Updated: Mar 3, 2021
So normally, I'm not that into Halloween or fall vibes, but for some reason, this year, I've been feeling it. Maybe it's the fact that I'm stuck at home watching literally every new Halloween show or movie that comes on Netflix (highly recommend the Haunting of Bly Manor). Although I feel incredibly guilty, wanting to buy things that I don't necessarily need, but I still want to decorate and dress up. If you're feeling the same, I got you! If you're not, maybe still read to learn how to minimize your environmental impact this weekend.
An estimated 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste – equivalent to 83m bottles – will be generated from throwaway Halloween clothing sold by leading retailers in the UK this year research suggests. - The Guardian
Costumes are one of the best parts of celebrating Halloween, but unfortunately, they are almost always thrown out after wearing them once. Most costumes are made from plastics and packaged in plastic, making them extremely harmful to the environment. But it doesn't have to be that way; some ways you can have a green Halloween are listed below! Check out my friend and I dressed up as Lilo and Stitch, everything from this costume was reused, borrowed, or owned. We may not have the cutest costumes, but we definitely saved the environment and money. I, personally, will never understand spending $30+ on an outfit for a single night.
Thrift your costume
Swap with friends or borrow clothes to make it
Reuse or repurpose old fabric items into a cute costume
Utilize apps and sites, like Mercari, to buy costume sets that have already been worn
Purchase a custom made costume - this is better in the sense that you can request no plastic packaging and most likely sell it again to someone else.
Use your costume after Halloween! - re-wear or repurpose your items into new outfits or clothing pieces. For example, turn pants into shorts or a dress into a two-piece set.
After costumes, decorations are also incredibly wasteful (pumpkins, I'm talking about you). This graphic is from The World Economic Forum, and they also state how 900,000 tons of pumpkins are trashed in the US after Halloween. Meanwhile, the US Department of Energy estimates that 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins are thrown out every year after Halloween. I can't even begin to imagine how many pumpkins that actually is. Now, pumpkins are not the only source of decor for fall and Halloween lovers, but other pieces of decor can be reused for years and years. Unfortunately, they are usually made from plastic, which means their end of life is incredibly important.
What you should do about pumpkins
Cook the edible parts - you can even roast the skin!
Make a puree - which is amazing to add to coffee for a pumpkin spice latte.
Roast the yummy seeds
Donate them (if possible)
Bake a pie or another dessert
Add to your dog or cat food.
Soup - pumpkin is great for different types of soup and to add to the broth
What to do about decorations
Thrift - better price and better for the earth
Swap with friends
Recycle them when they're no longer usable
Donate them if you're simply bored of them
Make your own - make it date with your bf, gf, friends, or kids.
Repurpose other items, of course - Let me know in the comments if you guys want me to show you how to do things like this, and I'd be more than happy to!
Okay, candy and other Halloween treats may or may not be the best part of Halloween. This is unfortunate for poor mother earth because nearly everything comes wrapped in plastic, plastic that does not get recycled. Consumers do not have much control over this and mainly control the end of life. So sadly, I do not have that many tips or tricks to get around the plastic. As a reminder, use an old pillowcase or cloth tote to trick or treat!
Recycle through TerraCycle's ZWBs
Give out fresh fruit/veggies or any alternatives to candy
If you are able to purchase candy not packaged in plastic, do that!
Make treats - however, I would not advise giving out homemade treats to trick or treaters as they will most likely get thrown out
I hope you found this short article on how to have a sustainable Halloween helpful! If you want to hear more tips or anything else, let me know. Share your own ideas in the comments below or in the forum to make this an amazing Halloween. :)