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Green Tips: Eco-Costumes for Halloween

Green Tips | October 22, 2020

October’s almost over, and that means Halloween is around the corner! We’re here to make your Halloween even better than usual. What could possibly be better than getting dressed up in silly costumes and collecting candy? Well, saving money and helping the environment, of course! This Halloween, we encourage you to follow our environmentally friendly tips to make your celebration “spooktacular.” Here are this week’s Green Tips on helping the environment (and your wallet) with eco-friendly costumes.

Eco-Friendly Costumes

In 2018, a quarter of Americans planned to use a Halloween costume, most of which are only used once. There are many environmental impacts associated with the production of costumes (and textiles in general), including a surprising amount of greenhouse gas emissions, excessive water consumption, and water pollution. Even worse, many store-bought costumes contain toxic chemicals that pollute the environment when they end up in landfills. To reduce your environmental impact this Halloween, consider upcycling materials in your home to create your costume. Here are some of our favorites:

  • A popcorn bucket created from a laundry basket.
  • This upcycled robot costume was created from a cardboard box and other household items.
  • A corn on the cob costume created from an old sweatshirt.
  • A grocery bag created from a cardboard box and old food containers.
  • This LEGO costume is made from a recycled box (extra points if you can make the bumps from used food containers).
  • If you’re looking to get extra creative, this realistic DIY Groot costume is sure to make you stand out!

Here are a couple of our own ideas:

  • Attach fallen leaves and twigs to cardboard boxes to make a tree costume.
  • Make a ghost (or mummy) costume from old sheets.

After Halloween

Each year, 21 billion pounds of textile waste in the United States end up in landfills. This Halloween, we encourage you to consider alternatives to tossing out a costume when you’re through with it. Here are some options:

  • Donate your old costumes to a children’s hospital or daycare
  • Donate your old costumes to a local theater program
  • Repurpose parts of the costume for next year
  • Keep the costume and wear it a few years down the line

Perhaps the most fun thing about Halloween is that you can choose to be anything you want for a day, and these ideas are really just the tip of the iceberg. Feel free to flex those creative muscles, and don’t be afraid to upcycle old items! Thanks for reading this week’s Green Tips, and have a Happy (and safe) Halloween!  

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