By: Elizabeth McKinney

As Halloween creeps around the corner, let’s all remind ourselves of everything that goes into a killer costumer party. The bottles, cans, paper plates, leftovers, and tons of cars up and down the street. (Not to mention the mummy costume that wasted all that toilet paper). I think we all know where I’m heading with this. Halloween’s such a fun tradition that lots of people wait for it all year, so why turn it into something harmful to the environment? So before you send out the paper invites and buy the Styrofoam plates, let’s all take just a second to ponder how we can respect our planet while celebrating.
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Tip #1: Local Buys

One big way to save some energy during the spooky season is buying local goodies. Food that didn’t have to travel 200 miles to get to your house immediately saves energy in travels, and the treats will be much fresher. Look into local bakeries that source from local vendors to supply sweet treats for your party guests.

Tip #2: Party prep

For starters, reusable plates and utensils are always your best option. But if you just can’t handle that, buy recyclable ones and buy them in bulk (to save packaging materials). That being said, provide recycling bins for guests so it doesn’t all just go to waste. And if you really want to go above and beyond, get a compost bin for leftovers. Go online and see if your town offers a spot to drop off compost after the party’s over.

Tip #3: The Invite

For those of you old schoolers out, the days of the paper snail-mail invitations are no more. Nowadays there are tons of free websites that offer e-vites like evite.com, or this site that gives the look of a traditional invitation online.

Pumpkin

Hanna Horwarth – CC BY-ND 2.0

Tip #4: Guest Travel

This can be super important if you expect to entertain a lot of guests. Suggest to each guest that they try to carpool as best they can. Or, if you invite some friends that live in the neighborhood and it’s a crisp fall evening, suggest they walk over. This way you’ll save on emissions. Oh, just as importantly, they’ll be able to drink without worrying about driving.

Tip #5: Shop smartly

Instead of going out every year and purchasing a new (absurdly expensive) costume, plan a costume swap with all of your friends. If they all bring one or two of their costumes, everyone is bound to find one that they can get on board with, without spending a dime.

Tip #6 Trick or Treat

Do yourself a favor and sit on your porch while you give out candy instead of opening and shutting the door. This will likely save you a few bucks on the heating bill, and also give you a chance to better greet your trick-or-treaters.