A Plastic Free Halloween

Halloween is only a few weeks away, let's talk about ways to make it low waste!

Millions of Halloween outfits, accessories and decorations are bought new every year. The vast majority of them are made of plastic fibers, millions of glitters (horrible microplastics!!), and too many end up in the trash on November 1st. That's really scary!

Let's reuse existing costumes and decorations, and avoid all the pollution generated when buying new.

🎃 Email your neighbors, check out your local Buy Nothing Group and Nextdoor to get a costume for free, and donate yours.

🎃 Buy costumes and decorations second hand: in the Bay Area, there are many places where you can go. Urban Ore in Berkeley, Chloe's Closet in Albany and San Francisco, Monkei Miles in San Francisco, Grove Street Kids in Berkeley, Kelly's Corner in Oakland, Goodwill, and thrift stores in general always have costumes in October. It's a great way to support local businesses too!

On Halloween night, kids usually come home with close to a hundred treats. That means 100 plastic wrappers per kid, and over a billion for all the kids in the US. In one single night...
Even worse: the candies have been recently replaced by cheap small plastic toys, plastic glow sticks and glow necklaces, slap bracelets, slime, plastic bottles of bubbles...

If you have kids, there's also a chance you've been asked to participate to a Halloween classroom party and help put together "treat bags": small plastic bags with plastic-wrapped treats 😞

It's plastic pollution that goes straight to landfills or litters our streets. What a huge waste! If you don't want to contribute to this madness, here's a list of sustainable options that can be eaten or enjoyed more than 5 seconds.


  • Mini chocolates wrapped in paper (Equal Exchange)
  • Sugar-free and plastic-free gum in small cardboard boxes (Glee Gum)
  • Bulk candies in small paper bags
  • Fresh fruits like mandarins
  • Bulk candies wrapped in paper or aluminum.


  • Mini pumpkins
  • Origami paper
  • Crayons
  • Cotton threads to make friendship bracelets
  • Wood pencils and natural rubber erasers
  • Legos in paper bags (very easy to get second hand).

Say no to glitters and spider webs
: they are made of plastic and once they are in our environment, they are impossible to clean, it's a huge source of microplastic pollution. 

Don't paint your pumpkins: once painted, pumpkins cannot be composted and they will end up in the trash. Classic carved pumpkins are always the best! 

What to do with your pumpkin seeds: A recipe by The Zero Waste Chef!


Join the conversation!