I don't know about you, but I cringe a little when I walk through the Halloween aisles at the store. Don't get me wrong, I love getting dressed up, watching Hocus Pocus and eating way too many Reese's Pumpkins, but there is so much cheap plastic in those aisles. Want to have a Halloween without all the plastic and waste? Here's some easy tips to get you started in creating a better life for you and your family this Halloween as you help protect the environment for future generations.
Not sure why you should care about having an eco-friendly Halloween? Here's some info to help you decide.
Just under 70 percent of Americans will spend $3.2 billion on costumes. Plus those cheap costumes at the store are made of synthetic plastic fibers. Not only are these store-bought costumes made to be worn only once or twice and then tossed into your local landfill, but some of them are also made with some scary materials. You can read more about that here: https://recyclenation.com/2014/10/scary-facts-about-halloween-costumes/
So what can we do to avoid all the plastic and harmful stuff? Just make some simple switches to your holiday to make it a little safer and more eco-friendly.
1. BUY SECONDHAND COSTUMES
Find a used costume at a consignment shop or thrift store. There are plenty of costumes out there that have only been worn for a few hours. Tip: If you are going to buy a new costume look for “PVC-free” or “phthalate free” costumes. Avoid the cheap plastic and polyester ones.
2. OR DIY COSTUMES
Get creative and make your own. Primary has great solid colored clothing for kids and a whole Halloween section full of easy DIY costumes. BONUS: Your kids can wear the clothes long after Halloween. Use codePRIMARYAMANDAM342 for 25% off your purchase. We used Primary for most of Waverly's Snow White costume last year and I'll be using Primary again this year.
3. AVOID PLASTIC WRAPPED CANDIES
Try handing out Dum Dums or Hershey Kisses and you can do some good for the environment. Dum Dums are wrapped in wax paper, not plastic, and made in the US. Not a perfect treat, but you can find them anywhere. It's an easy cheap option!
If you want to hand out fair trade candy check out The Natural Candy Store.
4. OR PASS OUT A NON-CANDY TREAT
Fruit- Well, maybe you don't want to be the person handing out fruit, but they're healthy and zero-waste! Another great option? Raisins. They come in little paper boxes instead of plastic, so you are doing a little less damage to the environment.
Stickers- What kid doesn't love stickers? Not plastic free, but cheap, and you can find some good bulk options. I would try to find reusable ones, so they might be played with longer.
Chalk- Something else that kids loves! You could hand out chalk or crayons- kids love them!
5. CHOOSE HANDMADE DECOR
Just like costumes, Halloween decorations are usually made of cheap, non-recyclable plastics that clog up landfills after use.
Now I love decorating for the holidays. I used to go to Michael's and Target at the beginning of each holiday and buy a bunch of decorations. I had plastic bins in my basement full of decor. It was fun at the time, but I now realize it was cheap clutter that doesn't hold up over time. I didn't love any of those pieces and they meant nothing to me.
I still decorate, but I have a new approach to it. Instead of wasting money each holiday at Target and filling every single surface in my home with decor I now buy with intention and keep it minimal. I have one bin for Halloween. It contains 2 wreaths for my front doors 1 wreath for my side door, a ceramic pumpkin for my dining room table, an orange pillow, a pumpkin scented candle and 5-6 mini fabric pumpkins to scatter around the house. Just enough to make my home feel decorated for the holiday. I only keep what will fit in that bin and I only keep what I love. If I want a new piece for my home I check Etsy first for a handmade option. I'm willing to pay a little extra for a piece if I know it's quality, handmade and supporting a small business. I know that piece will stay in my home longer and last longer than a cheap piece of decor from the store.
6. OR DIY DECOR
You can DIY decor even if you're not creative! - go outside and look for twigs and pine cones to decorate with. Ditch all the cheap plastic decor outside and set some real pumpkins by your front door instead. Use what you already have. For parties, use actual cups, plates and silverware instead of the disposable stuff. Even if you can’t be bothered with washing dishes, there’s compostable stuff that’s available. Recycle those bottles and cans.
7. SWITCH TO SOY OR BEESWAX CANDLES
Those tea lights you get in the pumpkin carving sets and everywhere else are usually petroleum based, meaning they burn off chemical-laden smoke and use fossil fuel. Most candles like those Bath & Body works candles we love are made of paraffin wax. Paraffin is another petrochemical- it's bad for the environment and probably not great for your lungs (the EPA has identified 7 major toxins in it). No thanks. Before you light a cheap tealight or a 3 wick Bath & Body Works Pumpkin scented candle, reach for a soy or beeswax candle instead. Better for you, your kids, and the environment. View our line of soy wax candles made in the USA. https://fademarket.com/collections/candles
8. DITCH THE PLASTIC PUMPKIN BUCKET
There are so many more eco-friendly and cuter ways for our kids to carry around their candy. Stop buying your kids new plastic treat bags every year. You can use
reusable shopping bags, canvas totes, pillowcases or customized fabric treat bags
Pottery Barn has reasonably priced fabric treat bags that can be customized with your kid's name. They're so cute and those bags can be reused every year. Check them out here: https://www.potterybarnkids.com/shop/halloween/treat-bags/ Waverly has a black cat bag with her name on it and she'll use it until she doesn't trick or treat anymore!
The idea is just that the less you buy, the less waste you have and we make the world a little better. You don't have to change everything this Halloween, but by starting small with one step above we can make a difference. How are you making your Halloween a little more eco-friendly this year?