Halloween is a super fun time of year. We get to dress up in awesome costumes and have costume parties with friends. And at WSU, you get a whole week dedicated to Halloween!
However, all our fun Halloween traditions can mean the production of a lot of waste, especially when you’re looking for your costume(s). So here is some advice on how to get your costume without producing a ton of extra waste!
Make a DIY costume using clothes you already have.
Use clothes and other materials you already have to create a costume! Cut up and upcycle old t-shirts or other clothes you want to get rid of.
Be creative! Do a simple, lazy costume.
Purchase previously used clothes or a costume from a thrift or consignment shop.
Go early in the season to get the largest possible selection for your costume.
Look for older clothing to dress up in a period/era costume, or buy regular clothes and dress up as a specific person for Halloween.
Dress up as an environmental problem using clean waste materials in or as your costume.
Save up your clean waste and make it into your costume, or save the type of trash you produce the most of and turn it into your costume.
Rent a costume from a shop or borrow a previously used costume from a friend or family member.
Use local shops or online clothing rental websites.
Borrow items or full outfits from people you know.
Reuse your previous Halloween costumes.
Have a few on hand that you can reuse every once in a while. Alternate which costume you use each time, so people don’t see the same one over and over.
Example costume ideas:
A skinny polar bear
Generic protester (carry a sign about a cliche joke argument, like cats v. dogs, pineapple on/not on pizza, etc.)
Pacific garbage patch (wear lots of plastic bags and other plastic waste)
Global warming (dress as a melting/burning Earth)
Go as your most used branded waste item (a soda or candy brand, etc.)
Go as a post-apocalyptic (climate change) survivor
A group costume where you and your friends all switch clothes and go as each other
Well known celebrities (i.e. Steve Jobs: black turtleneck, iPhone, jeans, and Birkenstocks)
Go as typical college student problems (student loan debt, finals, sleep deprivation, 8am class)
Duct tape (duct tape a picture of a duck to your shirt)
Life (write ‘LIFE’ on a shirt and carry lemons around)
If you’re planning on throwing a Halloween costume party, check out our previous blog post “Saturdays Aren't Only for the Cougs!” for some tips on how to throw a zero waste party.
After Halloween, keep and reuse as many costume pieces as possible, give away anything that can be used if you don’t want to keep it, upcycle pieces into new items, and recycle all scraps if possible. Only throw things away as a last resort!
Have a happy zero waste Halloween!
Any and all brands and specific products named in the above article are discussed purely for creative costume ideas. They do not reflect opinions, preferences, or endorsements of WSU’s Environmental Science Club and do not have any affiliation with WSU’s Environmental Science Club or any entity related to Washington State University.
~Written by Jennifer Beyer, Laila Reimanis, and Caitlyn Chilinski~