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Halloween Decorating! SLCgreen Style

Sustainability Decorations- plastic bag ghosts, trash bag spider webs, sunflowers.

Halloween is right around the corner! Have you finished your decorations yet?

The City & County Building is having a door decorating competition between departments (never mind that the building itself might be haunted….!)

Of course, here at the Sustainability Department we know it’s important to “walk our talk” in terms of decorating with reused, compostable, and recyclable goods to keep material out of the landfill.

In the process, we had a fun time using our creativity (and Google) to come up with some cool ways to spookishly decorate. Here are some tips for your home or office:

Make a Ghost!


  1. Use a plastic grocery bag (white preferred)
  2. Cut off the handles and stuff them into the bottom of the bag to make the “head”
  3. Pinch the bottom and secure a rubber band or string around it to hold the head in place
  4. Draw a spooky face
  5. Hang wherever you need to add some ghoulish fright!

Create an Eerie Scene

Assess your yard: cornstalks are traditional but you can re-purpose any dried or dying foliage to “set the scene.” We used dried sunflowers (see above). You could also gather twigs, leaves, and other branches to create a spooky atmosphere. Best of all, they can be composted when you’re done!

Are you a Cyclist? Check out our bike tire spider! AHH!

Spider made out of bike tires.

  1. Find an old bike tire (mountain bike tires are especially knobby and “creepy”)
  2. Cut it up into a the shape of a spider
  3. Scare all your friends

Spin a Beautiful Spider Web


  1. You can use craft paper, a paper bag, or other large scrap paper. You can also use black garbage bags like we did, above.
  2. Follow these easy steps to create

Decorate with Pumpkins


We got our heirloom pumpkins from the local farmers’ market! You may also have some winter squash from your garden. Any will do!

Remember–if you don’t paint them, pumpkins are fully compostable in your curbside green waste bin.

You can also compost jack-o-lanterns — as long as there is no candle wax or other non-organic residue involved. (Battery-operated LED lights are a safer option to light up that toothy grin anyway).

Use Paper

Instead of decorating with paint or plastic, a roll of craft paper is fully recyclable and you can use different colors to create your props. We made lots of bats!

You can also use it to wrap hardcover books and write eerie titles on them like “Potions and Spells” or “Magic 101.”

Similarly, we have a collection of glass kombucha bottles (don’t ask) that we’ll be wrapping with craft paper and marking with “Witches’ Blood” or “Spider Guts.”

Whatever you do for Halloween, we hope you celebrate sustainably.

Most importantly, keep it fun and safe!

Craft paper spider web and bats.

Sustainability Halloween door decoration

. . . or our landfill will fill up 😦

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