Is a Sustainable Halloween Possible?

Ideas for a Sustainable HalloweenAmericans love Halloween. We love decorations, pumpkin patches, candy, pumpkin flavored everything, costumes, creepy food, crafts, music, scary movies… the list can go on forever.

Total spending on Halloween is expected to reach an all time high of $6.9 billion in 2015, with more than 157 million Americans planning to celebrate Halloween, according to the National Retail Federation’s Halloween Consumer Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Consumers will spend almost $7 billion dollars this Halloween, here are a few of the biggest categories: 

  1. $1.2 billion on costumes for adults
  2. $950 million on costumes for children
  3. $350 million on costumes for our nation’s pets
  4. $2.1 billion on more than 90 million pounds of candy.
  5. $100 million on pumpkins

Bottom line, Americans are spending an average of $75/person this Halloween.

Ghosts knocking on your door this Hallow’s eve isn’t the only frightening thing about this well-loved holiday. Of all the things we buy to help celebrate Halloween, there are a few categories that are particularly toxic or wasteful, but really easy to get around.

GoodGuide’s 5 tips for a more sustainable Halloween:

1. Skip the plastic: Often non-biodegradable and flammable, skip the plastic costumes and masks this year! Find inspiration for a DIY costume over on Pinterest — where everyone from celebs to crafters to super savvy moms and college students are detailing their plans. There are many super simple up-cycled outfits and no-sew creations. 

2. Buy and give candy that is produced and packaged sustainably. There are some really good options that won’t leave your trick-or-treaters wanting to egg your house … trust us. Here are a few things to consider when buying your Halloween candy:

3. Skip the face paint and spooky masks. New York Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) released a statement challenging the FDA to more routine safety checks on Halloween make-up and costumes manufactured in China. You can read the complete press release here.

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today revealed that Halloween makeup and face paint, often made in China, can contain heavy metals like lead, nickel, cobalt and chromium which could pose a serious danger to the children wearing it. Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not conduct routine testing of novelty cosmetic products or face paints and the agency needs to do more to enforce the packaging regulations that require companies to include the full list of ingredients. -New York Sen. Chuck Schumer

4. Pick your pumpkin from a local pumpkin patch. This saves energy, supports local farmers and adds some serious fun!

5. Get creative instead of purchasing a new one-time use loot bag. A pillow case, a reusable shopping bag, or a festive gift bag from presents past make great trick-or-treat bags!

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