Humber College is hosting a sustainable Halloween costume contest Oct. 31, looking for pictures of the best sustainable Halloween outfits to share on the Offfice of Sustainability’s social media pages.
The rules are simple: post the sustainable costume on social media using the hashtag with #HumberGreenHalloween. The best costume wins a Great Escape Movie Pass.
The shift to dressing up sustainably this Halloween is just one way students can redirect clothes from landfills and create a more sustainable environment.
“At the Office of Sustainability, a green Halloween is what we are trying to promote at Humber,” said Tayler Buchanan, communications and events assistant at the Office of Sustainability at Humber College.
“What we find with holidays and events, people tend to buy a lot of single use decorations and costumes so we are always encouraging students to reduce, reuse and recycle,” Buchanan said.
So, how do you dress up sustainably?
“You can go to a thrift shop, use what you already have so that you’re not buying extra materials that you are gonna throw out,” she said. “Try to think sustainable when shopping, tell yourself am I going to wear this again? If not, then definitely donate it.”
Veronica Calderon, an events management student, is going green this Halloween as a skeleton. She said she is using makeup and face paint instead of a mask.
“Unless students already have costumes from last year, they are not going to go all out and dress up, however dressing up sustainably is so much more student friendly and easier,” said Farheen Kadwa, a sustainability research analyst intern at Humber College.
“Students can create their own DIY costumes or reuse and transform their old clothes, rather than buying [an] expensive $60 costume,” Kadwa said.
A 2016 Census of Agriculture found more than 2,500 farms with pumpkin patches produced 82,725 metric tonnes of pumpkins, many of them decorated or painted and not eaten.
“As for going outside of costumes, for sustainable decorations using pumpkins as an accessory is a great option because they are biodegradable,” Buchanan said.
Meal Exchange, a charity devoted to supporting colleges and universities across Canada, is hosting an event called Trick or Eat for Halloween. Donating food for their campaigns instead of throwing it out is another way to be eco-friendly.
“We figured people are dressing up for Halloween, so why not encourage them to dress up sustainably,” Buchanan said.