Each year, thousands of families head out to buy costumes, candy, pumpkins, decorations and more to celebrate this spooky time of year. Unfortunately, many of those items do not get reused and end up in the landfill. These festivities are not only sometimes wasteful, but can also be expensive. Cutting down on waste during this spooky season can be easy, and will also help save money in the long run!
Costumes are often the most expensive and waste-prone piece of a Halloween budget. Thankfully, there are tons of ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle your way to the perfect costume!
Cut back on purchasing unnecessary textiles by having a costume swap with your friends. This is a fun way to spend time together and also get a new costume in the process. Another easy and sustainable Halloween costume practice is renting, which supports local costume shops and thus the local economy.
One of our favorite ways to go green with costumes is reusing what we already have available! Mixing and matching pieces from your own wardrobe is an awesome way to show off your creativity while saving money (and the planet). Look for any extra pieces you may need at a thrift shop to cut down on waste and support community organizations.
If you absolutely must have a new costume, try to purchase it from an ethical retailer with an environmentally-conscious production process. Ethical retailers also often put more care into the pieces they create, resulting in sturdier, longer-lasting costumes.
Unfortunately, one of the best parts of Halloween is also one of its most wasteful aspects: candy. Candy wrappers are usually not recyclable, and the production process has a large carbon footprint. Each year, millions of individually wrapped candies are distributed on Halloween. From production to transportation, the amount of resources required for this popular tradition is enormous.
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the impact this sweet treat has on our waste systems and environment. Terracycle offers a program called Candy Wrapper Brigade, which lets you send in your wrappers so they can be properly handled and turned into recycled products.
You can also cut back on wrapper waste by handing out fun items like reusable pens, stickers and notebooks. These items will last a lot longer than candy, and can even be sourced from companies that make them out of recycled products.
Whether you buy candy this year or not, make an effort to think about your decisions and how they impact your budget and the environment. Simple steps can be taken to make Halloween a more environmentally-friendly tradition!
America grows 1.91 billion pounds of pumpkins each year, but the majority of them don’t make it to our dinner tables. Carving pumpkins is another treasured tradition with room for improvement when it comes to waste.
The U.S. Department of Energy warns that when pumpkins end up in landfills, they emit harmful greenhouse gases, and the agency is researching ways to turn this Halloween tradition into energy and fuel. Cut down on dangerous gas emissions and food waste by reimagining this festive activity!
Instead of throwing away the insides of the pumpkin, use them to make delicious fall recipes. Roasted pumpkin seeds are always a crowd favorite, and the rest of the insides can be made into a soup or even pumpkin bread! Composting your jack-o’-lantern after it has lived out its spooky life will help divert waste from the landfill.
Halloween provides an opportunity to change the way you consume. Innovation in wasteful traditions is necessary for a cleaner and brighter future. SunHarvest Solar wishes everyone a happy, green, and safe Halloween!