Halloween is right around the corner, and although your costume or party might be scary, thinking sustainably doesn’t have to be! Here are some tips and tricks to help green your Halloween.

Rethink your costume. Check out local thrift stores like Project Safe, Goodwill or America’s Thrift Store for secondhand items to complete your Halloween look. You can also raid the closet or a family member, borrow from a friend or revamp last year’s costume to avoid buying new items.

Use all of your pumpkin. Pumpkins can offer way more than just a canvas to carve a spooky design. You can roast the seeds for a tasty snack — check out this recipe for honey roasted pumpkin seeds. You can use the pumpkin to make soup, bread, and cookies (although you probably want to get a pie pumpkin, which has less water, to make pumpkin pie with). When you’re done, you can compost your pumpkin in two easy steps.

Image courtesy Liz West via Flickr.

Use things you already have at home to make Halloween decorations. Blank white sheets, empty bottles and milk jugs, and tin cans can all be repurposed to make a variety of party decorations. Find plenty of DIY ideas here.  

Make homemade treats for your party instead of serving individually-wrapped candies to cut down on plastic waste. While Halloween candies are delicious treats, they often come in individually-wrapped plastic packages that can end up as litter on sidewalks. To avoid excess waste, cook up one of these yummy homemade Halloween treats.

Image courtesy Shari's Berries via Flickr.

Head to a farmers market or fall festival to purchase locally-grown fall vegetables. Fall is the perfect time of year to cook up hearty recipes like butternut squash soup or an autumn salad with roasted sweet potatoes. On Saturdays from 8 a.m.—12 p.m., you can browse the Athens Farmers Market located at Bishop Park, or the West Broad Farmers Market from 9 a.m.—1 p.m. Local foods have a lot of great benefits — they have more nutrients and buying local supports local farms and families. Read more on why buying local matters here.

Image courtesy Natalie Maynor via Flickr.

Written by Jordan Meaker