The journey to reducing waste, being more sustainable and being a little kinder to the environment doesn't have to be fast and furious. Incorporating more simple, sustainable swaps into your lifestyle takes time, well at least it has for our household....and that's totally ok! It's about progress, not perfection. If every year we can do a little better, then we are on the right track.
Did you know on Halloween alone, just 1 trick-or-treater generates 1 pound of trash? And that research suggests that an estimated 83% of costumes’ materials are made from oil-based plastics! Yikes! That means they could take hundreds of years to decompose.
Here's a few things I've done differently this year to be a little more mindful, and a little less wasteful.
1. Shop For Second Hand Costumes
Ok maybe this is an obvious one, but growing up in what I call 'consumption culture' it was so easy to run to the store and find exactly what I needed. it probably wasn't going to be too expensive anyway, so why bother wasting time shopping second hand, right? Wrong!
Here's what I have learned about trying to source the 'good stuff' second hand - it takes a bit longer to find the right pieces, BUT it also allows you to be more CREATIVE in the process AND THERE ARE SO MANY MORE OPTIONS!
My kids will likely ruin their costumes over the course of their Halloween festivities - so why buy a brand new costume what will just end up in the landfill after their first debut! This year we got everything we needed at second hand stores and I was so proud of all our finds! To be completely fair, I did say yes to the new disposable glow in the dark vampire teeth wanted...because it's about progress NOT perfection!
Other reusable options are to:
- do a costume swap with friends
- rent your costume
- make your own (check out this collage of 'no sew' options on Pinterest)
2. Decorate With The Real Stuff
Fresh pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes, add in some fresh and dried pine leaves, pine cones, dried oranges and lemons and you can make your home look festive without any waste!
Where possible, choose locally grown pumpkins. The massive demand for pumpkins this time of year puts a major pressure on the supply chain and choosing locally grown (if possible) is a small way you can support a reduction in carbon emissions.
After the holiday, make sure to properly compost your pumpkins. Here's why: "When a pumpkin ends up in the landfill it does not break down as it would in a compost pile. The pumpkins decompose without oxygen, producing leachate and methane gas which is harmful to the environment." - Comox Waste Management
3. Zero Waste Treat Options
There are many low waste Halloween treat options (that are still acceptable in the era of Covid) and much kinder to the earth. I get it, everyone looks forward to eating their favorite candy bar in mini form... but if we could just sprinkle in a few more eco-friendly options we'd all be doing our part to help reduce waste this holiday!
Here are a few options to choose instead of individually wrapped candy bars:
- foil wrapped chocolates are fully recyclable (just rinse off any residue)
- raisin boxes (or any candy in a box)
- mini oranges
- small pack of crayons
4. Swap The Buckets For Bags
Naturally my kids will be hitting the streets with Reusable Produce Bags from The Clean Crate Company, because not only are they eco-friendly, they are sturdy and great for storing their treats after Halloween too!
Pillow cases, paper bags or cute Halloween themed reusable bags are a great alternative too! In my experience, the dollar store plastic pumpkins usually get broken after their first year, so why waste money on something that's just going to be thrown out anyway!?
We wish you a very safe and happy Halloween this year! Join our email list for simple swaps for a healthier home and a happier planet!