eco-friendly halloween

Having an Eco-Friendly Halloween

Jane Marsh - October 23, 2017

We are reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn affiliate commission.

Halloween is almost here, which means everyone is running around grabbing costumes and yard decorations to prepare for a holiday that’s nearly everyone’s favorite. But have you ever stopped to wonder how Halloween can hurt the environment? This year, check out some traditions you can change up to create a fun, scary night — while also having an eco-friendly Halloween.

Reuse What You Can

The smartest thing you can do this Halloween to be safe and help the Earth is to reuse anything you can. Wear an old costume or trade outfits with friends. Look around in thrift stores to find old clothes you may be able to repurpose into something new. Use grocery bags or old pillowcases to carry candy, or get creative with what you have around the house to add a creepy decorating theme to your holiday excitement. You won’t be introducing anything harmful to yourself or the environment, so you can relax and have fun.

Make Your Own Fake Blood

When you’re laying out that skeleton in your yard or hanging a creepy witch, you’re probably thinking about using some fake blood to make your decorations even scarier. What might be the scariest thing to consider is how opening a pack of fake blood could hurt you. There’s no question it has chemicals, but they’re meant to be used by people, so how could they be harmful?

Sometimes things get out of hand or become unpredictable, as experienced by one mother who used fake blood for her Halloween costume. Once she applied the product to her skin, she began to feel a burning sensation, and her skin quickly foamed and peeled, forcing her to go to the hospital. Instead of risking a situation like this, whip up a batch of fake blood out of corn syrup and food dye. It’ll still look great on decorations, and it’ll taste even better if used for a vampire costume.

What’s in That Face Paint?

Face paint is ubiquitous during the Halloween season. People paint themselves as ghosts and skeletons, without giving much thought to what they’re putting on their faces. A recent study found face paint meant for kids included dangerous chemicals like arsenic, lead and mercury were in face paint meant for kids. Not only is that a health risk, it’s also bad for the environment. When kids wash off that paint and watch the colors go down the drain, chemicals like lead can cause air pollution. Maybe skip the paint this year.

Check Your Tags

Your kids have picked out the perfect costumes and have their trick-or-treat bags ready to go, but make sure you know what your kids’ outfits are made from. Products made with fabric like polyester use an average of 70 million barrels of oil each year to make. That emits high levels of CO2 and gets trapped in the atmosphere, warming the Earth. To avoid buying harmful products, make your costumes at home or use recycled bags or pillowcases to hold candy.

The Key to Having an Eco-Friendly Halloween

It might surprise you, but having an eco-friendly Halloween isn’t impossible. With a little bit of investigating, you can narrow down where you might be hurting the environment or yourself, then you just have to think outside the box to fix it. Ask friends for help, and encourage them to go green with you. After all, the planet needs to stay healthy for everyone, so make it a group effort this year to go green and help the environment.

Share on

Like what you read? Join other readers!

Get the latest updates on our planet by subscribing to the newsletter!

About the author

Jane Marsh

Starting from an early age, Jane Marsh loved all animals and became a budding environmentalist. Now, Jane works as the Editor-in-Chief of where she covers topics related to climate policy, renewable energy, the food industry, and more.