Low-Waste Halloween Ideas

Maintaining a conscious lifestyle around the holidays often feels overwhelming.  Let mindfulness and creativity save you some money and set you apart from cookie-cutter trends this Halloween.

Say No-(ish) to Plastic Costumes
 
The scariest thing about Halloween is plastic. In 2016 the Hubbub Foundation found that in the UK alone, over 7 million costumes and their packaging were thrown away around Halloween. Every year the number of people participating in purchasing costumes increases, and up to 90% of costume material is now made of synthetics like polyester and vinyl. I choose to avoid vinyl in our home. However, I do recommend giving a second life to polyester and mesh costumes!

 

Typically, I realize -last minute- that I need more time to think creatively about waste during the holidays. However, this year I could find the exact costume my daughter wanted, used on Kidizen- because I thought of it ahead of time. It's taken me a few years to really change the way I view the holidays and that is OK! Change is rarely sustainable when it's attempted overnight. If you can't make it all happen this year, practice what you can now- there's always next year!
Low Waste Costume Ideas:
  • Ghost: classic and simple. We all have old bed sheets and you can accessorize them to make them¬†interesting (glasses, jewelry, hats, wigs). Ghost cowboy? Did someone ghost you? Write out¬†a "ghosted" text conversation on an old sheet to call out a friend.¬†
  • Vintage Character: Your closet just might hold a few items that could¬†create a fun throw-back persona. Thrift stores can help complete these looks if you can find a statement piece that makes¬†an impression.
  • Celeb Look-Alike:¬†Do people tell you that you remind them of a character or actor/actress? Take it and run with it!¬†This is just as much about acting the part as it is about the costume. I.e., if you're going to be Dwight from The Office, tuck in your button-down¬†shirt, part your hair down the middle, put on some glasses- but most importantly, tell everyone about the family Beet Farm! (I'll spare you my past Dwight costume)
  • Halloween pun costumes are usually a hit and can be simple yet effective:
  1. Formal Apology - Put on your favorite formal wear and pin the word "apology" somewhere on your outfit. It wouldn't hurt to apologize multiple times throughout the evening. Play it up!
  2. Grateful Dead - Make yourself look dead with some dark makeup and say "thank you" a lot. You can take an old shirt, tatter it up and write "thank you" on it. Need some fake blood? DIY your own with items you might already have in your kitchen.
  3. Bread Winner - Have an old sports medal lying around? Throw it on and carry around a loaf of bread. The sportier and goofier, the better!

 


 Zero Waste Halloween Candy 

Let's face it, the low-waste candy alternatives offered by many blogs are often expensive, time-consuming, or not practical... Bulk candy may be great for parties but not so much for tiny strangers.

While recycling isn't the most effective solution for candy wrappers, we imagine you'll be receiving candy whether you like it or not. If you're a Nashville local, save your wrappers and drop them off with us at either store before the New Year. We'll happily send them off to TerraCycle to be appropriately recycled.

 

Buying Candy? Here are Some Low Waste Ideas:

  • Consider giving out items that aren't candy or sugar. Pencils, erasers, tiny coloring books, or even temporary tattoos are all fairly low waste, reusable, and more¬†beneficial than sugar.
  • Boxed candy like Yum Earth,¬†Dots, Nerds, Junior Mints, Jujubes, Mike and Ike, Lemonheads, and Milk Duds.- They're paper, so these can be recycled. Always¬†place small paper items like this in larger envelopes or paper bags.
  • Pixie Sticks - Paper, so they're compostable.
  • Alter Eco - My favorite fair trade chocolate company whose¬†products¬†come in home-compostable wrappers!
  • Mini¬†Canned Drinks¬†- (Did you know? Aluminum is infinitely recyclable, and most aluminum has already been recycled.)
  • Close to a Jeni's? We purchased¬†Cone Coins¬†to pass along this year. One coin is redeemable for one cone!¬†

 

 

Give yourself grace this Holiday season. Living less wastefully isn't all-or-nothing. You could try focusing on one new area you want to grow in, learn what works and doesn't, and enjoy the journey- you are not alone! 

PS- Don't forget to compost your pumpkins! (no wax or paint) or donate to a local farm.

 

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