It’s spooky season and Halloween is fast approaching. This fun holiday is also filled with some wasteful things – plastic-wrapped candies, throw-away decorations, and single-use costumes. Halloween is a frightful night of plastic and foam waste. There are many things we can do together to reduce our plastic and foam consumption during Halloween and still make it enjoyable. Read on for some of our plastic and foam-free ideas for the scariest time of the year.
DIY or thrift your costume
Buying a polyester one-time-use costume may be convenient, especially for those last-minute costume planners. But the time and resources that go into making the costumes just to wear it once and have it potentially go to the landfill, is not so convenient. The best eco-friendly costumes are the ones that you make yourself or thrift. Millions of pounds of clothes go to the landfill each year and many fabrics contain plastic like polyester and nylon. By thrifting, you prevent perfectly wearable clothing from going to waste. Some ideas for thrifted costumes include a burglar, Mary Poppins, a crazy cat lady, or a lumberjack.
Make Your Own Decorations
Cheap, store-bought decorations may seem like an easy and quick way to decorate your home for Halloween. But most are made of plastic or foam and are only used once and thrown away. Things like spider cobwebs and plastic bats or skulls end up in the trashcan after the Halloween party is over. Instead, use this opportunity to make your own decorations from cardboard or recycled paper egg cartons. You can cut out fake tombstones and witch hats from the cardboard and make mini paper pumpkins, bats, and Frankensteins from the paper egg cartons.
Use Natural Decorations
Along with your homemade cardboard decor, head outside and find natural decorations in nature. Real pumpkins can be carved into Jack-o-lanterns, the insides can be used to make a pumpkin pie or roasted pumpkin seeds. Once Halloween is done, they can be composted to complete the cycle. Twigs, leaves, and acorns can also make perfect Fall decor, collect them on your next hike.
If you’re trick or treating, instead of using a plastic pumpkin-shaped bucket or a plastic-lined tote bag, use what you already have in your home – like a cloth tote bag or a pillowcase.
Avoid purchasing plastic-wrapped candies and choose candy in foil wrapping or recyclable paper boxes instead.
For a Halloween party, make homemade treats and buy your ingredients from a bulk-food store where you can bring your own reusable jars and bags. Some suggestions include homemade Rice Krispie treats and cookies. You can also find package-free bulk candy here. This is ideal for creating paper treat bags for friends and family.
You may also wish to skip the candy altogether and give something practical like colouring books or craft supplies (without plastic or foam packaging of course!).
Reduce, reuse, and recycle
Although you can plan ahead for plastic and foam-free Halloween festivities of your own, you can’t always control what your family, friends, and neighbours will do or which treats will be handed out to your children.
Take this time to share your ideas for plastic and foam-free Halloween with your friends and neighbours and children. Educate your kids on what items are more sustainable options and which plastic toys and wrapped candy can be skipped when they can. Plan to trick-or-treat at fewer houses and host your own party instead to control the amount of waste you consume.
Are you ready to have a plastic and foam-free Halloween this year? Share what you’ll be doing this year on social media using #ditchplasticpackaging.