Five Tips for an Eco-Friendly Halloween
Halloween is known for its reputation of sweets and scares as people celebrate the tradition with costumes, yard decorations, haunted houses, and we can’t forget, candy! One unappealing factor of the global tradition is the amount of waste it produces. So, how can we work together to solve this problem? Through implementing sustainable practices and becoming educated on the issue at hand, we will be better equipped to protect Earth’s resources.
Looking at the waste numbers can inspire anybody to improve the choices they make while celebrating Halloween. On average, a single trick-or-treater generates 1.6 pounds of trash. With roughly 41 million children taking part in Halloween festivities annually, a lot of waste is accumulated. The good news is cutting back on waste does not have to cut into the fun!
Here are five simple sustainable practices that can be implemented this Halloween season.
For starters, using eco-friendly trick-or-treat bags will help reduce waste. Examples include reusable bags, bags around the house such as tote bags, drawstring bags, backpacks, and others. Traditional plastic pumpkins that have been associated with trick-or-treating are often discarded shortly after Halloween, contributing to large quantities of waste.
In addition to what you use to carry the goods of Halloween, the packaging of candy and other treats can also have a huge contribution to waste. Try purchasing items that require less packaging. For instance, purchasing candy in bulk and distributing the candy inside helps to minimize wrapper waste.
Where candy is the main attraction for some, costumes are where it’s at for others. With an average of over 35 million costumes stored in non-degradable plastic purchased annually, costumes account for a large portion of waste. Simple ways to minimize this waste include repurposing old clothes, shopping at thrift stores, creating your own costume, and even using hand me downs from home.
Having the best spooky lawn is a credit many strive to receive, but with yard decorations it’s best to be aware of what material you purchase. On average, consumers spend $2.36 billion annually on Halloween décor with most being made from cheap, non-recyclable plastics. This means that once the season is over, most of these materials end up in a landfill. Decorating your house should not pose a threat to the environment, which is why sustainable décor items should be prioritized. Paper or cardboard based items along with compostable materials are a few sustainable alternatives that can also shock the neighborhood. And of course, having a plan to store and reuse your decorations is another great way to enjoy the celebration sustainably.
The final tip for an eco-friendly Halloween is to make the most out of pumpkins used for carving jack-o-lanterns. Pumpkins are not only traditional to the festivities but are also producers of methane gas if not decomposed properly. To prevent this harmful gas from hurting the environment, minimize pumpkin waste by baking pumpkin seeds and flesh to eat. You can also put the pumpkin in a compost bin or bury the pumpkin in your garden to enrich your soil. Just remember not to bury the seeds unless you intend to grow pumpkins!
These five sustainable tips will change the way you plan for Halloween and leave a positive impact on the environment surrounding you.
Be sure to share these tips with a friend as you express creativity while reducing waste.