In fact, Americans will spend almost $7 billion this year on Halloween, according to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2013 Halloween Consumer Spending Survey.
Average Halloween spending has increased 54.7 percent since 2005, and the average celebrant will shell out more than $75 on décor, costumes, candy and fun this year, the survey also reveals.
With all of that expected spending comes extra waste generation, which is why Mt. Diablo Recycling (part of waste management company Garaventa Enterprises) is encouraging the community to think about the environment this Halloween.
Mt. Diablo Recycling presents these top five tips for good green Halloween fun:
1. DIY Costumes
Americans will spend $2.6 billion on costumes this year--$1.04 billion on children’s costumes and $1.22 billion on adult costumes, according to the NRF survey. Instead of buying a new costume, consider making your own with items from your closet or attend a costume swap.
2. Décor to Die ForAvoid buying new plastic or paper decorations to celebrate the holiday, which is the second most popular in terms of consumer spending on decorations according to the NRF. (Christmas is No.1.) Instead of buying throwaway décor, consider using natural items such as leaves, apples, and yes—pumpkins! These items can all be composted and are “zero waste.” Check out www.GreenHalloween.org for fun decoration suggestions.
3. Alternatives to Trick or Treat Candy
This may be a tougher sell for the kids, but there are alternatives to passing out candy bars and lollipops. Consider “treasures” such as seashells, friendship bracelets or even temporary tattoos. Or, choose organic or Fair Trade treats that have less impact on the environment. If traditional candy is your only option, encourage trick-or-treaters to take one piece, rather than a large handful[ii].
4. Green PartiesIn addition to sensible decorations and candy options, your Halloween party can be even more green by using regular plates and utensils rather than plastic or paper, and by looking around the house to inspire games and activities. Some of our favorite green games are “pass the pumpkin” (played like “musical chairs”) or a costume obstacle course, with each participant having to add another item of clothing at each station.[iii]
5. Wrapper Wrap-UpAfter Halloween is over, you’re left with lots of empty candy wrappers. Instead of throwing them away, use them as inspiration for reusable crafts such as purses, bracelets, wallets, and more (like Martha Stewart’s candy wrapper decoupage idea). And, make sure to keep any or your extra wrappers for rainy day fun any time of the year.
About Mt. Diablo Recycling
Mt. Diablo Recycling is one of the largest, state-of-the-art recycling centers in Northern California. It is part of the East Bay area’s oldest locally-owned waste management company, Garaventa Enterprises. Garaventa Enterprises offers state of the art waste management facilities and superior services and currently serves the areas of Concord, Pittsburg, Brentwood, Discovery Bay, Oakley and Rio Vista.