A Healthier Halloween for People and Planet
The spookiest holiday of the year is often one of the most wasteful; it doesn’t have to be.
Just as the dust settles from the hustle of end-of-summer and back-to-school, it’s already a week into October. This is when the year-end holidays start, beginning with Halloween. A long way from its pagan roots, it’s become standard to celebrate with bags of candy, new costumes, pounds of pumpkins and deluxe decorations, brands and retailers driving this by making it easy and affordable to buy seasonal goods.
Like many activities that bring us together, the annual Halloween ritual often means consuming a whole lot of “stuff,” which can take its toll on the planet. However, it is possible to participate in our most treasured traditions in ways that reduce our impact on the earth—even leave it better than you found it.
Here are some tips and tricks for a more sustainable Halloween holiday that’s easier on the wallet and the planet:
Be Someone New (to you)
So much of the joy of Halloween is the opportunity for children (and adults, let’s be honest) to dress up in costumes that allow them to be someone else for a day. Instead of buying a whole new costume just to wear it once and throw it away, save money by swapping with friends and family members, or attend a clothing and costume swap for an even wider selection of disguises to dig into.
Reuse and upcycle household items (empty milk jugs can turn into fairy wings) to get crafty with kids. Once you’re done with the costume and you think it’ll see a repeat, donate it or give it to a local preschool to use in their dress-up box. Either way, you’re preventing it from going straight to landfill.
Skip the plastic bags and cheap plastic pumpkins and provide unconventional vessels for your candy using items you already have. Even if you won’t personally be trick-or-treating this year, you can still encourage your children, younger siblings or other kids to use something a little less plastic-reliant, such as a pillowcase, recyclable paper bag, or a reusable tote.
Share More Sustainable Treats
If you don’t make your own, choose candy and goodies from sustainable and ethical brands. Buying candy that’s fair-trade and either free of palm oil or that which is sustainably sourced is a low-effort way to make your Halloween a little greener; palm-oil plantations contribute to significant deforestation, endangering species including the orangutan, Sumatran tiger and Sumatran elephant.
Recycle your Candy Wrappers
Where there are sweets, there is a flurry of thin plastic packaging which when tossed in the trash can make their way to our oceans and waterways. Candy and snack wrappers are typically unrecyclable through curbside recycling programs through due to their size, but you can enjoy your treats guilt-free with this trick: code OCTBOX20 gets you 20% off TerraCycle’s Candy and Snack Wrappers – Zero Waste Box™. Get it HERE.