October Waste Reduction Tips

The leaves are changing and fall is here, which means that Halloween is just around the corner. With a little rethinking and a little planning, you can save money, produce less waste and have more fun this Halloween!  Here’s how:

Decorations

See what you already have at home. Look to nature – leaves, gourds and pinecones make great decorations.
Before buying new decorations, check your local thrift store.
Purchase high-quality decorations that will last years and avoid disposable decorations. Store them carefully, so you don’t forget for next year!

Costumes

Because of their one-time use and extra packaging, new costumes can be wasteful.
Instead of buying new costumes, head to a thrift store or exchange costume pieces with friends.
Use what you have at home – a cardboard box can become almost anything! Here are a few ideas to get you started.
If you buy a new costume, consider donating it after Halloween. Usually, local schools, theaters, and shelters will gladly accept your dress-up treasures.

Parties

Serve locally produced foods that require less packaging.
For parties at school and at home, limit disposable service ware. Use durable dishes, napkins, cups, and utensils. Offer cups for water, instead of serving bottled water.

Candy

To minimize packaging, buy treats in bulk or at local farmers markets.
Unfortunately, candy wrappers are not recyclable or compostable.  But they are re-usable!  Here are ten awesome projects using candy wrappers.
Give fewer treats to each child.
Instead of plastic candy containers, opt for a reusable bag. Transforming an old pillow case to a treat bag to use each year makes a fun activity.
Hand out treats wrapped in wax paper, like taffy. The wax paper wrappers can be placed in Seattle food/yard waste carts.

Pumpkins

Pumpkins are an essential Halloween decoration. Think creatively about how to use all parts of your pumpkin. Roast seeds. Puree pumpkin flesh. You can even make pumpkin gut pasta!
Here are more ideas for how to use your old jack-o-lantern.
And remember, anything leftover can go in the compost.