Waste Reduction: How Low Can You Go? -- Halloween

Waste Reduction: How Low Can You Go? -- Halloween

Have you started thinking about Halloween? I’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you avoid waste this year.

Whether dressing up is something you look forward to or dread, you might have thought about all the textile waste involved with people buying new costumes each year only to wear them once. The best tip I have is to start thinking about your costume early, this will help you avoid panic buying a low-quality costume that you don’t really like and that you’ll never wear again. If you plan ahead you might be able to find a costume used or have time to make it yourself.

When making a costume, try to find the pieces that you need second hand. An even better option is to make a costume out of items of clothing you already own or buying items that could be part of your everyday wardrobe. Try not to glue things together, instead think of how you can temporarily attach everything so you can reuse the pieces of the costume when Halloween is over.

If you end up with a costume that can’t be brought back into your everyday life, consider a costume swap. Share photos of your available costumes among friends and see if you can swap with one that they have. You can also think big and organize something in your community!

For decorations, focus on second hand as well as reusable decorations that can be brought back each year. Dig around in your recycling bin, maybe there are materials in there that can be upcycled into decorations. If you do buy new decorations, try to find items that can be used for multiple purposes, like a customizable letter banner that you can change the words to reflect the next occasion. And if you end up getting a decorative pumpkin, compost if that's an option for you!

As for handing out treats, try to find candy that is packaged in paper. That’s it. That’s my one tip. There are also options for handing out reusable items like toys or pencils, but if you’re set on handing out candy you might just have to come to terms with the disposable packaging. That is unless you’re interested in handing out cold hard cash. I remember getting a loonie from a house as a child and thinking I’d found the jackpot house.

Now I have a few tips for hosting a party but these might not be useful until next year when we’re comfortable being around crowds again. But I also think it could be fun to plan a small night for just your house, family or bubble! Making all the food from scratch could reduce the amount of disposable packaging, especially if you have access to a bulk food store to buy the ingredients. 

If you will be having people over, suggest a potluck and ask everyone to bring one dish or treat in a reusable container, which also reduces the work you’d need to prepare, win-win. And one of my favourite tips is ask everyone to bring their own reusable plate, cup and utensils. This is another win-win, no need to think about disposable dishware AND you don’t have everyone’s dishes to wash at the end of the night as they’ll bring them home with them!