In this post: We share ideas for getting in the spirit this year with sustainable Halloween decorations
Photo above courtesy of image courtesy of Heart of a Cactus.
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For kids, is there anything more fun than Halloween? The costumes, the candy, plus all the fun activities like going to haunted houses, carving pumpkins, maybe even a hay ride or two.
As adults, and the ones who create the aforementioned magic, holidays can be a little more complicated. One of our key adult responsibilities for this holiday is decorating, which is an activity that can elicit mixed reactions. For some, it’s an activity they look forward to all year while for others, it’s a chore. And then there’s the growing concern about how all of this Halloween decor impacts the earth.
Regardless of your predisposition for the holiday, you can definitely find a way to “right size” your holiday to what will give you maximum enjoyment. Even better, there are some great ways you can add a touch of Halloween magic (or more) to your home that consider the impact of decorating on the planet. Check out our top ideas for sustainable Halloween decorations, below!
The first step in sustainable Halloween decor: make the most of what already exists
If you already have boxes full of Halloween decorations, the best thing you can do is to keep using them as long as you can. Make sure they are well-packed at the end of each season so you can enjoy them as long as possible.
If you are looking to add to your collection, check out what already exists before buying new. Garage sales, consignment shops, eBay, and Etsy are great places to find gently owned sustainable Halloween decorations. Not only is it better for the planet to reuse something that already exists, but you’ll likely save a ton of money, too.
Repurposed materials make great, sustainable Halloween decorations
There are so many ways that existing objects can be turned into adorable and sustainable Halloween decor. Etsy is a great place to start here too since it’s full of talented craftspeople and because the company offsets all of the carbon emissions that results from their shipping. How awesome is that?
These are a few of our favorites!
Vintage books turned Halloween fun
What a great idea to repurpose vintage books into new, sustainable Halloween decorations! There’s something about aged books that works with this spooky holiday. As it turns out, you can do quite a lot with vintage books. A cross-section of possibilities is included here but if you like these, definitely check out these sellers' shops for an even wider assortment of creations for all kinds of occasions.
Recycled quilt ghosts
How about these amazing upcycled quilt ghosts? Vintage textiles have such beautiful character, and the idea of incorporating them into these adorable ghosts is so unique. It’s really cool to think that each one is naturally going to be just a little bit different.
Vintage sweater and quilt pumpkins
Tiny pumpkins are front and center on so many gorgeous fall decorating schemes, and these upcycled versions are a great way to switch it up a little. The use of recycled fabric means that depending on the color and pattern schemes you choose, you can create a completely different look from traditional orange to fun patterns and prints.
This was cheating a little since it’s more of an accessory than a decoration but decorating oneself (or children or pets) should count, too! Such an amazing use of upcycled leather! You can order it with various hardware so it can be made into a hair clip, bow tie, or with an alligator clip making it possible to attach it to whatever you want.
Consider natural and biodegradable sustainable Halloween decorations
One of the great things about Halloween, and fall decorating in general, is that so much of the decor revolves around natural objects like pumpkins, hay bales, and dried corn. If you live in a part of the country where these natural items grow, purchasing locally grown is a great extra step.
Depending on your climate, you could also consider growing your own! It may be too late for this year but there’s something really fun for kids and adults alike about watching those crazy pumpkin vines take over and magically produce this year’s jack-o-lantern. And if you really want bonus points, try to compost them when you’re done rather than sending them to a landfill.
Succulents are everywhere these days – for good reason! They are easy to care for and add a little life to the space they’re in. Why not bring this trend into your fall decorating? These succulent-filled pumpkins are sure to brighten any grey day.
Dried harvest wreath
There's no need to go faux when the real thing looks this good! Wreaths from Greenishblu are preserved so that they can be used for multiple years, giving you the best of both worlds between fresh and artificial.
Eco-friendly candles make scents
There’s a reason real estate agents want you to bake cookies right before an open house- the way something smells can influence how we perceive an experience or place. Why not consider more than just visuals in your Halloween decorations?
If you’re not totally sold, The Dancing Wick has you covered. Not only do they offer a multitude of seasonal scents like Pumpkin Creme Brûlée, Autumn Walk, and Apple Cider but they also have an assortment of beautiful vessels for their candles, as well. Their Dough Bowl Candles really make a statement and there are a hundred ways you could reuse the wooden bowl in your fall decorating when the candle is done.
The Dancing Wick shares that each candle is “made with 100% pure soy wax, grown in the USA, GMO-free, 100% pure cotton wicks, and the cleanest, highest quality phthalate/carcinogen free fragrance and essential oils.” Additionally, they share that this candle should burn for 30+ hours.
Kids are a never ending source of beautiful decor. Those craft projects they do at school can double as adorable halloween decor for your home. Plus it’s fun as they get older to look back on what they did when they were little.
Conclusion: it is possible to have fun with sustainable Halloween decorations
We hope our article has given you some ideas on ways that your home can be both beautiful and eco-friendly with sustainable Halloween decorations. Share other ideas that have worked for you in the comments below!
Fun FAQs about Halloween decorating
What’s the history of decorating for Halloween?
It turns out that while Halloween itself has been around for several centuries, the version of Halloween that we recognize today has a much shorter lineage.
Halloween decoration collector Mark B. Ledenbach is quoted in Gizmodo explaining that:
“By and large,” he says, “Halloween as a holiday, where adults would have parties for their friends, and would decorate their homes—that didn’t start in the United States until about 1910. Trick-or-treating as a concept, wherein children would go around and knock on people’s doors asking for candy, was much farther in the future. That really didn’t happen until the mid-1930s.”
How have Halloween decorations changed over the years?
According to the National Retail Federation, spending on Halloween tends to trend up over year over year. When it comes to Halloween decorations, they found:
“Total spending on decorations, which grew in popularity during the pandemic and continue to resonate with consumers, is expected to reach $3.9 billion. Of those celebrating Halloween, more than three-quarters (77%) plan to purchase decorations, which is on par with last year, but up from 72% in 2019.”
In addition to the general trend of more spending for Halloween, Retail Dive notes that a lot of that spending is occurring outside. Extravagant outdoor displays are no longer rare and they attribute this trend potentially to the growth of big box stores where the holiday season seems to start earlier and earlier each year.
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