Green is the new orange! Make your Halloween more green this year with these 7 tips on staying away from spooky single-use plastics and ghastly garbage:

Reuse, Reuse, Reuse! Throughout the next few weeks, look out for things that could replace decorations you have purchased in the past. Old bed sheets can be transformed into eerie ghosts, and styrofoam can be cut to fit any frightful form or shape. In addition, think about the decorations you still have from last year’s celebrations. These will be a great start to making sure you don’t double up on things you already have.

Use the entire pumpkin:  As you transform your pumpkin into a twinkling masterpiece,  utilize every part of the pumpkin, even the gooey inside! The seeds can be toasted into tasty morsels and make a great snack to treat yourself after you are done carving. You can also puree the remaining flesh of the pumpkin after removing the skin and use it to bake pumpkin pie or muffins! As an alternative, the entire pumpkin can be composted to provide your backyard soil with a nutritious boost. Also, when you are buying your pumpkin, shop locally! A trip to a nearby pumpkin patch is a classic fall activity, and choosing the pumpkin is a fun activity for children!

Reduce waste at your Halloween parties: Single-use plastics are a major source of spookiness every Halloween season. Last year, Americans spent $9 billion in Halloween retail, most of these purchases being composed of plastic or non-recyclable materials. If you’re hosting a Halloween event this year, reuse your decorations from previous parties, instead of spending money on new decorations that will only be used for a few hours. Serving up food at your soirée? Opt for reusable or compostable dishware and silverware to save money and reduce the bulk of waste that ends up in your trash can. Also, keep in mind the rule “When in doubt, throw it out”. Recycling non-recyclable items such as costume pieces, small wrappers, and tiny party favors can cause problems at the recycling facility. Do your research and recycle responsibly.

Make your own costume: Throughout the year, keep in mind clothes you’re giving away that could later be repurposed as a costume piece!  For example, old t-shirts, black shorts or any neutral clothing that can easily be painted or dyed serve as perfect starting points for a creepy costume. If you need more items, shop at a thrift store. Thrift stores can hold treasures that will set your costume apart from the rest. If you have children, get them involved with their own costume design, they will love being able to help and see their costume through each stage! If you still have leftover costumes after trying out these alternatives, take the costume to a local shelter, thrift store or daycare. You never know who’s day you could make by donating!

Trick-or-Treat with reusable bags: Use a reusable bag for your trick-or-treating instead of a plastic bag. These can be found at your local 7-Eleven. Add your own flair to your bag with Halloween stencils and appliques to get you or your trick-or-treater in the Halloween spirit! 

Find more eco-friendly treats: Buy candy in bulk instead of in small batches. This will help cut back on the use of plastic packaging, as well as save money. If you have leftover candy at the end of the evening, donate it to a local school, or make a scrumptious candy cookie bar to share with your neighbors after the festivities die down.

Fuel sustainably: If you’re a parent, you may have to drive your children to a prime trick-or-treating location and door-to-door afterwards. Find a 7-Eleven RENEW location near you to reduce your emissions by up to 30 percent! 

This year, use your spooky Halloween creativity to spark new ways to keep your holiday sustainable! How do you keep your Halloween green?