It’s no secret that we love Halloween at Postconsumers. Look how much time and energy we devote to it! We admit it – we’re kind of holiday people (though we think that the holidays shouldn’t be synonymous with consumerism).  Over the years, we’ve given out lots of tips on having a sustainable Halloween. Just this year we had content on postconsumer Halloween costumes and even some Postconsumer advice for zombies. We thought that this was a good opportunity to wrap the best of our tips into one place to help you out.

Let’s Talk About Those Costumes

Costumes are one of the easiest ways to celebrate Halloween without having to buy or waste things. We gave you some examples here and we’ve talked about it in the past here.  There are two great options for Halloween costumes that don’t involve buying a plastic super hero mask at the drug store. The first is to rent a costume from a costume shop. Not only will you have something amazing looking, but you’ll also be making sure that the costume has a life after you use it. The second, and the one we’ve talked the most about in previous content pieces, is to create a costume out of things you already have. From zombie costumes made from old clothes to an entire range of things made from cardboard boxes you have laying around. We know not everybody has the time and energy to make Halloween costumes –but there are also plenty of rental opportunities too.

If you do buy a costume, make sure to donate it to goodwill eventually so that it can get a second life out of itself later.

Let’s Talk About Those Pumpkins

The debate about real pumpkins versus plastic (or for that matter ceramic) pumpkins is almost as heated as the debate about real versus fake Christmas trees.  It is true that (if you’re responsible) you’ll use your fake pumpkin year after year after year and make up for the carbon and consumer footprint of it. But, much like with Christmas trees, we come down on the side of using real pumpkins. What we do think is important, however, is that you use all of your pumpkin. We know that one of the greatest wastes in America (and lots of other parts of the western world) is the amazing amount of food waste. Bake your pumpkin seeds for a nutritious snack and use the pumpkin flesh to bake something. Anything that we can all do to reduce food waste is a good thing.

Pro Tip: You can also use the pumpkin flesh to make a homemade facial skin mask for non-consumer bought beauty!

Let’s Talk About Those Treats

The somewhat sad reality is that in this day and age it’s a little bit hard to be a good Postconsumer if you’re giving out treats for Halloween. Parents (justifiably) often distrust anything that is homemade or isn’t individually wrapped. If you want to participate in the treat-giving culture (and we think you should), you’ll have to bite the bullet a bit. But if you’re willing to spend a little more money, you can find individually packaged candy and cookie items that rank higher on the eco-friendly scale at places like Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and your local health and wellness store.

Let’s Talk About Your Halloween Party

Because you’re obviously having one, right? Why would you not! We have some non-Halloween related tips on eco-friendly parties here and here, but here are a few key points to keep in mind.

Make It Easy to Recycle: Sure, there’s a world somewhere where you serve homemade lemonade out of a pitcher into glasses that you later cleanse using barreled rainwater. But chances are that you’re serving beers and sodas out of bottles and cans. Make it easy for people to find the recycling containers and dump their used containers in so that you can take them to your local recycling center the next day.

Use Repurposed Decorations: This can mean a few things. If throwing a Halloween party is something that you do every year, it can mean saving your decorations from year-to-year. If not, we promise you that a trip to your local thrift or Goodwill store will yield just as many Halloween decorations as your local big box store will.

Think About Dishware and Flatware: Whether you use disposable dishware and flatware or glass dishware and flatware that you wash afterwards, there’s a pro or con when it comes to carbon footprints. If you are using disposables though (and that’s not always a bad choice), opt for paper or products made from postconsumer materials. When possible, recycle the items that can be recycled.

And About Those Halloween Candles….

Halloween is one of those holidays when we all love to create a mood by lighting a ton of candles – both inside of pumpkins and outside of them. We’re pro-candle here at Postconsumers, but take the time to educate yourself about the eco-truth about candles so that you can make better decisions regarding which ones you choose.

Did we miss a postconsumer Halloween tip that you’d like to share? Tell us about it on the social media channels below.

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