With Halloween just around the corner, here at Ocean Mimic, we’ve come up with handy tips to reduce your waste! We want to help you get creative and have a plastic-free, ocean-friendly Trick or Treat extravaganza!
You are most likely familiar with the 3 Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. However, ocean pollution and single use plastic consumption is accelerating and is set to double in the next 15 years from 320 million to 640 million tonnes per year!! With this in mind, it’s time to upgrade your Waste Hierarchy to the 8 Rs!
1. Rethink all the Halloween plastic
Go all out and completely rethink your approach to Halloween! If we were all as perfect as Mary Poppins, we’d be home baking goodies, churning out home-made versions of spectacular costumes and making environmentally friendly decorations. But in reality that might be a bit too much in one hit. So RETHINK one thing that you can change for this year, and the incorporate a new plastic-free change for each future event.
2. Refuse plastic wrapped goodies
If you’ve got kids, this is going to be a toughie, especially when Trick or Treating. But let’s start them young! Encourage your kids to ask your neighbours if they have any plastic free treats. We understand that getting a 5 year old to say no to a plastic-wrapped sweet may be tricky, but you may be surprised by how your child addresses the issue. Nothing speaks to an adult more than when it comes from the mouth of a little one. Your neighbours will get the message. Maybe not for this Halloween, but it’s all about education and spreading the word, right?
3. Reduce single use waste
Rather than giving out plastic-wrapped sweets or limited-life smalls toys to the neighbour kids, lead by example and REDUCE the amount of single use plastic in your Halloween bucket by make some homemade bakes. This can be tricky when taking into account allergies and food intolerances, so be careful what ingredients you use. Avoid the ‘biggies’ like nuts, go with gluten free ingredients and keep it dairy-free.
4. Reuse Halloween costumes
Haven’t we all got some Halloween costumes stashed away at the back of the cupboard or under the kids’ beds or in that secret hoarding place that no-one knows about (we all have one!)?! These cheap, plastic-clad items are a classic single use item. Grab them out, dust them off and REUSE them. Mix it up and create a new costume or character with whatever you’ve got! Organise a costume swap party with your family and friends, or think bigger and get your neighbours and local schools involved. Get everyone to bring along a couple of items they no longer use. Get everyone engaged and have some fun too!
5. Refurbish your decor
If you feeling less than excited by your Halloween-themed décor, don’t bin it! Get creative and REFURBISH it! Use those left-over paints, paper and fabric and create your own colour scheme. Who says Halloween should be just black and orange?
6. Repair last years broken lights
No party is complete without fairy lights! Strings of lights are always a pain – they get tangled, snag and bulbs blow. Take a bit of time to try to REPAIR them before clicking to order new ones. If you’ve got lights that have changeable bulbs, check out your local hardware store for replacements (they often have those hard-to-find things that the big chains don’t stock), or order online and let the light shine once more! If they’re not replaceable and you’ve got enough working bulbs, why not make a Halloween themed decorative piece to attach to your fairy lights to disguise the blown bulbs – original AND doing for your bit for the planet!
7. Repurpose your waste
Make a real statement and REPURPOSE your trash! Grab what’s in your general waste and recycling bins and be the talk of the neighbourhood with a totally unique costume made entirely from trash! Even better, why not create a Halloween costume made entirely from items you’ve found whilst out beach cleaning, street cleaning or plogging. You’ll be amazed at what you can come up with!
It’s ingrained that we should RECYCLE as much as possible, but in order to make more sustainable choices, recycling should in fact be our LAST choice. If all else fails and you’re buying new for Halloween, buy recyclable or sustainably-produced items (and check for plastic-free packing if ordering online).
Hopefully this has given you some inspiration for a more sustainable Halloween. Please share your go to low-waste Halloween tips and your spooky sustainable costumes!