Halloween: Creeping it Green
Updated: Oct 25, 2019
For most of us, when we think of Halloween, we remember dressing up in a ridiculous costume, and wandering the neighborhood with our friends to ring doorbells and receive treats. With the spooky season upon us, we thought we’d take a minute to offer up a few low-waste solutions to a typically trash-filled holiday.
We are fiends for dress-up; but, costumes found at retailers are often manufactured overseas, are of cheap quality, and usually only worn once. This year, try DIY-ing your costume! Second-hand stores offer a plethora of creative costume fodder, and help keep your search closer to home. For help finding the thrift shops in your area, see our Preloved page.
Not only will you have a truly one-of-a-kind get-up, you’ll have bettered the planet in the meantime. How spooktacular!
As for the candy, we know it can be difficult to source waste-free treats. Most of the options come wrapped in single-use plastic packaging, and some can contain spooky palm oil (read more about the negative impacts the palm oil industry is having on our environment here). The frightening pollution that can come with candy creation and it’s packaging can be enough to make us want to lock our doors and turn off the lights on Halloween. Don’t panic! We have some tips and tricks to get you through:
Make your own treats - DIY candies will make every little ghost and ghoul light up. We do however, only recommend giving out DIY'ed treats to your family and friends. The reality is, when people see homemade candy in their pails, it is typically thrown out because it can be a safety hazard. Making treats can be awesome for those closest to you, but passing them out to others may result in them being thrown away. We recommend passing out packaged candy to ensure everyone is safe, but letting people know how they dispose of the waste effectively.
Seek out candy in waste-free wrapping - look for compostable options, cardboard, or paper
Purchase your items in bulk - that way, you can buy without packaging or at least with less packaging
Recycle your packaging, as a last resort - this will help divert it from the landfill
Up-cycle - use an old pillowcase or tote bag to carry candy
Lucky for us, Recycle BC has a special program in the Okanagan that allows consumers to take back foil-lined, “flexible plastic packaging” including candy, chocolate and chip wrappers. How sweet is that ?! Start a bag for your candy wrappers to bring back to the Recycle BC depot or London Drugs nearest you.
Our final thoughts are a friendly reminder about your pumpkins! Did you know you can use your pumpkin for eats and treats? Here are a few suggestions:
Make pumpkin puree: Remove seeds and pulp from the inside of your pumpkin and scoop out the flesh for fresh pumpkin puree. It can be used for pumpkin pie, bread, muffins, and more.
Roasted seeds: Check out these tips for perfectly crisp and tasty seeds!
Dog treats: That's right, you can even use your pumpkin to make your pup a healthy snack! View the recipe here for details.
When all is said and done, be sure to compost whatever parts of your pumpkin you do not use to keep it from going to the landfill.
Creep it real this Halloween by giving out low-waste treats and letting others know how they can reduce their impact!