Halloween is unquestionably one of the most delightful and thrilling holidays of the year. However, the excessive waste it generates is a cause for concern. From disposable costumes to single-use decorations and the immense amount of candy packaging, Halloween can be a nightmare for the environment.
Here are five simple ways to make your Halloween celebrations sustainable while still enjoying all the spooky festivities.
Halloween Costumes, Done Sustainably
One of the most wasteful aspects of Halloween is the short-lived, disposable nature of many costumes. To have a sustainable Halloween, consider these options:
a) Reuse and Repurpose:
The most sustainable Halloween costume is the one you already have! Before you rush to buy a new costume, take a look in your closet to see if you have any pieces that could be repurposed. Mix and match clothing items, add some makeup, and you might create a unique costume without spending a dime. Not only will this save you money, but it's also an eco-friendly choice. For example, a black long dress can be altered into a witch outfit.
b) Borrow or Swap:
Another excellent option is to ask friends and family if you can borrow a costume or accessories. Chances are, someone you know has a costume that's been collecting dust in their closet. If you and your friends are feeling creative, host a costume exchange inspired by clothing swaps. It's a fun way to get new costume ideas while reducing waste.
c) Quality Over Quantity:
If you do decide to buy a costume, opt for quality over fast fashion. Many costume shops offer rentals of high-quality costumes that can be used year after year. These costumes not only look better but are also made to last. Investing in a good costume can save you money in the long run and reduce the environmental impact.
d) DIY Costume:
For those with a crafty side, making your own costume from scratch is a fantastic way to ensure sustainability. Get creative with materials you already have, visit local thrift shops for inspiration, or repurpose old clothes into a unique costume. DIY costumes can be personalized, environmentally friendly, and incredibly fun to create.
By choosing one or more of these options, you can have a stylish, sustainable costume that doesn't contribute to the landfill.
Decorations are another area where Halloween waste can pile up quickly. Consider these tips for a more sustainable approach to decorating your home:
a) Make Your Own Decorations:
One of the best ways to have a green Halloween is to get creative with DIY decorations. Utilize materials like cardboard, paper, and natural elements to craft spooky and imaginative decor. You can create a cardboard skeleton, make spiders out of black pipe cleaners, or even carve your own pumpkins to create a unique Jack-o'-lantern.
b) Reusable Decorations:
When purchasing decorations, ensure that they are reusable and made from good-quality materials. Opt for items like durable banners, LED lights, or metal lanterns that can be used year after year. Avoid disposable decorations that contribute to unnecessary waste. Facebook marketplace is perfect for picking up some local second-hand goods.
c) Thrift Shop Treasures:
Before buying new decorations, check out your local thrift shops. Thrift stores often have a fantastic assortment of gently-used Halloween decorations at a fraction of the price of new items. Not only will you save money, but you'll also give a second life to previously owned items.
By making and choosing sustainable decorations, you can set the stage for a memorable and eco-friendly Halloween.
Halloween Treats: The Not So Sweet Truth
One of the absolute best things about Halloween? The candy, of course! But here's the thing: some of the big sweets manufacturers have a pretty hefty impact on the environment. Companies like Cadbury, Nestlé, and Mars have been linked to deforestation, species extinction, and unethical labour practices. So, how about we make this Halloween a little more sustainable? Consider these tips:
a) Homemade Treats:
Avoid all those individually wrapped candies and make some sweet treats yourself. Baking your own Halloween-themed cookies, brownies, or candies can be a fun and rewarding activity. You can control the ingredients, reduce packaging waste, and create personalized treats for your guests.
b) Eco-Friendly Packaging:
If you choose to make your own treats, consider eco-friendly packaging options. Instead of wrapping them in plastic or cellophane, use paper bags, reusable containers, or simply hand out the treats directly. This minimizes the waste associated with single-use candy wrappers.
c) Ethical Alternatives:
If you're pressed for time or prefer to indulge in ready-made treats, keep an eye out for products boasting independent certifications like USDA Organic, CERES, and Fairtrade. These certifications guarantee that the goodies are crafted with eco-friendly and ethical practices. By opting for these confections, you're not just satisfying your sweet tooth but also championing sustainable and ethical businesses! Let's make a positive impact together!
By making thoughtful choices about Halloween treats, you can enjoy the holiday while reducing the negative environmental and social impacts associated with conventional candy.
Choose Locally Sourced Pumpkins
Pumpkin carving is a beloved Halloween tradition, but the source of your pumpkins matters when it comes to sustainability. Here's how to make a more environmentally friendly choice:
a) Buy Local:
We recommend buying your pumpkins from a local farmer's market. This not only supports local farmers but also reduces the carbon footprint associated with shipping pumpkins long distances. Local pumpkins are often fresher and may have fewer chemicals applied during growth.
b) Reduce Food Waste:
After carving your pumpkins, don't let the flesh and seeds go to waste. Roast the seeds for a delicious snack or use the flesh to make soups, pies, or other tasty dishes. This not only reduces food waste but also maximizes the utility of your pumpkin.
By choosing locally sourced pumpkins and making the most of them, you can have an eco-friendly Halloween while enjoying a cherished tradition.
Sustainable Halloween Parties
If you're hosting a Halloween party, there are several additional steps you can take to make it more sustainable:
a) Evite Invitations:
Send digital invitations instead of paper ones to save on paper and transportation emissions. Websites like Evite make it easy to create and send attractive digital invitations to your guests.
b) Use Reusable Tableware:
Invest in reusable plates, cups, and utensils to reduce waste. If that's not feasible, consider biodegradable or compostable alternatives. Avoid single-use plastics whenever possible.
c) Plan Sustainable Games and Activities:
When planning your Halloween activities, think about games and crafts that involve recycling materials or use minimal resources. Encourage guests to participate in eco-friendly activities, such as a costume swap or a pumpkin carving competition.
d) Offer Composting and Recycling Bins:
Make it easy for your guests to dispose of waste responsibly by providing clearly labeled composting and recycling bins. This will help divert a significant portion of waste away from landfills.
Halloween is a time for creativity, fun, and indulgence, but it doesn't have to come at the expense of the planet. By following these five ways to have a sustainable Halloween, you can enjoy the festivities while minimizing waste and making eco-conscious choices. Whether it's by reusing costumes, crafting your own decorations, baking homemade treats, choosing sustainable candies, or sourcing local pumpkins, you can make a positive impact on the environment and set a spooktacular example for a more eco-friendly holiday season. Embrace the spirit of Halloween and ensure that the scariest thing about the holiday is the ghostly decorations, not the waste they generate. Happy and sustainable Halloween!