With Halloween just around the corner, I thought I would shed some light on the amount of unnecessary waste this holiday can create, but making it a sustainable holiday can be easy. So just to throw a couple facts out there, an average of 15 million pumpkins are carved during the season – none of which are eaten. Additionally, around 12,500 tonnes of Halloween costumes get sent to landfill each year. This isn’t even including the amount of waste is created from the candy that is consumed.  Refusing, reducing and composting are things to consider when getting ready for the big day.  Here are 6 tips for a sustainable Halloween:
  1. Decorations– When finding decorations, look for things that can be used year after year, rather than single use, non-recyclable decorations. Make your own decorations with things around the house, or art supplies. Decorate with LED lights to minimize the energy usage.
  1. Costumes– Make your costumes from items you already have, or make a trip to your local thrift store to find some cool second hand costume pieces. Try to purchase items that you could wear again so you’re reusing.  Or repurpose items or fabric into costumes.  We created a voodoo doll costume from burlap coffee bean bags that we picked up for free at a coffee roastery.
  1. Pumpkins/Jack-O-Lanterns– Get the most out of your pumpkins by turning them into delicious treats after the holiday. Use the flesh to make baked goods or soups.  Remove the seeds and roast them for a snack, or turn them into bird feed.  Don’t forget to compost any pumpkin scraps you may have during this process.
  1. Going Trick or Treating– Bring a pillow case or reusable bag to put your treats in.Limit the houses you plan to stop at, to limit the amount of waste you will receive.  When you have a choice, choose the candies in cardboard boxes, such as raisins, Milk Duds, or Nerds. If possible, trick or treat close to home to limit the use of gasoline.
  1. Handing out Treats– Homemade goods are the easiest way to limit your waste when handing out treats. If baking isn’t your forte, opt for snacks that are packaged in cardboard or compostable packaging.  Another idea is to give out handmade trinkets, such as woven bracelets, soaps, or rocks/crystals.
  1. Be a Role Model– Educate your kids to ensure they make sustainable choices when celebrating Halloween. Suggest more sustainable options to your friends or neighbours who may have not have considered it.
These tips were put together in collaboration with Kelli Etheridge of Halloween Party Planner.