Halloween is just around the corner! It can be a wasteful experience sometimes – a true waste nightmare, one might say!
This year, we are raising awareness about it by bringing together the best of both worlds: creativity and sustainability. Join the #GreenHalloweenMovement and keep reusing! Here are four ways you can add meaning to all the fun:
1. DIY costumes
Let’s face it: most standard Halloween costumes today are disposable. They are made from single-use plastics and shipped from halfway around the world. That is why they carry such a huge carbon footprint.
So, what can you do? It’s super simple: reuse whatever you have at hand: plastic bottles, extra fabrics, old accessories and so on – just get crafty. You can either create your own dazzling outfit, a kids’ spooky costume or even a little mask for your adorable pet!
Call your kids and have a creative family time! Let kids' imaginations run wild by making a game of turning old clothes into new costumes and ultimately reducing the impact of Halloween costumes on the environment. Browse through ideas on the web and use items you already own around the house. For us, upcycling and giving a second life to unused materials instead of throwing them into trash is the way to go.
2. Carry reusable bags
Just fact-checking: Americans use more than 100 billion plastic bags a year. These plastics end up as litter, kill thousands of marine mammals annually, and break down slowly into small particles that continue to pollute soil and water. But are paper bags more environmentally friendly than plastic ones? Regarding paper bags, its production also consumes more than 14 million trees annually in the U.S. They also weigh more than plastic, meaning their transportation requires more energy, consequently making a bigger carbon footprint.
Who needs plastic buckets anyway? To replace plastic jack-o-lanterns and paper bags, try a cute fabric tote bag or even a pillowcase! They are washable and reusable all year round. What more can you ask for?
For parents who are reading this, while you're outside teach your children to keep candy wrappers in their trick-or-treat bags until they return home, or to dispose of them in specific trash cans along their route. Preventing candy wrappers from becoming Halloween litter on the street is the right way to treat the environment.
On this note, are you aware of the candy wrapper dilemma? In fact, most of our favorite candies are wrapped in not-so-eco-friendly materials that make their way into the landfill (even when placed in the recycling bin). These wrappers are way too difficult to recycle!
Eco-conscious US company TerraCycle can help reduce candy-wrapper-waste with what they call a zero-waste box. The process is to simply order the box, collect the waste, and ship it back to TerraCycle for recycling. This reliable, amazing project will make sure it gets to where it needs to go instead of polluting our planet.
3. Halloween parties
If you’re planning a Halloween party, start by sending electronic invites instead of paper – or, at least, use recycled paper. For entertainment, playing traditional games – such as bobbing for apples or pin the broom on the witch – can be both environmentally friendly and great fun.
Use regular dishes and silverware instead of disposable plates and plastic forks and knives. Remember to put out recycling containers for your guest’s bottles and cans.
All in all, the thing is to reuse as much as you can from year to year. You will see that is possible to throw the best Halloween party on the block and still be environmentally responsible.
Making your house look as welcoming (or as haunting) as possible greatly enhances the experience. However, just like costumes, most Halloween decorations are disposable plastic getting thrown out after the holiday is gone. Instead of buying new décor items, why not gathering supplies, arts and crafts throughout the year?
Another unique idea is to decorate with nature! A few examples are hay-bales, leaves and sticks, pumpkins (duh!) and dried flowers. These elements add incredible accents that no others can.
It’s pumpkin season! If you’re going eco-friendly, the best care for Mother Earth while shopping is to select local and, if possible, organic pumpkins. What about pumpkin seeds? Don’t throw them out! You can eat them right out of the pumpkin or let them dry out overnight.
Other than that, you can turn mason jars into lanterns, old stockings can become spider webs, cardboard boxes quickly become tombs. Once you start looking, you will find there are so many things you already have in your home!
Try keeping these tricks in mind to a greener Halloween! Share the message with friends, family and neighbors, so that together we can turn this thrilling holiday into a more eco-friendly celebration! We’re aiming for no more disposable costumes ending up in landfills.
Do you plan on trying to cut back on waste this Halloween? Tell us what other ideas you might have. Get involved, go trick-or-treating and spread the word further! Take the challenge, tag us on social media or share this post if you feel the same.