Halloween is not just for kids anymore, so forgo the trick-or-treating and create a more adult-style Halloween party that is inspired by nature. You don’t need to buy a lot of non-recyclable decorations to make your house look haunted, so stay green and save your pennies to spend elsewhere. Here are some tips for hosting the best bash on the block.
Celebrate the Harvest Buying local and seasonal produce benefits the planet and your pocketbook, and the bounty of autumn veggies available this time of year is enough to inspire anyone to go vegan. A fall party menu is perfect for a Waldorf salad (with apples, raisins, walnuts, and celery), cinnamon applesauce, oatmeal raisin cookies, baked pears, pumpkin pie, caramelized pecans, and toasted pumpkin seeds.
Serve the Spirits Whether you’re serving potent potables or restorative refreshments, you can create a cauldron-like effect using dry ice. This works especially well for cold beverages such as sparkling pear juice, apple cider, or fruit punch. Just be sure the dry ice is “food grade,” and you are good to go. Hot beverages—mulled cider, creamy cocoa, or spiced chai tea—provide warmth from the inside out on a cold October night.
Lighten Up Changing the lighting at a party can create a moody atmosphere just about anywhere. Illuminate your home with candles, which can be inexpensively purchased at garage sales. You can also find a variety of eco-friendly, vegetable oil-based candles if that’s your style. Line your outside walkways with luminaries to create a warm welcome: simply fill lunch bags (recycled, of course) with two cups of sand, and place a votive candle securely inside. If you have a fireplace, burn Java-logs instead of wood. Made with coffee grounds, they produce far fewer emissions than wood-based logs. Yep, even your fire logs can be eco-friendly!
Go Wild Humans aren’t the only ones who like to party, so if you want your gathering to be truly animal-friendly, provide materials for your guests that also serve as a feast for local wildlife. Popcorn strands to drape on trees, peanut butter balls rolled in sunflower seeds and oatmeal, and apples dipped in jam are nature-inspired outdoor decorations that double as a feast for birds and squirrels. Use old tree branches and dead leaves to create the look of an abandoned house indoors, and adorn your home with pumpkins and other gourds, which can later be used for cooking or as a treat for animals. Dried ears of corn and haystacks create a rustic mood, and after the party, birds will love the hay for their nests and the corn for their bellies.
Click here for VegNews’ Official Guide to Vegan Halloween Candy!
Click here for the Ultimate Pumpkin Carving How-To with Dan Piraro
Click here for the lowdown on Eco-conscious Halloween Costumes