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6 Tips to Reduce Waste this Halloween

Easy ways to cut back on scary plastic waste (and spending!)

Although fall technically starts on the autumnal equinox, the month of October is the unofficial beginning of fall in our city of Ottawa – the leaves start changing; the air is crisp and the stores are full of decorations for the holiday at the end of the month; Halloween!

Halloween is an exciting time for folks of all ages (even if you’re "too old" for trick-or-treating) but this holiday can also create a lot of waste. By the time it’s over, everything from candy wrappers to pumpkins, to old costumes can end up in the trash on November 1st.

Fortunately, we’ve put together some quick tips to help you reduce your environmental impact this Halloween!

Tip #1 - Eat your pumpkin!

If you’re carving a pumpkin to put out on your porch this year, the insides of this spooky squash can be used in many ways. You can make pumpkin pie, roasted pumpkin soup and many other nourishing foods from the pumpkin flesh. Once roasted, the pumpkin seeds also make a delicious snack – check out our recipe here – and you only need three ingredients!

Tip #2 - Compost your pumpkin

Rather than letting your discarded pumpkin rot in a landfill along with tons of other waste, try to find somewhere to compost it instead. Another great way to allow nature to reclaim your pumpkin is by simply leaving it out in your backyard. Small mammals like rabbits and squirrels, as well as birds, will eat the seeds and flesh of the fruit.

"Packing up and storing your decorations will help save your wallet and the environment by minimizing unnecessary waste."

Tip #3 - Make your own costume

While it’s convenient to go to your nearest big-box store and grab something mass-produced off a rack or order it from an online marketplace owned by a billionaire, creating your own costume is much more fun. Not only does it require you to think creatively, but it can also be a great memory-making activity to do with your kids, friends, family, or roommates!

Tip #4 - Make your own Halloween treats

If you’re going to a Halloween party this year, rather than bringing along chips or candies – which are usually individually wrapped in plastic – just try making something instead! No matter your skill level, there are tons of great recipes you can find online, from cookies to cakes. Simply using Halloween-themed cookie cutters is an incredibly easy (and cheap) way to turn your favourite cookie recipe into a spooky treat!

Tip #5 - Donate your costume after

If November first rolls around and you don’t think you’ll wear your costume again, you can always donate it to your local thrift shop. Ottawa has a few consignment shops that may even pay you for your gently used costume.

Tip #6 - Save your decorations!

If Halloween is something you celebrate every year, why not save some money on decorations? Packing up and storing your decorations will help save your wallet and the environment by minimizing unnecessary waste.

Go green this Halloween

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