Halloween is a ghoulishly fun holiday. People of all ages dress up in costumes, pass out treats, throw parties, and put up all kinds of decorations to celebrate the scariest night of the year. Unfortunately, Halloween is also filled with lots of harmful plastic items that can bog down landfills, pollute the ocean, and endanger the environment.
If you’re aiming to protect the planet and make your house look spooktacular, there are plenty of plastic alternatives you can use to conjure up an eco-friendly yet frightfully festive scene.
A jack-o-lantern is a Halloween staple and carving pumpkins is a holiday tradition for families everywhere. Using real pumpkins and gourds to decorate your porch, dress up your counter, or another space is one of the eco-friendliest decorations you can have. They’re basically zero-waste items. When Halloween is over, you can cook them, compost them, or feed them to animals.
Giving any household item a new use is always a great sustainable choice. To spice up interior decor, you can create a fabric pumpkin - and you don’t even have to do any sewing. Simply repurpose an old sweater to turn it into a pretty pumpkin. See an example of the finished project at the Kim Six Fix.
Fabric and Tin Can Ghosts
Ghosts are one of the easiest reusable costumes – just cut some holes out of a white sheet for your eyes and mouth and voila – you’re an instant ghoul. You can also make “ghostly” decorations by stuffing that same white sheet with towels or wrapping it around a ball or large round piece of styrofoam to form a head. Draw or paint a face on it and then tie it with twine or gauze to help it take shape.
Finally, hang it with a fishing line that is strung through a safety pin. The bottom of the sheet will “flow” and you can hang the ghost on a tree or near a doorway. See detailed instructions here.
Another easy variation is a tin can ghost windsock. Just paint a used tin can white, paint a black face, attach long white ribbon or white fabric strips to it with a hot glue gun and hang it from a tree with twine. Read the full directions on Chicken Scratch NY.
Bats are popular Halloween “creatures.” Convert your porch into a virtual “bat cave” by hanging groupings of black paper bats from porch rails, around the door frame or porch ceiling. Martha Stewart offers step-by-step directions and a convenient bat template to make cutting them out from black construction paper easy. When trick-or-treaters come to call, these spooky beasts will welcome them with open wings.
Decorative garland dresses up a fireplace mantel or doorway and there are several fun designs for Halloween. For instance, you can hot glue pieces of Halloween-themed ribbon onto string, or buy pre-cut felt bats at a craft store like Jo-Ann’s, punch holes in each wingtip and tie them together with string, ribbon or twine. Or, you can make cute candy corn garland by cutting out shapes of the popular candy on cardstock and stringing them together with white string. Layering different kinds of garland together can add an extra-festive twist to an empty space.
Mason Jar Mood Enhancers
Mason jars are made of eco-friendly clear glass. So, there are so many different ways to use them to spice up home décor. To add Halloween flair, you can fill one with spooky-themed cupcake liners, or you can paint some black and add tea light candles to them for eerie lighting.
Or, you can paint the jars orange or white, tie black chalkboard tags around their mouths and arrange them to spell out a Halloween word like “Boo.” Finally, you can wrap white crepe paper around a jar and add craft jewels for eyes to make a “mummy jar.” The creepy possibilities for the popular storage containers are really limitless.
By Lori Melton
To find out more about how you can help the environment, visit 1Thing.