Halloween is just around the corner! A time full of tricks, treats, and spooks, but nothing is spookier than the amount of waste this holiday produces! It may come as no surprise that Halloween is one of the most wasteful holidays of the year. If you have ever participated, you may recall buying a cheap costume for yourself or your kid only to throw it away after one use, or decorating your house with plastic witches and signs to scare the neighborhood kids… The wastefulness of this holiday occurs at every stage. It’s estimated that 2,000 tons of plastic from Halloween costumes will be thrown away this year in the UK alone, so you can only imagine that number will be astronomically higher in the US! But FEAR not! There are less scary options than plastic for your Halloween needs! Try these 5 tips to go from Halloween to HalloGREEEN!
1. Decorations: Let’s start with decorations. Nothing is spookier than cheap plastic decorations that get used once and then thrown away! Think pumpkins. Pumpkins and gourds provide the perfect festive atmosphere and can be made as spooky as you desire. The art of pumpkin carving is alive and well! Don’t miss the opportunity to try your hand at it, and don’t forget pumpkins are edible and biodegrable! For more ideas on sustainable DIY decorations, check out this ARTICLE. If you are a Maui resident, don’t forget to support local farms by finding your perfect pumpkins at Kula Country Farms’ Pumpkin Patch!
2. Costume: Yes it is easy to buy a cheap store bought costume, but isn’t it so much more satisfying to say you made your own?! My most successful and fun costumes have been homemade! Look through your closet and get creative, you may just be inspired by that old dress or shirt you‘ve been meaning to donate. Do a quick Google search for DIY costume ideas, and you’ll find the options are endless! I was able to make this Big Bird costume using an old yellow dress and orange leggings I already had! Thrift-stores proved to be a great place to find the missing pieces.
3. Trick-or-Treating Bag: As fun as the plastic trick-or-treat pumpkins may be for kids, they aren’t durable, they break easily and end up in the waste usually after one use. An easy solution is a re-useable bag or an old pillowcase! I’m sure the kids won’t complain as you can fit WAY more candy in these.
4. Candy: Avoid candies wrapped in plastic! Imagine billions of plastic covered candies consumed after this holiday, where do all of those wrappers end up?! Of course there is the concern of whether the candies our children are receiving are SAFE, a valid concern, but there are more options for plastic free candy than you might think! From candy in foil wrappers, to cardboard-boxed candy, to plastic-free trinkets and toys, let’s think out of the box! It may take a little bit more research but check out this awesome ARTICLE that offers some great sustainable candy options to hand out this year!
5. Neighborhood Cleanup: Host a post-Halloween neighborhood cleanup! Never actually met your neighbors? Now’s your opportunity! Get the block together to clean up the candies, wrappers, plastic costume pieces and props that got left behind before they end up in the gutters and storm drains! Get the neighborhood kids involved by making it a contest, I’m sure there is leftover candy they’d love to get their hands on and you’d love to get rid of!