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Eco-Friendly Halloween Costumes: 8 Ideas for Minimizing Waste

October 8th, 2009
Written by James Druman

halloweencostumes_1Halloween, while a seemingly innocent holiday, can nonetheless be a wasteful endeavor. Nobody wants to wear the same costume every single year, and so brand new extravagant outfits find their way in the trash or in the bottom of a closet to never be used again. But there are ways to plan for this coming Halloween without being so wasteful. Here are some ideas for costumes that are easy to put together and can be made from everyday things.

1. Wear the Same Costume Every Year – Yeah, I know we just established that’s exactly what you don’t want to do, but is it really such a bad idea? Here’s what I propose. The same costume isn’t really going to wrinkle the noses of even your snobbiest friends if you use it two years in a row, and after that you can change it up by spending Halloween at a different location. Use it as a reason to party with someone else – new crowd; new costume.

2. Trade With Friends – Call a few friends that don’t live near you or hang out with different groups of people and swap costumes every year. This is great for parents who don’t want to buy the kids something new every year. How about hosting a costume swap a week or two before Halloween?

3. Dress Up Like the Opposite Sex – This is a classic costume for those with a sense of humor, and it is always good for lots of laughs, especially for those masculine guys. Everyone has friends and family they can borrow from to put their costume together.

4. Dress Out of Context – The funniest outfits are often the ones that are a complete change from your usual style. Some examples include the city boy dressing up as a cowboy, the business man dressing up like a thug, the clean freak showing up with their hair messed up and food plastered across their shirt. Dress like you’re living in a different era. It can be simple, but in a tight circle of friends it is good for laughs.

halloweencostume_25. Make Your Own Costume – Besides just changing up your wardrobe, if you are crafty, you can make your own costume. Kids will really enjoy doing this; it gives them a chance to use their imagination. Pick up a book at a crafts store or do some research online to get tips and techniques (http://www.robinsfyi.com/holidays/halloween/costumes.htm). Everyday household items can easily be used to put something together.

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6. Get Creative With Makeup – The first thing everyone sees is your face, and thus it is quite easy to make a costume using just makeup. Even a fake gash across your forehead is enough. You can just wear your same clothes or wear an old, torn shirt to make it look like you’ve had a rough night. For other makeup uses, just use the makeup you already have in your home instead of buying something just for the purpose.

7. A Different Kind of Costume Party – Get your friends into the minimalist mindset by having a costume party where the theme is homemade costumes. Encourage everyone to recycle old clothing and household materials to get creative, and have some kind of prize for best costume.

8. Recycle Your Costume – If you do have a store purchased costume, don?t ever just toss it away, and resist the temptation to stuff it in a closet for “later” only to never see it again. Instead, help other people to resist materialism by giving it out to someone else looking to save some money or reduce their impact. If no one needs it, bring it to a thrift store.

With a little creativity, Halloween doesn’t have to be just another reason to express our consumerism. This is one of my favorite holidays because of everyone?s willingness to lighten up and make a fool of themselves. But that doesn’t have to mean waste. Put some thought into things and decide if one night a year is really worth the materials and money. Like any day of the year, the answer is all in using your head.

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One Response to “Eco-Friendly Halloween Costumes: 8 Ideas for Minimizing Waste”

  1. Milly Milan Says:

    Some great ideas in this article, and as Haloween is fast approaching we should all try and help the environment at the same time as scaring everyone half to death! Like the make-up idea, looks like me after a good night out!