An example of more Eco-Friendly halloween decorations such as decorated pumpkins and candles hanging on a porch at night with string lights in the background.
October 4, 2023
 in 
Lifestyle

Eco-Friendly Halloween Decorations: Where to Find Them and Fun DIYs You Can Try This Season!

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t any other time of the year, a home filled with cobwebs and spiders would be a sign that someone needed to clean but come Halloween, you get to call it décor. Halloween decorations are a treat that few of us can resist, and why should we? They’re a chance to pre-game for Thanksgiving and lean into fall beauty, but depending on what they’re made of, can play a sad trick on our planet with excess waste and plastic.

That’s why we’ve made this guide on eco-friendly Halloween decorations. Keep reading to learn the full impact that spooky season décor can have on the environment and get tips on more sustainable décor options you can buy or DIY. There are plenty of fun, cost-effective ways to get all the ghoulishness out of the holiday without harming our planet.

Hop onto your broomsticks, we’re about to make some Halloween magic …

Table of  Contents

The Impact of Halloween Decorations on The Environment

Before we get into the treats of this article, we do have a few tricks to get out of the way first. Let's take a closer look at the environmental impact that many traditional Halloween decorations can unfortunately have.

The biggest issue with Halloween is that most of the décor sold is made from plastic, polystyrene, and other materials that are either non-recyclable or very difficult to recycle. Adding to this is that décor is often used only a handful of times before it breaks or is thrown out. When you consider that most Americans already generate 4.4 pounds of trash a day, this extra waste doesn’t bode well.

Waste, and especially plastic waste, contributes to both water and air pollution, but that’s not the only area where Halloween decorations can be environmentally hazardous. Fake outdoor spiderwebs have been reported by numerous conservation experts to be a danger to bird and insect life. Unlike real webs, the fake kind doesn’t break as you move through it which makes it easy for owls, butterflies, and other creatures to get tangled and hurt as a result.

Come this Halloween, consider ditching the fake spiderwebs and embracing more eco-friendly decorations instead. We promise that you won’t lose out on any of the bloodcurdling fun.

What Halloween Decorations Are Considered Eco-Friendly?

When it comes to eco-friendly Halloween decorations, there are two factors to consider: how the items are sourced and what they’re made from. In terms of sustainable materials, it’s best to stick to things that are biodegradable or recyclable such as paper, cardboard, and other natural fibers. When that isn’t possible, try to think of durability. The longer things can be used, the longer you can keep them out of landfills.

Choosing more eco-friendly decorations is also a matter of rethinking where you buy them. For example, getting a plastic skeleton from a second-hand store is far more eco-conscious than buying one new.

How things are made also affects sustainability. Supporting small, local creatives has far less of a negative impact than buying from mass-produced places. All these things are relative, however, to your budget and what’s available. Even trying to do better with one of the aspects mentioned can help.

Where to Buy Eco-Friendly Halloween Decorations

Sourcing eco-friendly Halloween Decorations is all about looking in places you wouldn’t first think to …

Etsy

Ok, we’ll admit it. Etsy is a pretty obvious choice, but it’s often overlooked for the ease of going to a big store or ordering from Amazon. There’s nothing wrong with either of those options, but there are so many small, Etsy sellers with interesting, often handmade Halloween decorations that use more sustainable materials. Here are 5 of our favorites:

  • Upcycled Halloween-themed plates: If you’re looking for interesting, upcycled tableware and decor for your spooky celebrations, look no further. This Etsy seller hand paints vintage plates with cool, Halloween-themed designs.
  • Knitted Pumpkins: Unfortunately not made from a natural fiber, these hand-knitted pumpkins are still so much better than the mass-produced, plastic versions. They can also be ordered with hangers for an added decorative touch.
  • Macramé Skeletons: These wall hangings are handcrafted with all-natural materials and are an eco-friendly alternative to the traditional plastic skeleton.
  • Cotton Ball String Lights: Moody lighting is a big part of setting up the Halloween vibe. That’s why these cotton ball string lights are such a great find. The fact that cotton was used instead of plastic is a major plus, and we love that the lights are genuinely good quality so that they’ll last year after year.
  • Steel Zombie Hands: Who doesn’t love a bit of creepy yard decoration? These handmade zombie hands give off a major scare factor and thanks to the steel they’re made of, will last far better than plastic versions.

The Farmers’ Market

Instead of buying plastic or even ceramic pumpkins, a quick hack for eco-friendly Halloween decorations is simply hitting up your local farmer’s market and using what’s available. Just make sure to buy the kind you can bake or cook with to limit waste or to compost what isn’t used.

Dried floral arrangements also make beautiful fall-themed décor and are another thing to be found at farmers’ markets. In our DIY section of this article, we’ll share a wreath design to use too.

Thrift Stores

Thrifting is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to source eco-friendly Halloween decorations. If you’re a sucker for weird, plastic ghosts and the like, then have a look at your local thrift stores or peruse places like Facebook Marketplace and eBay. There are all sorts of treasures to be found that can help re-route Halloween waste from previous years.

As a bonus, vintage pieces often have an inherently Halloween-like look to them. Think old lace curtains that can be draped over furniture, or Victorian-style knick-knacks that can be dotted around.

Swap or Rent Instead

Finally, instead of buying items, it’s worth looking at prop rental services in your area if you have a big party to decorate or getting friends together for a swap night. The skeleton gathering dust in your basement may be trash to you, but it could be someone else’s dream piece of décor.

5 Fun DIY Ideas for a More Sustainable Halloween

Getting crafty for Halloween not only allows you to control the materials that go into your décor and therefore make it more sustainable, but it’s also a chance to use your creativity. Here are 5 fun Halloween DIYs to try this holiday:

1. A Classic Witch’s Broom

This HGTV DIY for a witch’s broomstick is great for anyone looking for something big to decorate inside or outside their home.

Difficulty Level: Easy

What You’ll Need:

  • Foraged sticks and twigs
  • Twine
  • Floral wire
  • Drill (if you want to make a hole for hanging)

Why We Love It: Easy and made mostly from materials you can break down and toss into your yard when you’re done, what’s not to love?

2. Hanging Ghosts

Boo! These decorative ghosts are made almost entirely from things you already have at home and make the perfect piece to put up on a mantel or a wall.

Difficulty Level: Easy

What You’ll Need:

  • Tissue
  • Needle
  • Glue
  • String cotton thread, twine, or string

Why We Love It: This simple DIY is adaptive and low waste. If you wanted, you could repurpose used paper to stuff the ghosts with and even replace the tissue with scrap fabric. 

3. Trailing Wreath

This trailing wreath from DIY Danie is probably one of the chicest eco-friendly Halloween decorations on this list.

Difficulty Level: Medium

What You’ll Need:

  • Foraged or bought greenery
  • Spray paint (look for low-odor and water-based options)
  • Wooden wreath frame (can be thrifted but here’s an extra video on making  one yourself)
  • Black wire

Why We Love It: Most of the items in this wreath are biodegradable or reusable. If you’re careful with the wire, you can even save it to be re-used.

4. Halloween Bunting

Creatornet’s Halloween bunting makes a seasonal classic into something extra sustainable.

Difficulty Level: Easy

What You’ll Need:

  • Markers
  • Paper and newspaper
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Ruler

Why We Love It: A DIY like this that reuses old newspaper for such a fun, creative result is proof that eco-friendly Halloween decorations can bring just as much joy as the traditional kind.

5. Paper Mâché Tombstone

By far the lengthiest and most advanced DIY on this list, this series from Unhinged Productions will show you how to make a paper mâché tombstone that’s worth all the extra effort.

Difficulty Level: Medium

What You’ll Need:

  • Cereal and Pizza boxes
  • Hot glue gun
  • Tape
  • Box knife
  • Measuring tape
  • Ruler
  • Newspaper
  • Wheatpaste
  • Markers
  • Paint

Why We Love It: Finding larger eco-friendly Halloween decorations isn’t always easy but this DIY is a great way to make it happen yourself. We love that it uses scrap paper and cardboard and the fact that you can add your own creepy stamp on things with how you decorate the tombstone.

Eerie AND Eco-Friendly

Despite the assumptions some make, choosing eco-friendly Halloween decorations doesn’t mean you have to skimp on the spooky. If anything, shopping from smaller stores, thrifting items, or making them yourself can save money while adding to the fun of the holiday.

It’s made even better by the fact that all these small sustainability choices help reduce Halloween waste and negative environmental impacts – a true piece of Halloween magic. Happy haunting!