Autumn weather is upon us. The beautiful red, orange, and yellow leaves remind me of my favourite upcoming holiday — Halloween. Celebrate Waste Reduction Week, running October 17th to the 23rd, by adding more green than orange, and make it a sustainable holiday. It may not be as “tricky” as you think!
The Halloween industry is littered with one-time-use plastics heading to our landfills. With a little imagination, we can make this year a green Halloween. There are many ways to reduce the holiday footprint, such as creating a costume from recycled and reused materials, cutting down on disposable decorations, and reducing candy wrapper waste.
Here is a scary statistic; North Americans spend around $80 billion dollars each year on Halloween. That is around $80 for every person! Here are a few ideas to save money, and the planet.
1. Make your own costume or rent one
Costumes are one way that we create throwaway waste. About one third of us will buy Halloween costumes at retail stores. Instead of buying brand new, check your local thrift store. A new-to-you costume could be waiting for you. Try making your costume by digging out old clothes from the back of the closet and repurposing them in imaginative ways. Raid the recycling bin and reuse cardboard or Styrofoam to make a spooky mask.
If you have something really special in mind, why not rent a costume? Support your local costume store and wear something that can be worn again and again.
2. Make your own decorations
Keep it simple while decorating your haunted house. Make your own decorations out of recycled or reusable materials can be fun. Old toys can be given a new life — think about the possibilities that exist when dolls or old stuffed toys are reimagined in a scary way. Old sheets and clothes can be used to make ghosts and Frankensteins. Piles of leaves make unsuspecting hiding spots for spooky tombstones made from cardboard boxes.
If you have storage space, you can invest in well-made decorations that can be packed away and used again each year. Avoid throwaway decorations such as store bought spider webs that are difficult to repurpose and will end up at the landfill.
3. Don’t just throw away your pumpkin
Pick up your pumpkin from the local farmers market. Carve up your jack-o-lantern and cook those delicious seeds! This cuts down on food waste. After the 31st you can cook up the pumpkin and make a delicious pie! Or, add your pumpkin to the composter.
4. Buy candy with recyclable wrappers or give out candy alternatives
What about trick-or-treating? This year North Americans will buy more than 600 million pounds of candy, just for Halloween. That is a significant amount of sugar — and waste. For every piece of candy, there is a wrapper which ends up at the landfill. It adds up. Most wrappers are not recyclable because they are made from mixed materials.
Look for candy that is packaged with recyclable materials such as cardboard and foil. Hershey kisses are a great example. There are many great alternatives to candy, such as pencils or Lego pieces.
5. Trick-or-treat in your local neighbourhood with a reusable bag
You can cut down on the amount of candy that you collect by planning to visit one or two streets. Choose a walkable route in your neighbourhood instead of driving to others, which helps to lower your car time while also keeping the streets safer. Send your little ghoul with a reusable trick-or-treat bag such as a pillowcase or bucket, which can be used again next year.
Waste Reduction Week runs from October 17th to the 23rd, a great reminder to plan for some homemade Halloween decorations created from the recycle bin, and to dig through the closets for your next DIY costume — make it a sustainable holiday. Have a safe and happy, and green, Halloween from GreenUP!
Article source: http://kawarthanow.com/2016/10/20/5-tips-for-a-green-halloween/