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The Scary Truth About Halloween Waste: How to Reduce Your Footprint

Halloween, with its costumes, decorations and excessive amounts of chocolate wrappers, may be one of the most exciting holidays, but it’s also one of the most wasteful. Let's take a closer look at the impact of Halloween waste and explore some simple tips for a more sustainable festive season.

We often think of Christmas and Easter as the major holidays, but Halloween is not to be underestimated, neither in popularity nor wastefulness! This day generates an alarming amount of waste; according to the National Retail Federation, Americans spend billions of dollars on Halloween confectionery each year. The countless wrappers from individually wrapped snacks contribute to a considerable amount of non-recyclable waste – not to mention the amount of waste that misses the bin and gets strewn about the streets during trick-or-treating.

Let’s take a look at the common sources of waste: 

  • Costumes: Many store-bought costumes are made from cheap, non-biodegradable materials like plastic and synthetic fabrics. These costumes are often worn once and then discarded, ending up in landfills.
  • Decorations: Plastic decorations, such as cobwebs and pumpkins, often end up as waste after just a single use. Additionally, helium balloons, commonly used for Halloween, pose an environmental threat when released into the atmosphere.
  • Single-Use Plastics: Parties and trick-or-treating often involve single-use plastic items like cups, plates, and utensils, adding to the plastic pollution crisis.
  • Food Waste: Halloween parties are notorious for serving processed and individually packaged snacks, which create excess food and packaging waste.

Tips to Reduce Halloween Waste

So, now we know the problem areas, we can address them – and it doesn’t mean you can’t still have a killer Halloween! A few tweaks can have you enjoying a sustainable, spooky day.

Avoid Plastic Costumes: Choose eco-friendly costumes made from natural or biodegradable materials. You can also get creative and make your own costumes from clothing and accessories you already have.

Upcycle Decorations: Instead of buying new plastic decorations each year, invest in durable, reusable decor or upcycle items you already have at home.

Eco-Friendly Snacks: Look for bulk options with less packaging or consider giving out non-edible treats like stickers, pencils, or small toys.

Bake Your Treats: Rather than buying pre-packaged, plastic-wrapped snacks, bake your Halloween treats at home. Opt for healthier and homemade goodies that produce less waste – we can help you with that!

Use Reusable Partyware: If you're hosting a Halloween party, use reusable plates, cups, and utensils instead of disposable plastic items. It's a simple switch that significantly reduces waste.

Compost Pumpkin Waste: After carving your pumpkins, don't throw away the insides. Use the pulp for recipes or compost it to reduce organic waste.

Wrapper Recycling: If you end up with chocolate wrappers, consider upcycling them into crafts or jewellery. Many candy wrappers can be transformed into unique creations. 

Zero-Waste Trick-or-Treating: Encourage kids to use reusable containers, like fabric bags or baskets, for collecting candy. This reduces the need for disposable plastic bags. 

Halloween is a time for celebration and fun, but it's also an opportunity to make sustainable choices that benefit the environment. By being mindful of your consumption and waste, you can enjoy a more eco-friendly and waste-free Halloween that's as good for the planet as it is for your family's spooky enjoyment. 

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