No tricks, just treats: Minimum-waste decoration ideas for a thoughtful Halloween

It’s time to get your spook on. Halloween is here, and what better way to enjoy it than by being kind to nature? Read on to discover low-waste ways in which you, your kiddo, and the earth can have a happy Halloween.
The leaves are turning gold, orange, and red. The aroma of pumpkin spice is in the air. The breeze is nippy and delicious. The trick-or-treaters are getting their costumes ready. You get the idea; we’re talking Halloween! Arguably the most exciting celebration of the year, Halloween is loved by parents and kids alike, but, of course, it’s the little ones who are simply crazy about it. Who can blame them? Playing dress-up, shouting “Boo!”, and going door to door, collecting bagfuls of candy — what’s not to love about all that? Halloween also has its own addictive brand of decorations. It’s easy to splurge on these without considering the ramifications on the environment, but why not make this Halloween a thoughtful one? Here are 10 ideas that will ensure your celebrations are less terrifying for Mother Nature this time around.

Yummy Mummies

Photo courtesy: Then She Made
Is your kid a cereal killer? Do you have cereal boxes piling high? Then just mummify them for Halloween! Amy from Then She Made will show you how. It’s a great way to recycle any old white/off-white fabric you have lying around the house!

Kidd Hack: Don’t limit your newfound mummifying talent to cereal boxes alone. Use it to transform other discarded boxes and objects sitting in your recycling bin as well. You could even mummify your front door if you have enough fabric on hand!

Tricky Tee Bag

Photo courtesy: Casual Claire
If you’re looking for a cute DIY Halloween decor item that’s useful too, then this easy-to-make, earth-friendly trick-or-treat bag is it! Just look for an old tshirt (preferably a thick one in a Halloween color/colors), and then… Well, just follow this video!

Kidd Hack: If your tee isn’t in Halloween hues, just paint, sew, or stick spooky things onto it. Felt bats, fabric-paint ghosts and spider webs, words in fake blood — it’s scary how many options there are!

Magical Mason Jars

Photo courtesy: The Country Cook
Ah, the mason jar. Often taken for granted. But it has hidden talents! Or at least its lid does. Like what? Well, it can transform into a pumpkin or a spider with a little help from you and your little Halloween lover! Here’s how you can DIY your way to a mason jar lid pumpkin and spider!

Kidd Hack: The tutorial for the pumpkin recommends spray paint for the mason jar lids. However, that’s not the most earth-friendly option. Maybe switch to acrylic paint. Just wipe the lids down with rubbing alcohol before, and use a sponge to paint so the color holds well.

Monster Web

Photo courtesy: How To With Kristin
Who doesn’t love low-budget decoration ideas that look that good?! The most inviting aspect of this minimum-waste Halloween decor project is that it can be scaled up or down as much as you like. Simply grab some black yarn or rope and follow this tutorial. You can make your web to fit a tiny corner of your room or an entire wall of your house!

Kidd Hack: Monstrous spider webs don’t have to go up on walls alone. Why not make one out of thin white string and tie it between two trees in your yard?! You just might catch a trick-or-treater in it post sundown.

My Little Milk Ghost

Photo courtesy: Pinterest
Ghosts can be absolute cuties. Don’t believe us? Okay. Take an old milk jug. Clean it out. Dry it. Air it out. Now, create a sweet ghost face on its front, using a permanent marker or paint. And voilà: a supernatural cutie! Just. Like. That!

Kidd Hack: If there’s any brilliant zero-waste Halloween decoration idea, it’s this one. And it’s as easy as ABC! Why not make your milk ghost even cuter by stuffing fairy lights into it, preferably the ones that flicker eerily? Alternatively, a battery-operated candle will also do.

Upcycled Vampire Bat

Photo courtesy: Easy Peasy and Fun
The quintessential best-out-of-waste Halloween decoration, this toilet roll bat is easy to make and ridiculously adorable. Just look at the little guy! Together with your tiny tot, you can craft your own vampire bat using this guide, and hang a hoard of them inside and outside your haunted abode.

Kidd Hack: Who says a bat has to be black? Think in color with this one, and make ‘em in all kinds of shades. Purple, orange, and brown are some cool Halloween color options you can play with.

Un-Canny Lanterns

Photo courtesy: AliceMaudeDesigns
Call us biased, but we believe this one is the coolest DIY minimum-waste Halloween decoration option on this list! All you need is tins, water, marker, a hammer and nail, paint, and a real/battery-operated candle. What do you do with all that? You’ll find the answer here!

Kidd Hack: These tins will be lit even if you place them on your tables or window sills, but we have a feeling that suspending them from a wire, like lanterns, will make them look way cooler! Just remember to stick the candles to the bottoms of the tins.

Terrifying Treats

Photo courtesy: Zero Waste Memoirs
Your toddler will love these. Little edible ghoulies! Let your imagination run absolutely wild with this one. Banana ghosts, skinless orange jack-o’-lanterns, and monster-mouth fruit slices can be joined by stuffed orange-rind jack-o’-lanterns, pineapple ghost cutouts, and apple cat cutouts too!

Kidd Hack: Use your skins well, not just with the oranges. Experiment with watermelons, pineapples, and even peppers!

Notice how we steered clear from all talk of pumpkins? It’s because, as reported by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), 1.4 billion tons of the pumpkin crop in the US becomes waste material by All Saints’ morning: waste material that emits methane, a greenhouse gas with over “20 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide”. Perhaps we can all avoid the traditional jack-o’-lantern from this year on. Try out the spooks on this list instead, and get the kids to help out!
Share this article

Related Blogs

Return to Blog