Ways to have a more sustainable Halloween

Posted at 3:10 PM, Oct 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-14 18:24:37-04

NORFOLK, Va. - You've probably noticed a lot of pumpkins sitting out on porches as people decorate for Halloween.

They look great now, but once Halloween is over, most of them will end up in the trash.

Of the nearly 2 billion pounds of pumpkins grown in the U.S., an estimated 1.3 billion pounds get tossed.

News 3 spoke with a sustainability expert from World Centric to learn how to make the holiday a little more environmentally friendly.

"One great thing you can do is really take it upon yourself, especially if you own a home, is start a compost pile," said Lauren Olsen, "Composting is a great way to get food scraps and food waste out of the landfill where it creates methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, and utilize it in your backyard. That way later on in the spring you can utilize that compost for your vegetable garden."

Olsen says you can also call up farms in the area to see if they could use them to feed their animals.

Costumes are another big source of waste every year.

Instead of buying cheap, plastic costumes, Olsen suggests getting creative by going to the thrift store.

"There’s so many cool costumes that you can make from Goodwill or thrift clothing, maybe even stuff in your closet that can be incredibly creative. So now might be a good time to, you know, think outside the box and really get something together that's a little bit more crafty," said Olsen.

Related: Socially distant Halloween ideas for kids

Finally, making your own decorations can cut down on plastic use as well.

"There's a lot of DIY things you can do," said Olsen.

She suggests making something like skeletons out of paper to hang in the window.

"Lots of stuff you can do with the kids rather than utilizing the plastic stuff that's pre-made," Olsen said.