Published: Oct. 6, 2021 By

For me, and for many others, Halloween marks the beginning of the holiday season, which is extremely exciting! However, because of this excitement it is often far too easy to not prioritize continuing to be as zero waste and sustainable as possible. And unfortunately, there are many ways in which it is extremely easy to not be zero waste. For instance, costumes are often bought specifically for the holiday and then never worn again, candy comes in very small individually wrapped pieces which produce a lot of waste that is not recyclable. This article will outline some easy changes to make your Halloween celebrations more sustainable and zero waste!


  • Buy or make your own costumes from local thrift stores! Oftentimes, thrift stores have a lot of clothing that they bring out specifically for Halloween so it can be really easy to find costumes and it tends to be much cheaper than buying a premade costume. It is also far more sustainable as the clothing is being reused. 

  • If you’re not thrifting your costumes, buy costumes that can be reused like an animal onesie, or other items that you may wear more often than just this one occasion. 

  • There are also costume rental services so that you can get the exact costume you want without having to buy it once and throw it away or give it away. 

  • You can also make your own costumes. These often use things like cardboard, which is often something which many of us have a lot of. This is a great way to reuse materials like cardboard, and spend less on your costume this halloween! 


  • Choose candy to hand out that has paper packaging  (like nerds, pixie sticks, etc.)

  • Choose candy with aluminum foil packaging  (like hershey’s kisses) 

  • Both paper and aluminum foil are recyclable, whereas candies wrapped in plastic are not recyclable. While it seems like only a small difference, so much candy is handed out and produced for halloween that this small difference can have a very big impact. 

  • While making your own treats to hand out on Halloween certainly produces the least waste, this may not be feasible for trick-or-treaters. However, if you're getting treats to hand out to close friends and family, make your own treats like cookies or even homemade candy!


  • Keep those decorations simple! 

  • Decorations aren’t super necessary for halloween, and often are used once and then thrown away. 

  • Instead of fake spider webs and plastic spiders, stick to the classics and simply put a carved pumpkin on the front porch! Pumpkins are entirely biodegradable, not to mention that it is fun to carve pumpkins with your friends or family (the seeds from carving also make a great snack when roasted - plus you’ll be wasting less!) 

  • There are also many ways to decorate your house using things you already own! This way you don’t have to buy anything new, and you don’t have to throw anything away from the process.