How to Create an Eco-Friendly and COVID-safe Halloween

Reader Contribution by Kari Klaus and Realty Sage
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Photo by Amber Avalona

Halloween can a lot of fun, but it is also a day full of plastic decorations and many visitors to your front door. Here are Halloween tips on how to make your décor more eco-friendly as well as how to provide socially distant trick-or-treating options for your home.

Socially Distant Trick or Treating Ideas

Create a candy graveyard. Drop individual candy bags throughout your yard making it also fun with a scavenger hunt

Grab and go. Keep the kids on the sidewalk and place a table of goodies for kids to take.

Create a candy chute. Just add any kind of chute at least 6 foot long and send your candy flying to kids at the other end. You can purchase PVC pipe to make your candy chute, but also think of other materials you may have already around the house such connecting multiple wrapping paper innertubes or even gutters or down spouts — just make sure that they are cleaned thoroughly! 

Photo Source Fox 13 Tampa Bay

Consider something other than “treats” Instead of candy, things like crayons, bubble wands, balls, etc… can be a lot of fun for kids. This reduces the number of things that kids touch and put in their mouths on Halloween.

Be comfortable. If you don’t feel comfortable interacting with people on Halloween, turn off your lights and/or add a note on your door. No one will blame you for skipping this holiday in 2020.

Eco-Friendly Halloween Decorations

Instead of going orange and blank, go green this Halloween. Halloween decorations can be costly and not very eco-friendly. But here are there ways to improve your Halloween habits so that you are more eco-friendly with your decorations and save money too.  

Trash day is treasure! Typically the day before trash pick up, you’ll find cardboard boxes and Styrofoam laying out for trash pickup around your neighborhood or even in your own trash pile. Use these materials to create graveyard tombstones, coffins, ghosts and other decorations. Learn how to carve and paint your styrofoam gravestones from DIY Network’s tips .

Photo by DIY Network

Don’t toss the pumpkins! According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans don’t eat the vast majority of the 1.91 billion pounds of pumpkins grown in the U.S. (2014) “The majority of Halloween pumpkins — 1.3 billion pounds, in fact — end up in the trash with silly faces carved into them, and then make their way to landfills, where they generate greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.” Furthermore, those pumpkins will end up producing greenhouse gases —  Buzzfeed article

What to do with your pumpkins:

  • Eat them! On you can find all kinds of way to enjoy pumpkin seeds, soups, pies, casseroles and more
  • Compost them. If you’re thinking about starting a compost, here are 5 very useful tips on How to compost from Realty Sage

Upcycle old clothes Instead of trashing those stained and torn clothes, use them instead to create scarecrows, ghosts and other frightful figures like zombies! You can stuff them with pillow stuffing, newspaper, or most any soft material.

However, if your clothes are in good shape, but they just don’t fit or your style anymore, definitely consider posting them online neighborhood sites and freecycle listserves. Here are 5 Ways to Reduce Waste from Home including tips and sites where you can sell or upcycle your clothes among other household items.

Kari Klaus is the founder of, a data-driven real estate platform which overlays sustainability intelligence onto home listings. Read all of her MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.

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