Halloween is filled with many horrors, from ghoulish vampires to stalking werewolves — but perhaps the most frightful part of Halloween is the amount of waste created by this spooky celebration. According to USagain, 85 percent of all textile waste heads to landfills every year, including many costumes worn just once for Halloween night. In addition to costume waste, discarded decorations and candy wrappers from this $8 billion industry can be found littering yards and in landfills all across North America.
Here at Givalry, we do our best to be conscious of how we consume — and holidays are no exception. A zero-waste holiday not only lets us save some cash, but honours Mother Earth. Here are some tips to make this year’s Halloween a zero-waste celebration.
Look to nature for your decorations
Halloween is the perfect holiday to look to nature for festive decorations. Pumpkins and gourds are a popular Halloween decorations that are both edible and completely compostable! Colourful leaves can also be used in a variety of different ways, including fall-inspired centrepieces, bouquets, and banners.
Reuse and recycle costumes
Buying a new costume every year that will only be worn once can be a costly and wasteful activity. Get creative and look to your own closet or snag a friend’s costume of yesteryear for your next Halloween event. Want to encourage others to do the same? Organize a costume swap at work or among friends!
Still looking for some costume inspiration? Check out Going Zero Waste’s video on some easy, ethical, and zero-waste costumes.
Host in eco-conscious style
Throwing a Halloween party? Avoid plastic waste by setting out your everyday tableware, having your guests bring their own cups, or using biodegradable alternatives to single-use plates and cutlery. (Not only are they lighter on the earth, but they also look so much better than styrofoam or plastic tableware.)
Plastic-free candy options
Candy is a beloved and traditional part of every Halloween celebration — but unfortunately, since candy wrappers are made up of various materials, they're often difficult to recycle and go straight to landfill. This year, skip the plastic-wrapped candy and opt for purchasing unpackaged candy in bulk or candy packaged in recyclable materials, such as cardboard.
Instead of a plastic bag for carrying your candy from door to door, find a festive and reusable tote to use for every Halloween! Get children involved by helping them craft their own totes, or have them pick out their favourite store-bought tote.
Do you have any other tips or tricks (pun intended) for having a sustainable Halloween? Let us know in the comments below!