Single use plastic has found its way into every fiber of modern life (pun intended). Micro plastic can now be found in over 90% of birds, in virtually every fish and even in bacteria that lives in the darkest caves in the depths of the vast ocean. It can be found in our stores, homes, clothes, food and it has taken over all of our favorite holidays as well.
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays because it is so much fun to dress up. It is frustrating to me that putting together a fun Halloween costume can result in plastic that will pollute the Earth and take thousands of years to break down and will then become micro plastic. According to the Telegraph, “Halloween costumes will create 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste this year.” There is no costume as scary as the detrimental impact of plastic on our planet.
A great way to make this holiday a little greener is to create your own costume from environmentally friendly materials. I really like to use felt in my projects and it can be bought in craft stores without plastic packaging which is great!
Another option is to buy a second hand costume in a store like Savers or Salvation Army. As early as late September, an entire Halloween aisle appeared in our favorite Savers and there were so many unique and affordable options. Second hand stores are great at cleaning any clothes and fabrics that come in and you can find truly original pieces that will stand out among the mass-produced costumes. In addition to buying used costumes, you should also consider donating your old costumes too!
It is also important to consider makeup. There aren’t too many zero-waste vegan brands out there, but it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can try to avoid non-biodegradable glitter and use re-usable make up removing towels. There are so many little steps that you can take to be just a little greener. Sometimes, these can even save you some money!
Finally, there are so many decorations that are fun and beautiful without all the wasteful plastic. You can find a bunch of ideas here. Having a green Halloween doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t have anything plastic. The great thing about quality plastic decorations is that they last a lifetime. Don’t rush to throw these out, just keep re-using them and donate them to a thrift store once you no longer want them.
This year I personally bought Halloween decorations from thrift stores, a whole bunch at garage sales and a few at the Dollar Store. Most of my decorations are ceramic, wooden and metal but I also bought a few plastic ones that I plan on re-using until they break.
I can never emphasize enough that all or nothing is a terrible attitude to have. In life, in general, but especially when it comes to being eco-friendlier. Zero-waste may be impossible in our society but less waste is something that we can all work towards: one straw, one bag and one used Halloween costume or decoration at a time.