Forget about ghouls and goblins—checking your bank account after Hallo-week is the real scare of the month—not to mention the toll on the environment when all the candy wrappers, costumes and decorations are thrown out at the festivities' end. Save some money and the environment by taking a look at these affordable and eco-friendly ideas.
Compost those pumpkins
According to the USDA, the U.S. produced 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins in 2014. After they are carved and put on display for the month, many of those pumpkins are simply thrown away and sent to landfills. Food waste in landfills isn't just bad because it takes up space, it also produces large amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas that is 30- to 70-times more potent than CO2 as it biodegrades.
Western Disposal Services offers curbside compost pickup and also has a drop-off site for those who want to compost their gourds this year.
When buying candy this year, think about the packaging. Most candy wrappers, unfortunately, cannot be recycled. If you are having a party, make festive homemade treats instead of buying individually wrapped pieces. Not only do they cost less, but they are usually waste-free!
Save money on costumes
Don't feel like spending $30-plus on another costume for Halloween? Here are a few budget-friendly costume ideas.
- Instead of purchasing a whole new outfit, go to a local thrift store. Or better yet, swap clothes with a friend!
- Instead of buying cat, mouse or bunny ears, make any kind of animal ears out of cardboard. Use tape to shape them. Hint: If you want floppy bunny ears, cut them out of a paper bag and layer with cotton balls.
- Lumberjack: Wear a combination of flannel, blue jeans and boots for a simple lumberjack costume.
- Life/Lemons: Wear a white shirt, write "Life" in black Sharpie and carry around lemons.
- Fruit: Wear a shirt the color of the fruit (e.g. red for strawberry, purple for grapes) and then decorate! For a strawberry, draw seeds with a black Sharpie and wear green bottoms or a green hat to complete the look.
Make your own decorations
Here are a few decorating ideas that won't give your bank account a scare.
- Recycle old toilet-paper and paper-towel rolls by cutting out eye holes and taping or gluing a glow stick inside. Place the roll inside of a bush or in a dark spot to give the effect of somebody hiding.
- Have a lot of recyclables? Make a Halloween body bag by placing recyclables inside a trash bag and taping them together in the shape of a body.
- For a softer glow, place a tea candle in a glass mason jar and fill with popcorn kernels.
- Milk-jug ghosts are an easy decorating idea. Simply rinse out a milk jug, layer the bottom with small rocks to weigh the jug down, place a candle inside and draw a ghost face on the outside in Sharpie.