How to Host a Happy Vegan, Climate-Friendly Halloween

How to Host a Happy Vegan, Climate-Friendly Halloween

Pumpkins? Check! Spooky movies? All queued up! Costume? Buttoned up and ready to impress! You’ve got the basics covered, but what about other food and festivities? If you’re looking to plan a vegan Halloween with some savvy tricks and tasty treats, we’ve got you covered! Bring on the plant-based, climate-conscious party fit for every ghost and ghoul.

Candy and pumpkins are a classic pair nearly synonymous with Halloween, but did you know they can both generate a lot of waste? About 1 billion pounds of rotting pumpkins get tossed into American landfills each year, and when they break down, their decomposition produces methane, a greenhouse gas, which contributes to the climate crisis. Candy wrappers, collected by a single trick-or-treater, can amount to about a pound of trash, and with over 40 million trick-or-treaters expected to ring doorbells each year, that’s a scary amount of garbage accumulated.

The Educated Choices Program has some clever ways you can reduce your waste while still throwing a showstopper of a Halloween party. You can:

  • Compost the remains of your pumpkins to create a nutrient-rich addition to your garden soil, or feed the fleshy fruit to your local wildlife if in a safe location.
  • Choose your type of pumpkin wisely and use as much of it as possible to create tasty snacks like roasted pumpkin seeds, pie filling, or pumpkin puree for use in all sorts of festive recipes.
  • Kids get a lot of candy on Halloween so consider nixing the sweet treats altogether, and opt instead to offer a selection of inexpensive, fun items like stickers, temporary tattoos, or decorative pencils to trick-or-treaters. Allowing kids to pick their own small gifts reduces unwanted items being thrown into landfills. This is a great idea for trick-or-treaters who have food allergies or sensitivities!

In recent years, it’s become increasingly easy to have a tasty, animal friendly Halloween. Our free vegan guide has an extensive list of candies free of animal-products, but it’s not too challenging to find a great array of choices at any store near you! If you want to hand out something savory, consider single-serving packs of crunchy pretzels, chickpea puffs, or veggie chips shaped like ghosts and bats!

Picking out your Halloween costume is also super exciting, but most costumes are only used once before being thrown out. Visit your local thrift store to save money and upcycle clothing into a unique costume! Websites like Pinterest are great for finding all sorts of DIY costumes that use household items you probably already have on hand. Feeling crafty but need some inspiration? Check out this blog that shows 17 different costumes you can make out of recycled cardboard boxes! 

Halloween festivities that send chills up your spine can be fun, but the holiday doesn’t have to be scary for animals or the environment. Consider using some climate and animal-friendly hacks to throw the best Halloween party on the block!

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