Halloween is the best Holiday! Americanizing the holiday may have ruined the meaning a bit, but I have to admit…I love trick-or-treating. Even as adults Nate and I love dressing up with Ethan and getting our chocolate hunt on. This year may look different as far as if we are going out or not, but still…Best. Holiday. Ever. Whether you’re having a party, decorating, handing out candy, or finding a costume and/or face paint, there are at least 16 ways to save money and the planet for Halloween.
Know exactly what you’re gonna be this year? No Idea? These first few tips are the way to go.
1. Shop your own closet/costume supply
There were many years when I would look through my old costumes that my mom saved and made new ones. I used to complain, but now I’m so glad my mom didn’t always buy new. It’s made me resourceful as an adult.
I usually find it helpful to know what I’m going to be. This year I’m Princess Peach. For far too long I’ve had my senior prom dress in my closet! (I graduated in 2005!) So, this year she’s gonna get used. I’m pumped!
2. Thrift your costume/Facebook Marketplace
Thrift stores are really good at setting aside costumes and outfits that could work well as costumes. Thank sweet baby Jesus, because getting a new costume every year is not only expensive but wasteful on so many levels.
By thrift shopping your costume you’re not only saving money but you’re also supporting your local economy and helping reduce your impact on this beautiful planet we call home. Not to mention (but I totally will), you can buy multiple costumes for the price of a brand-new one. We get a few “new to me” costumes for Ethan’s dress-up bin.
For amazing tips on thrift store clothes shopping, check out The Suitcase Blonde!
And don’t forget about Facebook Marketplace. There’s always something out there that will work perfectly for your costume.
3. Costume Swap / Borrow from Family or Friends
Host a swap party, talk to your friends, make it fun! You have so many options other than buying new. Make the sustainable choice by helping your friends and/or family make a more sustainable choice. It’s bound to be extremely helpful to the planet AND your wallet. I mean… who doesn’t love saving money?!
4. Make your own
Getting crafty? Have some extra materials?? Get it! I have very little desire to make a new costume from scratch, as I imagine it is for a lot of people otherwise we wouldn’t be in the situation we’re in globally. While I’m good at making a costume out of something easily transformable… I admire those who want to go the extra mile. I’ve seen the most beautifully made Sally costumes (Nightmare Before Christmas) made from scraps already at home.
Honestly, I avoid face paint now because it’s so toxic. Yes, it’s worn once a year…but seriously! This stuff is marketed towards children and is NOT safe to be putting on anyone’s skin, let alone a childs. Either way there are some options when looking for the right stuff.
5. Buy safer paint
I appreciate a company that desires to make safer products. It does seem that even the safer products come at a price: for your wallet and possibly the planet. Products like, Go Green Face Paint and Natural Earth Paint seem to have it together. If you must buy face paint- I feel these are a couple of the safest options.
Nevertheless, I still prefer another way to save money and the planet…
6. Use makeup you may already have at home
Hello Zero Waste! This is the best option if there ever was one. Use what you have. Chances are if you are or live with someone who uses makeup daily- you’re in luck!
For example, a couple of years ago Ethan was a ghost (found a round table cloth at goodwill and put holes for eyes), and Nate and I were zombies. I bought to different shades of cream makeup then used glue and toilet paper to create a weathered skin look. It was pretty successful!
When I’ve finished with the makeup I currently own (I don’t normally wear makeup) I’ll be getting a kit from my beautiful consultant, Alicia. Beauty Counter products have been amazing on my super sensitive skin. It’s wonderful there are more and more companies out there working to make the beauty industry less wasteful and better for you. For a list of more sustainable makeup brands, check out Kathryn’s site. She’s the guru of Zero Waste!
7. Make your own
In line with using what you have at home is creating your own face paint, you guessed it, at home. Consider mixing eyeshadow and a little foundation or water to get a consistency that’s easy to paint with. Always start with what you have. Check out this tutorial to help you!
I’ve been reading on how to create your own face paint. You can check out a few ideas here. I’m not sure how much I like the idea of using food coloring. I stain my hands just touching the stuff. Maybe you’re okay with that? I don’t know dudes, seems flimsy. If you give it a go leave a comment and photo below!
8. Grow your own
Talk about saving money and the planet! I’ve enjoyed growing decorations (especially for harvest) for a few years. This year, however, feels like I’ve finally made it. I grew my own corn stalks to decorate the front of my house, ya’ll! Growing up I always loved the look of hanging up old corn stalk and setting pumpkins and mums out. I feel like I’ve arrived as an adult. haha Anyway.
Grow your own jack-o-lanterns! It’s super satisfying watching them grow all spring and summer. Then, carving into them and saving seeds to bake and/or plant for next year.
This year I’ve grown jack-o-lanterns, baking pumpkins, and gourds. So. many. gourds!
9. Use what you have
Growing up we had certain totes put aside for Halloween, Christmas, etc. Now, I do the same thing. Over the years I’ve stored stolen items from my mom (does anyone else do this?!…just me? Okay), items I’ve purchased and some that we have created. Now that I have a good supply I don’t see the point in buying more. I’ve noticed the more I buy, the more goes in the landfill. (Logical). Sometimes it’s hard going out and seeing cool skeletons that would be perfect for my yard or other decorations, but if I want to save money and the planet I need to think bigger:
10. Get crafty!
This is a great way to get the whole family together to create. As always, use what you have first-purchase last. For some amazing ideas check out Reese’s site: compost and cava.
Handing out this year? COVID aside, lets talk about a few ways to reduce waste AND keep the kiddos happy. Don’t forget about the parents! We love to help eat Halloween goodies!
11. Go all natural
Number one best way to save money and the planet during this sacred holiday: being THAT person. Halloween may be meant for candy, but everyone’s doing that, right? What about fruit that has an easy and compostable covering, like Clementine’s? Avocados? Apples? Bananas? Hey, even something fun like star fruit. Natures sugar is a perfect hand out.
Also, consider things like pretzels. You can buy a big bag and (using gloves) put them into smaller compostable or biodegradable bags.
12. Choose a sustainable brand
Brands like alter eco use biodegradable wrapping around their organic chocolate truffles and candy bars. More expensive, yes…but ooooo so yummy and the guilt isn’t there!
13. Buy candy that comes in cardboard
Nerds and milk duds come to mind. Yes, usually these are packaged in a giant plastic bag, but lets get real: it’s a way better option than the individually wrapped candies.
14. Get a candy wrapper recycling box with friends
It’s wonderful to help friends and family become more conscious about sustainability, but we do not live in a perfect world. Therefore, consider purchasing a Terracycle waste box with a group of friends. Keep this puppy at a central location (aka the lucky duck that keeps it at home), have friends can save their wrappers in paper bags and bring them to the central location when they are full up. It’s $86 for a small box. That’s roughly $18 per family if ya split it between 5 families. Why not help others reduce their waste and have a way to recycle bits of wrapping that lasts FOREVER?!
*note* There is controversy about whether recycling is actually helpful. Sure, not everything sent to recycling facilities gets recycled. Terracycle estimates they lose three percent of what they receive to the landfill. I say go for it. Three percent is better than one hundred. Additionally, once all companies get on the same train as alter eco with biodegradable packaging- we won’t have to worry now will we.
Save money and the planet at your party! (See Decorations above for tips on decorating.)
15. Use your own dishes
Yes, it takes up our precious time to wash dishes. Our focus is to save money and the planet, therefore, I find it important to give thought to the following:
First, you can ask your guests to kindly rinse their dishes off and place them where you want them…want them in the dishwasher? Counter? Sink? Perfect! You’re the host. You’ve taken the time to decorate and plan this event. The least your friends and/or family could do is help out a bit. It is NOT too much to ask, so get that outta your head right this darn second!
Next, you can also ask your guests to quickly wash the dish. Again: Not too much to ask.
Lastly, if you don’t like the feeling of asking friends and/or family to “do chores” dont…do them by yourself. That’s perfectly fine too.
If you don’t have that many plates/silverware definitely look into thrift stores. They always have tons of dishes. You can make your own set of party dishes (who cares if they match?!?). The upfront cost is bigger than buying a package of plates and plasticware. Consequently, by your third or fourth party you’re going to notice the savings. The planet will thank you, too
16. BYO cup
Just like bringing your own container to a coffee shop- have your friends bring their own cup, mug, beer boot, whatever! It’s a simple way to cut down on waste, and the dreaded clean up the day after amiright?!
How are you saving money and the planet?
May your Halloween be merry and bright 😉