Making Halloween Waste Less Scary

Making Halloween Waste Less Scary

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It’s enjoyable to decorate up as monsters and ghosts and faux to be scared in a faux haunted home. But when you concentrate on all the rubbish we generate with our one-and-done costumes and baggage of individually wrapped candies … it’s scary.

Every Halloween, some 7 million costumes are thrown away, their artificial fibers accounting for the equal of 83 million plastic bottles. We purchase 300,000 tons of sweet and 90 million kilos of chocolate simply during Halloween week. No one appears to even know the way a lot plastic is used to make all of the skulls, cauldrons, and gravestones that adorn entrance yards every October. But you possibly can scale back the environmental influence of your Halloween.

Trick or Treat

Refusing to move out treats is the quickest option to get your self labeled the Halloween model of a Grinch – or worse, get “tricked” – however there are some more healthy deal with choices and candies that don’t use unsustainable palm oil that will help you sidestep the candy quandary. Unless you wish to threat little ghouls’ ire by providing recent fruit, any meals treats would require some form of wrapping. You can sidestep that by providing inedible goodies like cash, pencils, stickers, and even polished rocks.

Completely avoiding individually wrapped, fun-sized candies in October is fairly exhausting, so that you’re going to should take care of some sweet wrappers. Candy wrappers (not even the paper ones – they’re typically plastic-coated) can’t go within the recycle bin. But you don’t should throw away all these little plastic wrappers. Rubicon and TerraCycle each accumulate sweet wrappers via a mail-in program utilizing pay as you go packing containers or pouches.

If you might have youngsters who’re accumulating sweet, don’t overlook their trick-or-treat containers. Instead of a plastic bag, go for one thing reusable. You would possibly get inventive and make the container a part of the costume (consider Dorothy’s basket carrying sweet as a substitute of Toto or Bob the Builder with a device case). A pillowcase is an ideal sweet container in a pinch. Even in case your child cajoles you into shopping for a plastic jack-o-lantern bucket, don’t throw it away on November 1 – your little one can use the identical one for years. And in case you’re frightened about your youngsters wandering round at the hours of darkness, give them a flashlight as a substitute of glow sticks.


Worn as soon as after which thrown away, Halloween costumes are the final word case of fast fashion. There aren’t any statistics on costume waste within the U.S., however within the a lot smaller U.Okay. (the place Halloween tends to be slightly extra low-key anyway) disposable Halloween clothes generates 2,000 tons of plastic waste annually. But costumes don’t should contain a lot plastic or be fairly so wasteful. Avoid disposable props like faux enamel and artificial wigs.

You can put on home-sewn costumes for years. Even in case your little Muppet outgrows a fancy dress earlier than subsequent 12 months, there’s a much less artful mother or father on the market who would love to purchase your Elmo. (And in case you don’t sew it by no means hurts to examine Etsy and Craig’s checklist.) But you don’t should be skillful to make your personal costumes.

Be a basic ghost in an previous sheet. (Then lower up the sheet for cleansing rags to interchange paper towels). Source distinctive costumes out of your closet and the thrift store. Many objects that work in your costume is perhaps completely wearable when recombined in a special context with garments out of your wardrobe (and vice versa). An extended sleeve black T-shirt might be tied right into a ninja mask. Those classic bell bottoms are au courant when paired with a up to date high. A pirate’s white shirt converts to workplace apparel with a pencil skirt as a substitute of black denims.

Cheap Halloween make-up is extra prone to include red list chemical compounds like lead and cadmium, whereas glittery make-up incorporates mica, which is protected for wearers however not the employees who mine it. If the sustainable makeup manufacturers you often purchase don’t have what you want, search for nontoxic face painting kits.


There’s a powerful argument to be made that “plastic décor” is an oxymoron. And plastic is unquestionably a sustainability nightmare. Try to keep away from plastic decorations, together with these polyester spider webs that pose a hazard to birds and small animals. For sturdy decorations, the thrift store is as soon as once more your Halloween good friend the place you will discover elegant items to make spooky or vintage kitsch. Check Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration for repurposing and upcycling your finds. The greatest upcycling ideas, like changing previous Christmas ornaments for Halloween, are sturdy sufficient to make use of for years. But even essentially the most fragile upcycled decorations keep away from the acquisition of latest plastic.

You may take the pure method and adorn with biodegradable objects like pumpkins, hay bales, and corn stalks. Just be sure you compost these objects after the vacation. Around 1.3 billion rotting pumpkins heading to the landfill is perhaps the scariest factor you think about this Halloween.