4 Tips For A More Sustainable Halloween

This post is written by Kyra Levau, an NC State Steward studying Environmental Science.

Buying costumes, stocking up on sweet treats and carving pumpkins can all be zero-waste activities if you do them right. Try these tips:

Food First

Before being jack-o’-lanterns, pumpkins are a food source. Use your pumpkin carving as an opportunity to try a new pumpkin-based recipe. Head over to the nearest farmers market to grab some locally-grown pumpkins and gourds.

Sustainable Spooky Costumes

The textile and apparel industry contributes to 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases every year. Cutting back your carbon footprint this Halloween can start by visiting a local thrift store to create your costume. Not only will this save you money, but it also allows you to support local business. If you have no luck finding any second-hand items, organize a costume swap with friends! This allows you and your friends to reuse and repurpose old halloween costumes that were hiding in the back of your closet. 

Conscious Candy Choices 

Candy, candy and even more individually wrapped candy. While individually wrapped and sealed candy ensures the candy has not been tampered with, it creates a lot of unnecessary plastic waste. These fun-sized treats are not much fun for the environment because colorful candy wrappers are too difficult to recycle. The combination of plastic, aluminum and paper makes these wrappers complicated and expensive to properly recycle. Opt for candy that’s in small cardboard boxes. Aside from manufactured candy, you can’t go wrong with nature’s sweet treats. Giving out fruits like apples, oranges and bananas are healthy alternatives and they come in their own packaging!  

Compost Time

When you’re done with your carved pumpkins, these jack-o’-lanterns can be composted instead of thrown in the trash. Unless your pumpkin was painted, any leftover pumpkin remains can be composted! If you’re on campus, toss it in a compost collection bin.

These tips can help ensure that the only thing spooky about your Halloween this year are the costumes and decorations.