The costumes, candy and jack-o-lanterns are all signs that Halloween is upon us. The spooky decorations, haunted houses and scary gear are meant to give us some harmless adrenaline. Many people plan their costumes and parties for months in anticipation of spooky season. This holiday tends to be a great excuse to dress however one wants, have fun and get scared. However, the festivities surrounding Halloween may be more horrifying than we think.
The consumerism and unsustainability surrounding all holidays is a problem; however, Halloween has its own unique downfalls. For example, decorating for Halloween is becoming increasingly popular. Many people even prefer decorating for Halloween over Christmas, according to USA Today. Yet, many of the decorations are not reusable and are often thrown away every year. Candyclub.com’s website highlights that most candy wrappers are not biodegradable. On top of that, people tend to buy new costumes every year, throwing away the old ones or simply forgetting about them. According to rts.com, our landfills are overflowing with single-use plastics. Some are biodegradable, but most are non-biodegradable, and there are many other environmentally damaging materials. The decorations, wrappers and costumes are all part of this problem.
The spooky holiday should still be a time to express oneself creatively and enjoy time with friends and family. However, we need to be more mindful of the items we are consuming and the things we are throwing away. There are many ways to minimize Halloween waste. When choosing decorations, buy ones with good quality materials that can be reused or repurpose old ones. In general, be mindful about purchasing decorations that are going to be thrown out, such as fake spiderwebs. Pumpkins also cause a lot of food waste. To combat that, you should either freeze your pumpkins or compost them so that they do not end up mixed in with regular trash. Costumes can be reworn, which also takes away the stress of finding a new one. You could also re-work your old costumes or old clothes to make a new outfit, which allows you to use your creativity. Any costumes that you want to get rid of can be donated for others to enjoy. Those old costumes could also be swapped with friends or family.
Don’t let the overwhelming amount of consumerism and waste dampen your excitement for Halloween. Instead, use creative and sustainable ways to combat society’s wasteful actions while still making your Halloween memorable.