After Christmas, Halloween is the second most wasteful celebration in Canada. Surprising? Not really. Think of the candy individually wrapped in non-recyclable plastic, the same candy wrapped again in surprise bags, the decorations like garlands or lights, the Halloween costumes that we change every year, etc. All this generates a lot of waste. Is there a way to produce less and still enjoy this holiday where we can eat candy without guilt? Ricova thinks so and has put together some suggestions for you to green Halloween.
The appeal of thrift stores or second-hand clothing stores makes it much easier to select a suit at a low price and whose pieces can be worn more than once in the future. And if not, there’s nothing to stop you from taking it back to the same thrift store where you found it! It may seem trivial, but did you know that the fashion industry is responsible for about 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions? So, by giving your costumes a second life, you are helping to reduce GHGs. Another good reason to find costumes at your local thrift store! And let’s not forget that superhero costume you wore five years ago: there’s nothing to stop you from wearing it a second time! This will stay between us.
There is no question of cutting back on the candy collection! Why else would we do it? The goal is to avoid over-wrapped or individually wrapped candy, like chocolate bars, as much as possible. Or worse, individually wrapped candy that is then wrapped in another plastic bag. This double packaging is not recyclable and is useless. So, it’s a good idea to avoid over-wrapping a candy that has already been properly wrapped.
Follow Ricova’s lead this year and opt for paper bags – which can be recycled…once empty! – that we filled with various bulk candies. Using a personalized stamp, we put our logo on the bags to be identified and closed them with a staple. Making the bags as a group or as a family is probably the most efficient and fun way to do it. Let’s also try to prioritize local candies produced by Quebec companies like Kandju or Squish candies. They are so delicious and made in Quebec!
And why not replace the traditional plastic collection bag with a reusable bag or pillowcase? Either way, it’s the contents that matter!
A decoration used every year is a green decoration that pays for itself in price and environmental impact. And there is nothing to stop us from using decorations for other celebrations on Halloween night, such as lights. Also, handmade decorations, such as drawings glued in the windows, the traditional pumpkin lit by a candle or washable paint in the windows are fun for kids, cost nothing and don’t cause any waste – the paper can be recycled! Feel free to use whatever you have on hand to make a spooky decoration, such as dead leaves, hay bales, cattails, soil (for graves), wood (for headstones), etc.
If the decorations are damaged, they are sorted and recycled.
Where do they go…
- String lights: at the ecocenter or if they are still functional, they can be given a second life at a charity organization.
- Mercury bulbs/neon lights: to the ecocentre
- Mercury-free light bulbs: in your blue bin
- Batteries: at the ecocenter. It is very important not to put lithium batteries in your recycling bins as they can ignite violently and cause fires in the sorting centers. We have dedicated an entire article to this phenomenon.
- Cardboard/paper: in your blue bin
- Commercial plastic bags: don’t throw them individually in your blue bin, fill one plastic bag with all the plastic bags you own and recycle it in your blue bin. This will prevent the sorting machines from jamming, it’s a real nuisance! You can also give them a second life: read our blog on the subject.
- Plastic bottles: in your blue bin
- Unwanted candy: in your compost bin or in your garbage if you don’t have a compost bin
- Chocolate wrappers: in your garbage
- Chip bags: in your garbage can
- Costumes: in a thrift store near you or a charity organization. If the clothes are too damaged, throw them in the garbage.
- Rubber items: in your blue bin
- Candles: in your garbage can
Ricova wishes you a very happy candy harvest!