Tag Archives: sustainability

3 Tips On How to Have a Zero Waste Halloween

With cheap, plastic decorations, bulk boxes of individually wrapped candies and chocolates in plastic, and even the costumes, Halloween (or, any holiday, really) definitely doesn’t spring to mind when you think of ‘zero waste’, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have one!

Yes, it’s totally possible (and not all that much more work) to have a zero waste Halloween!

With just a little tweaking, you can have the zero waste Halloween that your wallet (and planet!) will thank you for having.

 

Tip #1: Make Your Own Treats!

I figured I would start with the hardest tip, and then work our way down. The most environmentally friendly and most zero waste way to still have a kick-ass Halloween is definitely to make your own treats.

Obviously, you can’t pass these out at the door (well, you could, but I don’t think parents would let them eat homemade stranger candy), but if you’re having a grown-up party, or even just your own house party with your kids, this is an awesome tip!

Not only will you get to binge on healthier treats (since you’re buying all the ingredients you need, you’ll know exactly what’s going into them), but I’m sure your kids would love to help bake/create the treats with you. It’s a fun way to spend the day, and you get a reward for all your hard work at the end!

Another bonus of making homemade treats? You can literally make whatever you want! Not that into chocolate? Don’t make it! Really craving a rice crispy square? Get yourself some marshmallows (if searching for vegan ones, I recommend Dandies), and rice cereal and go at it. Want to try homemade chocolate? Go get yourself some cocoa butter and Silk (milk) and go nuts! Rather not eat typical ‘candy’? No problem! Get your bakers hat on, and whip up some cookies, brownies, or whatever other treat your heart desires. And, to make them festive, you could decorate them with the Halloween theme in mind!

AterImber.com - No. Mad. - 3 Tips on How to Have a Zero Waste Halloween - Halloween Themed Cupcakes - Halloween, candy, chocolate, vegan, zero waste, vegan food, food blogger, zero waste tips, homemade treats, candy, sustainable food

AterImber.com - No. Mad. - 3 Tips on How to Have a Zero Waste Halloween - Halloween Themed Cookies - Halloween, candy, chocolate, vegan, zero waste, vegan food, food blogger, zero waste tips, homemade treats, candy, sustainable food

AterImber.com - No. Mad. - 3 Tips on How to Have a Zero Waste Halloween - Halloween Themed Chocolate - Halloween, candy, chocolate, vegan, zero waste, vegan food, food blogger, zero waste tips, homemade treats, candy, sustainable food

The only limitation to the treats you create is your imagination!

If you want to make actual ‘candy’ at home (i.e. lollipops, hard candies like Jolly Ranchers, etc.) you’ll maybe not want to let the kids help with those. Those items require boiling sugar and that stuff gets super hot/a tad dangerous to work with, if you don’t know what you’re doing.

If you want to give some of your homemade treats away (I only recommend doing this to people you know/who trust you enough to actually eat what you hand-make, that way your good intentions don’t end up in the garbage), you can get some jars/containers and decorate them simply before giving them away. Similar to the dry mixes some people give at Christmas. Do them up a little pretty, and people are sure to love them!

 

Tip #2: Don’t Buy a Single-Use Costume

My mom was always really big into Halloween, so maybe this was just my family, but some of my best Halloween memories consist of mix and matching clothes I already had to make my costume. Sure, we had to go buy Halloween make-up (weren’t gonna waste ‘the good stuff’) and maybe a wig, but the majority of our costumes growing up were homemade.

If you don’t want to wear your everyday clothes, check out past year costumes you already have, to see how you can give them a new life as something else, or, go hit up a thrift store (like Value Village), that may have some more specific Halloween-themed pieces. The trick here is to go through what you already have, see what your missing, and then either go get a few choice pieces to complete the look that can be re-used in the future, or change what your costume is, so you can use pieces you already have.

You could also keep a few things from your Capsule Wardrobe purge to keep specifically to wear for Halloween. This way, you won’t care if you have to say, roll it around in the dirt to get the specific look, (we actually did this one year) or cut some holes into it.

Or, you could just forgo the costumes if you’re not going out/not that into it. You could have a house party in your pj’s watching scary movies with family and friends, instead.

 

Tip #3: Buy In Actual Bulk!

If you don’t want to make your own treats, or you don’t have the skills to make one treat in particular that you just absolutely need to make Halloween special to you, try to get it at an actual bulk store!

Here in Canada, we have this place called Bulk Barn, and every year around Halloween, they have a few dedicated bins to Halloween treats. Foil-wrapped chocolates, hard candies, gummy worms with a bat decoration stuck to the bin, etc. Basically they slap a ghost or spider-web on some of their regular offerings and call it a day.

But this is still better than buying those boxes of big-name treats, because you can fill your own container* with the exact amount of treats you’ll need. So yes, this option still gives you waste (depending on what treats you’re buying), but it’s still better than getting a bunch of those giant cardboard boxes (that can’t be recycled! The dyes used to make those silly pictures sometimes prevent the cardboard from being recyclable), filled to the brim with plastic wrappers.

I recommend you go out and buy store-bought treats last, because it will create some more waste than the other options here, but if you absolutely feel you need to, then do it. Zero waste isn’t about denying yourself things you like, or feeling like you have to ‘give up’ things you enjoy, it’s about helping the planet and minimizing your environmental impact.

It’s also impossible to be ‘true’ zero waste in today’s society, so don’t worry too much about trying to be perfect. Everyone creates waste – the trick you need to remember is to create as least as you can, as often as you can. If you create a little bit more than usual once a year, there’s no Zero Waste Police who are gonna show up and fine you, or revoke your zero waste card.

So relax, and have fun!

*Bulk Barn has temporarily suspended it’s BYO policy due to COVID safety practices. Call/check your local bulk store to see if/when the policy will change back


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Capsule Wardrobes and How To Downsize Your Closet

One of the things everyone has too many of, is clothes. I don’t know what it is, but practically everyone I know has overflowing dressers and closest. And, perhaps the worst part, is that their dressers and closest are overflowing with clothing they won’t even wear!

Seriously, how messed up is that? Why would you keep hundreds of items of clothes if you never wear them? That’s just wasting your money, wasting space for things you actually like/want to wear and is not doing your self-image any favours.

While I can’t tell you to stop buying yourself clothes (just because we’re in lockdown doesn’t mean you won’t ever have to go outside again), I can help you start the process of whittling down your wardrobe.

The first step to downsizing your wardrobe? Get rid of everything that doesn’t fit (yes, even that goal weight item you’re keeping for ‘inspiration’), and anything you haven’t worn in over a year. Chances are, if you haven’t worn it again, it’s probably because you don’t actually like it. By ‘get rid of’, I do not mean throw in the garbage! Unless it’s actually super holey and can’t be worn, donate them! There are tons of second hand stores that are always looking for clothing donations. (I know with COVID this may make it harder, but just be sure to do your research on the new donating guidelines!)

If the clothes are too worn/holey/stained to be donated, see if you can cut them up and turn them into something else. There are tons of tutorials online of creative ways to upcycle old clothing. I personally have made a few fabric bracelets, a hair tie, and reusable pads out of old clothes. (There will be a dedicated reusable pad/zero waste period post coming soon!)

Also, if you have an insane amount of the exact same item of clothing, get rid of it! There are only 7 days in a week, and unless you don’t have a washing machine, or get covered in mud every single day, you don’t need 7+ of the same t-shirt, or pairs of the exact same leggings. Honestly, no one will care if you repeat an outfit, and if they do, well… let’s just say there are more important issues to be worrying about.

Okay, now that you have a few tips to help you downsize, let’s get on to the items you’ll be keeping. Adopting a capsule wardrobe can be a huge help in not only maintaining your style, but also in keeping you from buying too many clothing items. The concept of a capsule wardrobe is simple: you just make sure that each new piece of clothing you buy (or each item you’re keeping) will match with something you already own. It’s basically turning your wardrobe into a giant mix and match set.

So, now that you know what a capsule wardrobe is, let’s get into the how-to.

 

Step 1. Choose a Base Colour.

This can be any colour you want! Yellow, green, pink, pastel, even tie-dyed! It all depends on your style, and what you want your wardrobe to say. This colour will be the bottom building block for the rest of your wardrobe (i.e. the colour you have the most of), so make sure it’s one that you love to wear!

I personally try to dress ‘gothic country’ (which I’m pretty sure is a style I invented), so that made choosing my base colour really easy: Black. It goes with everything, and I had the added bonus of having a lot of pieces that were already this colour. (Instead of having to rush out and buy more to my already-over-flowing closet)

 

Step 2. Select Neutral Essentials

Keep these items a solid colour that is different then your base colour. These items are these that you wear with most, if not every outfit combo you make. You can have multiple colours for your neutral essentials, as long as they go with your base colour. For me, these colours include white, grey and denim.

 

Step 3. Choose An Accent Colour (Optional)

This has to match the other colours, but this one can be a vibrant colour, or, (if your other colours are vibrant), can be a darker colour. This is to add some contrast/’pop’ to your outfits.

 

Step 4: Shoes, Jackets and Accessories

For shoes and jackets, it’s best to keep them as your base colours. However, accessories can be a vibrant accent colour. Just, be sure not to wear too many bright accessories. If your whole outfit is black, wearing ten red/blue/some-other-bright-colour accessories would just look out of place.

 

Again though, these tips are for general practices and will change wildly depending on your own personal style. You could make your base ‘colour’ polka dots if you really wanted – it all depends on what you want your style to be.

The main point of building a capsule wardrobe is to be able to wear most of your clothing with each other, so you’re not constantly buying new clothes/outfits. It doesn’t matter if you execute a ‘perfect’ capsule wardrobe, what matters is you being able to get rid of all the unnecessary clothes you own, in a sustainable way/a way that you can actually keep up with.


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