Sustainable Halloweens Around the World

Sustainable Halloweens Around the World

Halloween is a time to remember the dead and have fun with scary things like ghosts and witches. Different countries celebrate this time in their own unique ways. Let’s explore how 10 countries celebrate the spookiest time of the year. Here are some eco-friendly Halloween tips for everyone, no matter where you are celebrating the spooky season.

1. USA: A Night of Fun and Frights

Trick-or-treaters in costumes on a neighborhood stoop,; a witch, pirate, bunny, and cat.

On Halloween night in the USA, people enjoy dressing up, going trick-or-treating, and having parties.

What Happens:

  • Kids go door-to-door saying “trick or treat” to get candy.
  • People wear costumes.
  • Houses are decorated with pumpkins and spooky things.
  • There are parties and parades.
  • Some people visit haunted houses for a scare.

How to Celebrate Halloween Sustainably:

  • Use a pillowcase or a reusable bag for trick-or-treating.
  • Make costumes at home instead of buying new ones. Sustainable Halloween costumes can be even more creative than store-bought ones.
  • Use natural things like pumpkins and leaves for decorations. Sustainable Halloween decorations can be just as festive.
  • Give out treats with less packaging.
  • Use LED lights to save energy.

2. Mexico: Day of the Dead

A Day of the Dead display featuring candles, fruits and flowers, vibrant purple cloths and natural artwork.

In Mexico, people celebrate the Day of the Dead to honor and remember their loved ones who have died.

What Happens:

  • Families create altars with photos and favorite items of the departed.
  • They visit graves and decorate them with flowers.
  • Special foods like sugar skulls and “pan de Muertos” are made.
  • There are parades with colorful costumes and skulls.
  • People tell stories about their loved ones.

How to Celebrate the Day of the Dead Sustainably:

  • Walk or share rides when visiting graves.
  • Choose local flowers for decorations.
  • Use decorations that can be used again or break down in nature.
  • Make food with ingredients from local farmers.
  • Use LED candles instead of real ones.

3. Ireland: The Original Halloween

People around a bonfire at night.

Where Halloween Began: Ireland is known as the birthplace of Halloween and celebrated with bonfires, games, and food.

What Happens:

  • There are big bonfires.
  • People play games like bobbing for apples.
  • They bake a special cake called “barmbrack.”
  • Kids go trick-or-treating.
  • Some people have parties with costumes.

How to Celebrate Halloween Sustainably:

  • Share rides or walk to events.
  • Use reusable bags and containers.
  • Make homemade treats. Sustainable Halloween candy tastes just as good!
  • Choose costumes that can be worn again. Eco-friendly Halloween Costumes are cheaper and can be just as scary as the ones you buy in the store.
  • Use natural decorations.

4. Italy: All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day

Display of flowers and candles.

Italy has a calm time to remember those who have died, with respect and reflection.

What Happens:

  • People visit the graves of loved ones.
  • They light candles and pray.
  • Families spend time together.
  • Some people attend church services.
  • Flowers decorate graves.

How to Celebrate Sustainably:

  • Use public transport or share rides to visit graves.
  • Choose local flowers for decorations.
  • Use eco-friendly materials for decorations.
  • Cook with local ingredients.
  • Use LED candles.

5. Canada: Fun and Frights Up North

Boy emptying out the inside of a pumpkin as a man holds it and a woman watches.

A Wholesome Celebration of Spooks and Sweets: Canada enjoys Halloween with trick-or-treating, haunted houses, and decorations.

What Happens:

  • Kids go trick-or-treating.
  • People visit haunted houses.
  • There are parades and festivals.
  • People carve pumpkins into Jack-o’-Lanterns.
  • People have costume parties.

How to Have an Eco-friendly Halloween:

  • Use reusable bags for collecting treats.
  • Make costumes at home.
  • Send online invitations for parties.
  • Buy local pumpkins.
  • Help clean up the community after Halloween.

6. Germany: A Respectful Remembrance

Women in winter coat, hat and gloves in a cemetery with her hand on a gravestone.

A Quiet Time to Remember: Germany has a peaceful and thoughtful time where they remember people who have passed away.

What Happens:

  • People hide knives so spirits are safe.
  • They visit graves.
  • Some attend church services.
  • The atmosphere is quiet and thoughtful.
  • Candles adorn graves.

How to Celebrate Sustainably:

  • Use eco-friendly transport to visit graves.
  • Choose recyclable grave decorations.
  • Use local flowers and candles.
  • Use reusable and eco-friendly Halloween decorations.
  • Enjoy activities that don’t need lots of stuff.

7. United Kingdom: Ancient and Modern Celebrations

Family trick-or-treating in residential area.

The UK celebrates old traditions like turnip carving and modern activities like trick-or-treating.

What Happens:

  • People carve turnips and pumpkins.
  • Kids go trick-or-treating.
  • There are bonfires and ghost stories.
  • People bob for apples.
  • There are Halloween events and parties.

How to Make your Halloween Green:

  • Choose local turnips and pumpkins.
  • Use reusable costumes and decorations.
  • Make treats at home to reduce waste.
  • Use public transport to go to events.
  • Enjoy traditional activities that are good for the planet.

8. Australia: A Growing Celebration

Adults in Halloween costumes in a bar.

New Fun Down Under: Australia is starting to celebrate Halloween more with trick-or-treating, festivals, and parties.

What Happens:

  • Kids go trick-or-treating in costumes.
  • People have Halloween parties.
  • There are Halloween-themed events and festivals.
  • Some people decorate their homes with spooky things.
  • There are costume competitions.

How to Have an Eco-Friendly Halloween:

  • Make costumes at home with what you have.
  • Choose treats with less packaging. Eco-friendly Halloween treats can be just as delicious.
  • Use natural decorations like pumpkins.
  • Share rides to events.
  • Use reusable items for parties.

9. Japan: The Obon Festival

Paper lanterns hanging outside amid trees at sunset.

Japan’s Obon is a lovely tradition to honor ancestors with dances, grave visits, and lanterns.

What Happens:

  • People visit the graves of their ancestors.
  • They clean graves and leave offerings.
  • There are dances known as Bon Odori.
  • People light lanterns and float them on water.
  • Families spend time together.

How to Celebrate Sustainably:

  • Use public transport to visit graves.
  • Choose local and seasonal offerings.
  • Use LED lights in lanterns.
  • Share meals with family using local ingredients.
  • Use reusable or recyclable decorations.

10. China: The Hungry Ghost Festival

2 mannequins wearing traditional Chinese regalia as they sit atop a fake tiger and dragon.

China celebrates the Hungry Ghost Festival to please and respect spirits by offering them gifts.

What Happens:

  • People make offerings of food and paper money.
  • They burn incense and joss paper.
  • There are performances and operas.
  • People light lanterns to guide spirits.
  • Families pay respects to ancestors.

How to Celebrate Sustainably:

  • Choose eco-friendly paper for offerings.
  • Use LED lights instead of burning items.
  • Share rides to events and ceremonies.
  • Use reusable items for offerings when possible.
  • Choose local foods for offerings.

Global Halloween Sustainability Facts & Figures

  • Waste and Halloween: A lot of waste is produced during Halloween, especially from costumes and candies. According to Stanford University, Americans alone throw away about 900,000 tons of Halloween waste each year.
  • Pumpkin Waste: A lot of pumpkins get wasted during Halloween. The National Wildlife Federation suggests using old pumpkins as bird feeders or compost.
  • Costume Waste: Many costumes are used only once and then thrown away. Consider swapping costumes with friends or making them at home to reduce waste.
  • Candy and Packaging: A lot of candy wrappers end up in landfills. Some organizations, offer recycling programs for candy wrappers.
  • Eco-Friendly Celebrations: There are ways to celebrate Halloween in an eco-friendly manner.

Halloween and similar celebrations around the world offer a unique blend of traditions, festivities, and cultural practices. From the spooky to the spiritual, each country brings its own flavor to this time of year. However, in the midst of the fun and frolic, it is imperative to celebrate responsibly and sustainably. By being eco-friendly, we respect the dead and safeguard the planet, so future generations can keep celebrating.

In the spirit of exploring spooky destinations, you might consider visiting some of the top spooky destinations around the world. If you want a spooky adventure, check out these creepy places to get your heart racing this Halloween.

When you make Halloween eco-friendly, you not only treat the planet well. It’s also a chance to start new traditions that honor both the dead and the living.

This year, hang your green decorations. Wear sustainable costumes. Support local businesses. Each small step brings the world closer to a truly eco-friendly Halloween.