Don't Scare the Planet with Your Halloween Costume


Pumpkins with plastic ghosts. Don't scare the planet with your halloween costume

Many costumes are made with the intention to scare folks during Halloween. But one of the scariest statistics about this spooky day is that people spend about $8.8 billion, or $75 per person, on Halloween-related items, including costumes that get thrown away.

According to a CalRecycle waste characterization report, more than 1.24 million tons of textiles were disposed in California landfills in 2014. Every year, Californians spend more than $70 million to dispose of used textiles in landfills, and 95 percent of this material is actually reusable or recyclable

So, why not save money and the environment by being a little creative when deciding what to wear for Halloween? Here are some simple tips to consider:

  • Check out Pinterest for DIY costume ideas, and then peruse your own closet or local thrift store to create your next costume.
  • Instead of purchasing a plastic or rubber Halloween mask, use makeup or non-toxic face paint that you already have to create your look. 
  • Look in your recycling bin for anything that can be used for Halloween costumes and decorations. How about using a cardboard box to create a robot costume?
  • Save your kiddo’s costumes and host a Halloween costume swap party before next Halloween.
  • If you can’t hang on to the costumes for that long, consider donating them to organizations like a local theater company, day care provider, or thrift store.

Along with alternative plans for Halloween costumes, maybe consider a different way for kids to carry their trick-or-treat candies. Instead of using those plastic pumpkins, consider creating your own reusable bag. In this video, our CalRecycle team shows how easy it is to make one with an old shirt.


— Tracey Harper and Syd Fong
Posted on Oct 31, 2019

Summary: Many costumes are made with the intention to scare folks during Halloween. But one of the scariest statistics about this spooky day is that people spend about $8.8 billion, or $75 per person, on Halloween-related items, including costumes that get thrown away.