For many of us, the scariest thing about Halloween isn’t the ghosts and the goblins. Instead, it’s the amount of money we spend, and the amount of waste we produce.
When we enter the Halloween season, it’s fair to say words such as ‘ethical’ and ‘sustainable’ don’t immediately spring to mind. Yet, the $8.4 billion* we collectively spend here in the U.S. at Halloween, on things such as; single-use costumes, plastic wrapped candy and mass-produced decorations, prove it to be a hugely significant time.
Therefore, a little education on how to make your Halloween more eco-friendly, could help make a real impact. Follow our handy guide below, and help make your Halloween greener than ever:
1) Hire, or make your own costume:
Buying your single-use vampire costume each year can be a real pain in the neck, not just for you, but for the environment, too.
One of the largest carbon footprint producers at this time of year comes from the production of poor-quality, mass-produced, Halloween costumes.
So this year, why not hire a costume from your local fancy dress store? These stores offer a huge array of stand-out outfits, and are likely to be much better quality, too!
Making your own costume is also a great, eco-friendly idea. Our homes can be an Aladdin’s cave when it comes to finding old clothes, so why not see if there’s more than just skeletons lurking at the back of your closet, this Halloween?
Alternatively, a quick visit to the thrift store or flea market can unearth some amazing DIY costume goodies! Not only can you find some real bargains, but you’ll be re-using too, stopping the needless, polluting production of new materials.
2) Compost your pumpkins:
This Halloween, it’s estimated that $575.36 million will be spent on pumpkins, by over 150 million Americans**. With over half a billion dollars spent on pumpkins, it's fair to assume there’s going to be a substantial amount of waste from all those worn out jack-o-lanterns. So, why not use Halloween as an excuse to start composting? (If you don’t already, of course!).
If we throw pumpkin waste straight into the unrecycled trash, it will most likely end up in landfill, which is never a good thing. Composting your pumpkins will reduce the amount of waste we’re sending to landfill, whilst also acting as a natural fertilizer for your yard.
Also, as leaves drop from trees over the fall, signaling a wave goodbye from summer, it’s worth bearing in mind they can also be composted. Not only will this add to your composting heap, but it will help keep your yard safe and tidy, too!
3) Ensure decorations and party supplies are eco-chic:
Avoid plastic decorations that take hundreds of years to decompose in landfill and why not check out your local vintage stores or thrift shops, instead?
They’re often full of quirky Halloween classics, such as; lanterns, apothecary bottles, mirrors and dolls...which, with a little Halloween crafty creativity, are bound to get hearts racing!
Another option, is to make your own Halloween decorations. Our humble abodes can be littered with items which could create a real house of horrors. Why not get crafty with old cardboard boxes (which would make a great tomb), old stockings (which could make a spooky spiders web), and white linen sheets (come on, you don’t need us to tell you they would make great ghosts!)
If you need a little more inspiration, take a look at these 42 cheap and easy ideas for DIY Halloween decorations.
4) If you’re having a party, lose the disposables!
Disposable cups and plates are a huge plight here in the U.S. In 2018, figures show that 224.29 million of us will use disposable cups and plates***, many of which do not biodegrade, and will end up in landfill.
The prospect of Halloween (as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas) only adds to this problem, so it’s a good idea to avoid the disposables, and stop that figure getting any higher.
Instead, try using biodegradable cups and plates, they do exactly the same job as regular disposable ones, but are much more environmentally friendly. Or, if you don’t mind a bit of washing up, why not stick to regular dishes and provide ‘spooky Halloween name stickers.’ This way, party-goers can keep a track of their plates and cups...and nothing ends up in landfill!
5) Save for Halloween, 2019!
Both for children and adults, Halloween can prove to be a hugely exciting time. However, as we’ve established, it’s often a very expensive time, too.
On average, Americans are going to spend approximately $82.93, per-person, getting into the Halloween spirit****, and this figure is only set to rise. So, packing away all your Halloween costumes and decorations for next year can really save you some dollars. This will mean your fright-fest shenanigans for 2019 will be ready and waiting in the attic, all you’ll need to do is prepare some candy for trick or treaters...or risk facing a terrifying tirade of terribleness!
Happy Halloween, from all the Glasdon team!