zero waste halloween
Healthy Living

Happy Haunting! Is it Possible to Have a Zero-Waste Halloween?

Oct 22 2018
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Ways to reduce waste this Halloween season

When you think of Halloween, you probably think of pumpkins, costumes, and of course one other thing…candy. And lots of it.

So amidst those plastic wrappers, it may be unlikely that you also associate Halloween with being a eco-friendly holiday. But for those of us attempting to reduce our ecological footprint, there are ways to reduce your waste this Halloween.

Start With the Costume

The best Halloween costumes are always the most creative. Therefore, choosing a costume that doesn’t come in a bag at the store could have benefits that stretch beyond the environment.

Start with shopping in your own home. To do this effectively, you may have to think beyond the closet. For example, a large cardboard box can be painted and turned into a gift box or a robot.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for at home, then visit the thrift store. It helps to start with a few ideas of what you’re looking for, as well as to be open to new ideas along the way.

If your child requests to be something specific — think Spiderman, Batman, or a princess — consider borrowing from a friend. Most parents will be happy that a costume is getting additional use.

You can also try calling a group of parents in your neighborhood for a costume swap. If each parent brings a few options, it may feel just like shopping in a store.

Consider the Decor 

Spooky signs and inflatables are likely at every door in your neighborhood, so why not take a more classic approach? Try mixing pumpkins with squashes, acorns, branches and pine cones for a traditional fall look. After the holiday, you can feast on un-carved pumpkins and squashes to extend the Halloween fun.

If you want to up the scare factor, find some haunted tunes on Spotify or YouTube, and play them just outside your door.

And Finally…the Candy

Trick-or-treating is a sacred Halloween tradition for many of us. While the activity may be bound to produce some waste, these tricks can help you reduce the amount.

For Distributing Candy

  • Try handing out candy in cardboard boxes, which can be recycled. Some popular choices include Junior Mints, Dots or Nerds.
  • Foil can also be recycled — so be on the lookout for gold coins wrapped in foil, or similar pumpkin-shaped candies.
  • Try a candy alternative, such as coins, oranges or a can of soda or sparkling water.

For Trick-or-Treaters

  • Use a pillowcase or reusable bag to hold candy.
  • Instead of collecting candy throughout the entire neighborhood, try choosing just a street or two. If your child is upset about spending less time trick-or-treating, try organizing a party during the second hour of trick-or-treat festivities!
  • Find a Halloween Candy Buyback event near you. Buyback events are held at local businesses, such as dentist offices. The business will pay $1 per each pound of candy, and then donate the candy to troops overseas.

We challenge you to select at least one way to reduce your waste this Halloween. If you opt all in and go zero-waste, we want to hear how it goes! Let us know in the comments.


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2 Comments

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Kate

You say foil can be recycled..where?
October 30th, 2018 | 10:42pm

Mercy Health

Hi Kate, you can read best tips for recycling aluminum foil here: https://recyclenation.com/2015/10/how-to-recycle-aluminum-foil/ Let us know if you have any other questions!
November 01st, 2018 | 8:29am

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