They:
* minimize plastic and trash
* use less energy
* can be easily reused or recycled, and
* save money.
Halloween is fun, but it shouldn’t be one of those holidays that breaks the bank or trashes the planet. Here are some suggestions for energy-saving lights, natural candles and simple decorations. We’d love to hear what you’re doing, too.
#1 LED Lights – Energy-saving lights have become all the rage for Christmas; now, you can use them at Halloween, too. Available in orange, purple, and white. Wrap them around your porch rail or door frame, or use them to light dark paths and stairs.
#2 Beeswax or Soy Candles – You don’t want open candle flames around during trick or treating, especially since so many kids will be wearing synthetic costumes that are highly flammable. Better to put a light inside your carved pumpkin, using a candle made from beeswax or soy rather than paraffin. When Halloween is over, you can compost the pumpkin and not worry about any of the candle wax inside.
NOTE: If you prefer not to have any live flame, you can get LED tea light candles for pumpkins or to use in table displays.
#3 Decorative Squashes and Gourds – I love the beautiful decorative gourds filling farmers markets and produce shelves at stores like Texas’ Central Kitchen. Is anything prettier than a bowlful of differently-sized striped squashes spilling over a table or mantle? NOTE: If you use squashes, gourds and small pumpkins to decorate a porch or patio, put them on a metal tray like a large cookie sheet to keep them fresher and somewhat removed from hungry squirrels and mice. Hide the tray with leaves, straw, or a festive fall towel.
#4 Reusable Spider Webs – Rather than buy crepe paper or that synthetic stretchy stuff that disintegrates in the rain and only lasts for one season, make your own web out of an old sheet you cut into thin strips and stretch into spidery designs. Or, stop by a fabric store and pick up a few yards of reusable black and white fabric that you can reuse for the next several years.If you’re out of time or not in the DIY mood, here’s a reusable black spider web you can use indoors or out.
#5 Leaves, Branches, Twigs – Talk about free! Create a spooky tangle of branches, twigs, dried flowers, and mums out of the debris you find on your driveway or in your backyard. Don’t worry if you’re not “artistic.” On Halloween, everything looks scary!
#6 Hand-Print Spiders and Ghostly Cut-Outs – Use recycled construction paper to cut out ghosts, goblins, bats, and witches. Here’s a cute way kids can make spiders out of their hand prints.
#7 Non-Toxic Paints – You can paint ghosts, bats, and words like Boo! right on your windows using non-toxic, water-based, No-VOC paints. NOTE: Only do this on glass, which will be easy to scrape off after Halloween. Do NOT paint doors, unless you want to repaint them in November!
#8 Old Clothes and Straw Bales – Stuff old long-sleeved shirts, pants, and shoes with straw to look like scarecrows (or the neighbors?). When Halloween is over, use the straw as mulch in your yard.
#9 Bat Mobile – If you’re in the DIY mood or want to keep the kids busy for a while, make a bat mobile. Adapt this pattern from Woman’s Day slightly to hang it from the ceiling, or keep it earth-bound. Either way, it’s pretty cute!
#10 Pumpkins – Carve them. Paint them. Or pop them into a clever stand like the ones pictured here and they’ll take on a life of their own. NOTE: Choose locally-grown and organic pumpkins if possible, especially if you plan to cook the pumpkin afterwards. You might be able to find a local pumpkin patch where you can go and pick your own.
We’ve tracked down more green Halloween decorating options and listed them for you in our Amazon store. You can find links to organic Halloween candy there, too. Note: we earn a tiny commission on store purchases, which helps us continue to provide you with our expert content for free. Thanks!
One last money- and time-saving suggestion: when Halloween is over, box up all the decorations that can be re-used, label the box, and tuck it away in the attic or basement where you can easily find it next year.