13 Safe & Eco-Friendly Ways to Celebrate Halloween 2020 at Home
Halloween should be spooky, not *actually* scary.
Halloween is supposed to be spooky, but not actually scary. With COVID in our communities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have announced safety guidelines for Halloween this year, which include avoiding trick-or-treating and large gatherings. But, that doesn't have to mean that Halloween is cancelled! There are still loads of ways to make this spooktacular month feel special and just as festive as years before.
And who knows? With all the change afoot (and a full moon to boot!) this just might be the best year ever to turn a holiday that has a tendency to be scarily wasteful on its head and instead do something good for the planet.
Here are 13 of our favorite ideas to have a safe and eco-friendly Halloween in 2020 at home:
1. Have a pumpkin carving contest with your family from afar
Can’t be with your extended family this holiday? Zoom to the rescue! Hop on a video call with family members or friends and chat while you all carve your Jack-o-lanterns. Want to bring some competitive fun to the mix? Have the grandparents judge the kids pumpkin, giving scores for creativity, spookiness, carving accuracy etc.
Make sure your pumpkin selection is as ‘green’ as possible by buying organic and shopping local! You’ll protect water and reduce carbon emissions by picking up your pumpkin from your local farm. Click here to locate your local family farm.
2. Skip the plastic packaging and make your own Halloween treats!
It’s a bummer that we can’t go door-to-door this year but if there’s a silver lining for the planet, it’s that we might be able to cut down on the crazy amount of single-use plastic! If you’re looking for a scarily tasty Halloween treat, spend more time enjoying the Halloween festivities and less time in the kitchen when you make these three-ingredient Rice Krispies treats. (via Chelsea's Messy Apron)
3. Make a Halloween-themed cocktail!
Who says the kids get to have all the fun?! No Halloween is complete without a custom witch's brew cocktail or mocktail. Freezing plastic spiders into your ice cubes, as seen in this drink (Pomegranate Poison, from Good Housekeeping) will delight both kids and adults.
4. Whip up a Halloween dinner.
The only thing scary about trying a new recipe is not knowing where to start. This recipe from Delish helps you out with step-by-step instructions. Jack-O'Lantern stuffed peppers are filled with beef, rice, and more, but you can use any protein or toppings you please.
5. Go apple picking
Apple picking is a staple fall activity, and there are so many places offering safe, socially distant visits to the orchard. Check out Delish’s running list of best orchards to visit across the nation, and get ready to bake some apple pie.
6. Get crafty with some eco-friendly Halloween decorations
Like costumes, most Halloween decorations are made of cheap, disposable plastic - FAR from planet-friendly. Even scarier? Most of it gets thrown out after the holiday is over! This year, it’s the crafty (or even not-so-crafty) person’s time to shine.
Sit down with the kids and create some fantastic reusable and high-quality decorations that you can use for years to come. Some of our favorites include:
- Bread Tag Monsters from Crafts by Amanda
- Hanging Bats from Buggy and Buddy
- Frankenstein Upcycled Tin Cans from You Brew My Tea
- Flickering Spider Lights from The TipToe Fairy
- Tin Can Bowling from Party Delights Blog
7. Play Halloween games at home
No party? No problem! All of the classic Halloween party games can be just as fun with only your family, like bobbing for apples—using all the ones you picked up from the orchard!
8. Go “ghosting”
No, not the kind of “ghosting” where you ignore your ex's phone calls. The fun kind of ghosting has become a popular tradition over the years, and it's a great way to show people you're thinking of them even if you can't hang out in person. Here's how it works: You make a bag of Halloween-themed goodies and leave it on a friend's or neighbor's doorstep with a note that encourages them to "ghost" someone else.
9. Paint your faces
Face painting is always the most fun part of a Halloween fair, but you can easily do it at home with some safe-to-use paint and creativity.
10. Have a scary movie night
I’ll admit it - I’m a HUGE baby when it comes to scary movies. Blood, guts and gore just aren’t my thing. But what kind of Halloween list would this be if we didn’t include scary movie watching? Make a night of it by preparing some popcorn and candy and setting a spooky scene.
If you’re like me, check out this list: 25 Scary Movies for Kids That Aren't Traumatizing
11. Go on a family walk or bike ride
Spend Halloween morning biking through a park or nearby neighborhood. Point out the prettiest fall foliage or the most fabulously decorated houses. It's a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the late-fall weather.
12. Get paid to use less power
Going to be turning out all the lights and going all haunted house anyways? Why not get rewarded for being energy efficient? There’s a program available to all California residents that actually pays you to use less energy in your home - not just on Halloween, but throughout the year. It’s called OhmConnect and it’s free and secure to try. Nothing scary about that!
Happy Halloween to you and yours!