I must disclose here that I hate Halloween. I know, I know. Its supposed to be fun and a time to dress up as silly as you want. But I've never liked it. Not even as a kid. And then when I went zero waste, the candy wrappers just added to my reasons to dread the holiday.
That being said, I do still participate in many Halloween traditions and for those with kids, it's important to anticipate the waste and make changes accordingly! To help navigate this holiday, let's take a look at a few ways to reduce your waste:
Buy your costume used
If you've ever taken a look at costumes, you'll notice that the majority of them are made from plastic. And every year, we want to be something different! Instead of going out and buying a brand new fire fighter's uniform, look at thrift shops for donated costumes! There are always great options for both adults and children hiding in the racks at Goodwill.
You can also consider making your own costume! Last year I was the "Night Sky" and just glued glow in the dark stars on a black dress. You can also just be a color by putting together an outfit with items you already own! Below is a picture of my mother and I dressed up as "purple" and "red"!
Decorate oranges as pumpkins
If you're in a neighborhood that has trick-or-treaters, you're probably wondering what sort of options you have to avoid giving out plastic wrapped junk food. A great alternative is mandarin orange jack-o-lanterns! Mandarin oranges can be decorated with a permanent black marker to look like a scary ghost or spooky jack-o-lantern. Since the fruit already has a skin, there is no harm in drawing on them and the skin can be composted once removed!
Give out bulk candy
If your children have a revolt at you giving out fruit instead of candy, there is still another option besides tiny plastic candies. Bulk bins! Having a bowl of chocolate candies, gummy worms, or sour patch kids is sure to delight the children and keep the garbage away! And as I've found, not many kids nor adults have a problem with a bucket full of loose candy when it's something recognizable.
Compost your pumpkin
Dumpsters get filled with pumpkins every Halloween. There's an easy fix though - simply compost them. If you don't have backyard composting, ask around your neighborhood to see if someone else has room for your pumpkin! You can also make a delicious snack out of the pumpkin seeds.
Donate unwanted treats
You may find that your children (or you yourself) come back from Halloween with way too much candy to consume. And some candies you may just not like! But before you throw them straight in the trash, consider donating them to a local food bank. Someone should at at least enjoy the treats!
By implementing all these techniques, it will help keep your holiday fun and less impactful on the planet. You'll still probably make some waste if you're trick-or-treating, but at least these tricks will help keep the garbage can a little less full. Happy Halloween everyone!