Nothing says a good time like candy-wrapper-lined street corners after a night of Halloween. Halloween can be fun but the amount of trash created over this one night is the real spook. Can Halloween exist without trash? Zero-waste and Halloween just don't seem to match. No need to write off this fun-filled night. Here are 5 easy things you can do to reduce your trash on Halloween.
1. Trick or switch: Re-thinking the same old trick-or-treating routine.
Face it, kids love to trick-or-treat! No need to start a fight over that! You can still reduce your trash with these simple tricks:
- Limit the number of houses you visit. Take your kids to visit only the most spooky of houses. Map out your route to included walking through a park or trick-or-treat in an area where the houses are far apart from one another.
- Use a cloth bag or pillowcase. A great alternative to the plastic-lined theme bag. This has the added bonus of saving money too!
- Throw a trunk party instead. Get a bunch of like-minded friends together and meet in a parking lot. Each trunk can be decorated and you could each offer small toys or bulk store candy (since you are among friends).
- Trick or Switch. What our family chooses each year. Switch out your child's candy bag for a switch witch bag instead. these bags could include art supplies, small toys or fall essentials. Make it as zero-waste as you like and feel free to add some bulk candy or sustainably sourced chocolate too! The regular candy can be donated or given out to others.
- Pick through your candy loot. Ask your child to choose candy wrapped in cardboard, foil or paper. Look into recycling the cardboard and dropping the rest off at a recycling program like TerraCycle (Canada, US)
- Skip the candy altogether. You can trick-or-treat for donations to a charity or stay home and throw a Halloween party instead. This will not only reduce your Halloween trash but your Halloween sugar too! See this post for some fun and healthy Halloween snack ideas, perfect for your themed party.
2. New is out! Second hand costumes are in
Why spend all that money for one night of fun. Save your money and try out these tips instead.
- Shop second hand. Save yourself the $$ and visit your nearest second-hand thrift store. Check Facebook groups and Facebook marketplace for some used costumes. You will be amazed at what you find. In Canada, stores such as Once Upon A Child and Value Village always have a great selection.
- Rotate with friends. My personal favorite. Ask some of your friends if they have old or outgrown costumes lying around. Chances are you know others who have a trunk full of old costumes as well.
- Rock your closet and use what you have. Some of the best costumes can be the homemade version. Giant baby, sports player, ghost or monster. Get creative and don't forget to use your accessories.
3. Skip the junk, hand out candy alternatives to reduce the trash
Halloween sugar got you spooked? Halloween does not have to be all about the sugar high. There are many fun and spooky alternatives to candy. Check out these fun and spooky Halloween snack ideas (here).
- Hand out alternatives to candy. You will be surprised at how excited kids get over themed erasers, temporary tattoos, craft supplies, homemade slime or pencils.
- Be mindful of the packaging. If handing out candy, opt to buy candy wrapped in cardboard or foil. If attending/throwing a Halloween party buy candy from a bulk store and place it into small glass jars or reusable bags.
- REDUCE. If you do buy candy, limit the number you give per child.
4. Use nature to your advantage, natural decor
Why not take advantage of what nature has to offer to decorate for Halloween or Thanksgiving.
- Leaf out the trash (hehe). Make a reef out of dry leaves and sticks, decorate your table with some beautiful red, yellow and orange leaves or use leaves for arts and craft projects. Look out for cornstalks or straw which are also great for decorating.
- Gourds, Squash, and pumpkins. Choose these to decorate your house with. Bonus is that they are compostable and you can save the seeds for roasting!
- Don't cut the pumpkin. Choose instead to buy a pie pumpkin you can eat. Paint your pumpkin in fun and unique ways so you can save the pumpkin for that pumpkin pie 😉
So it seems Halloween and reduced waste can happen together. With a little creativity, you can find ways to reduce your trash this year. In addition, be sure to pick up as many candy wrappers as you can the following day! After all, it is better for us all to do a little, then for just a few to do it all!
If you have tips on ways you reduce your waste for Halloween be sure to leave it in the comment below. and don't forget to check out these fun and easy HEALTHY Halloween snack ideas!
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Until then, tchau