October is one of my favourite months of the year. The changing trees line the streets with gorgeous colours, holiday season begins with more occasions to gather with family, and obviously, Halloween. I think it stems from growing up in the Harry Potter generation, but the spooky and magical mood of the month brings me a special joy. However, as I’ve gotten older and grown in my sustainability awareness, I realize how a seemingly simple holiday can have a huge environmental impact.
But that doesn’t mean I have shied away from celebrating! Along with embracing the spirit of the season, I have embraced reuse. In our current series on the 7 Rs of zero waste, reuse is a very important principle. In a circular economy, it means that the idea of single-use has been thrown out and the goods we consume are designed to be used over and over again. This can be applied to the way we organize our homes, stock our closets and yes, even how we celebrate Halloween. For this spooktober themed blog, we have gathered our best Halloween reuse tips. If you are a reuse master, you may be able to celebrate without any single-use items!
Have I already mentioned the fall colours? My favourite decorations are made by foraging fallen leaves to string into garlands and arrange in vases. Gourds and pumpkins can add some fall flair to these arrangements and the best part is that they can double as a dinner side dish.
You can also get two jobs done in one by employing the kids to make some crafts that double as Halloween decor. This ghostie garland craft by @root_for_food can be made with an old bed sheet and dehydrated oranges. Search up “zero waste Halloween crafts” on Pinterest to get more ideas than you’ll have time to make!
Putting together Halloween costumes is the perfect time to embrace reuse. There are so many outfits that can be put together with items we already have at home. Check out our blog from last Halloween, A Zero Waste Guide to Cheap & Easy Halloween Costumes.
Trick or Treating
For your kid’s trick-or-treat bag, don’t feel like you need to go buy a new Halloween-themed plastic pail. Embrace the Charlie Brown classic and reuse old pillowcases! You can even let your kids decorate their bags themselves which can help keep them busy as they go feral getting excited for all of the candy.
What to give out to trick or treaters that come to your door is a difficult one for reuse as the most popular item is consumable candy! If you’d like to keep with the traditional route, opt for candies wrapped in foil or cardboard rather than plastic if you can. Some non-candy ideas that can be reused or bought second-hand include used children’s books, small packs of crayons, or mini pumpkins.
These fun Halloween examples prove that when you get into the habit of reuse, you can apply it to anything and everything. So often, we have what we need without realizing it or are encouraged to buy new items for each occasion.
Our business model at Tradle revolves around the principle of reuse. By facilitating the circulation of clothes within our Tradle community, we are keeping clothes out of the landfill and extending the life of each garment. Fashion Revolution estimates that extending the life of our garments by an extra nine months of active use reduces the carbon, water and waste footprint by around 20% to 30% each.
What are your favourite ways to reduce? Tell us below in the comments and let’s keep this habit going all year long!