Halloween is right around the corner, and families all over Greater Victoria are organizing costumes, buying candy to hand out, and carving pumpkins. But what about the waste created by these Halloween delights?
Jeremy Cardonna, sessional academic at the University of Victoria in the Human Dimensions of Climate Change program and former CEO of an organic food company, shared some of his family’s tips for how locals can realistically reduce the amount of waste created by Halloween celebrations. Jeremy, his wife Hannah and daughters Mia, 8, and Stella, 10, said there are some really easy things families and other locals can do to reduce or eliminate waste. The family said it is not necessary to put aside values about environmentalism for this holiday.
Buy candy in bulk, choose recyclable packaging, or give out vouchers
The Cardonnas said an easy and cost-effective way to reduce the amount of plastic packaging wasted on Halloween is to buy candy in bulk from stores like the Zero Waste Emporium on Douglas Street, or other bulk stores where there’s minimal plastic packaging.
The Cardonnas also said there are plenty of conventional candy options with recyclable or compostable packaging people can choose from if they can’t get to a bulk store or can’t afford organic options offered places like Whole Foods. Anything in cardboard, such as individual boxes of candies, are more environmentally friendly.
The family also mentioned Saanich rec centres offer child use admittance vouchers for $1 for Halloween, which are also a good option for reducing waste if you don’t expect too many trick-or-treaters.
Mia and Stella suggested making your own costume or thrifting for a costume is a more environmentally friendly option than buying a plastic-packaged costume from a store. The sisters said there are plenty of ways to get ideas and even instructions for Halloween costumes, makeup and more on Youtube and Pinterest. With a little creativity and the help of some makeup, you can transform yourself for the night with items already in your closet.
Grow your own pumpkin or buy organic
Finally, the Cardonnas suggested growing your own pumpkin to carve on Halloween. Conventionally grown pumpkins use a lot of inorganic fertilizers, which are harmful to our environment. The Cardonnas said May 15 is prime pumpkin planting time as they would be ready for carving at the end of October.
If you can’t or don’t want to grow your own pumpkin, the Cardonnas say the next best option is to make sure the pumpkin you buy is grown organically, without the use of harmful fertilizers.
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