The words ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘Halloween’ aren’t exactly two words you’d regularly see side by side, but that doesn’t mean they don’t go together. We always look forward to the spooky decorations, animated costumes, and delicious sweets during Halloween, but we tend to overlook the environmental impacts of this once-a-year holiday. The single-use costumes, plastic candy wrappers and the excess of decorations can be pretty frightening.
Not only does Halloween affect our environment, but it also affects our wallets. In 2021, Americans are expected to spend $10 billion on Halloween, which is almost $2 billion more than 2019 ($8.8 billion). However, there are ways to have a more conscious Halloween. Here’s how to have an eco-friendly and affordable Halloween without creating a nightmare on the planet and your wallet!
In North America, 85% of our Halloween costumes end up in landfills because of the lack of effective textile recycling. Most of these mass-produced costumes are made from unsustainable materials. They are manufactured in countries with poor labour ethics. What’s even worse is that many of these costumes can hardly last until it’s actually time to trick-or-treat. The best way to reduce costume waste is to buy second-hand. Thrifting is a great way to reduce excessive waste in your communities. If you’re in Vancouver, Value Village is an excellent place for it! However, sometimes the thrifting Gods are MIA, and you may not find a costume to your liking, or you don’t feel like spending money just to wear on one single night - which is why there is DIY. Create DIY costumes at home to make costumes that are cost-efficient. To create a bomb-ass costume, you can always rely on your wardrobe, such as hats, scarves, and jewelry.
The best way to go green for Halloween decorations is to DIY and purchase quality decor. If you feel creative, you can always use cardboard to make cutout tombstones, use sheets from home to make spooky ghosts, or even use newspaper to create paper-mache pumpkins. That way, you’re reusing materials that can easily be recycled. You can even use your empty candle jars and paint them into ghosts or Frankenstein. Another great thing to do is to purchase locally grown pumpkins for your jack-o-lanterns. You can have fun pumpkin carving contests while knowing these pumpkins can be reused or composted. Also, if you plan on purchasing Halloween decorations, ensure they are good quality and can be used for the following years. Some Halloween buys that will last for years include dishes, mugs, tea light holders, Halloween-themed prints and doormats.
When buying treats for your Halloween get-together or for trick-or-treaters, try to avoid plastic packaging! Many plastic packaging is not recyclable and frequently isn’t properly disposed of of. Instead, look for treats with recyclable cardboard packaging such as Smarties or Nerds. Also, if you’re celebrating at home, you might as well make a classic rice crispy treat or a mud and worms pudding cup - super easy and won’t break the bank! Switching to these alternatives will reduce plastic waste and avoid harsh chemicals that can be found in plastic packaging. Also, if you have pumpkins you’re looking to compost, make sure to save the seeds! You can use the seeds and roast them for a healthy snack or keep the insides to make pumpkin-flavoured baked treats.
With these tips, we hope you can celebrate Halloween more consciously this year! Have any recommendations to add to our list? Let us know!