Let's Talk Trash: Creative costumes leave no shadow

Thanksgiving dinner has barely settled, but we may already be stocking up on Halloween candy “for the kids” and trolling the web for costume ideas. And, although you may not be planning on dressing as a litterbug this year, some costumes can create a scary amount of waste.

When it comes to costumes, Powell River and qathet Regional District go big. A quick scan of the past few year’s Haunted Ball photos are just a peek into this town’s creative genius.

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But don’t let this give you nightmares, you still have plenty of time to plan for a unique costume that doesn’t haunt the landfill for centuries. Last-minute costuming often involves a lot of cash, little imagination and a trail of plastic, so starting early is the way to go.

But where to start? Ideally, your own closet, or that of a friend’s. Basic costume pieces can be built from items you already have. You might even find you can swap a full costume from a previous year with a friend. If you’re the crafty type, then head out into nature, to thrift stores, or even your recycling box to fashion some unique pieces. There may be a queen-bee crown, superhero mask, or pair of fairy wings awaiting you there.

Want to paint something you find in order to make it just the right fit for your alter ego? Aerosol and latex paints can be found for free at paint recycling drop off locations, like Augusta Recyclers or Rona.

If you do buy new, invest in an item you or your children will be enjoying for more than just one day.

Finally, you can always explore costume rental options. You may discover a one-of-a-kind, theatre-quality outfit that turns heads.

What to avoid? Cheap prepackaged costumes are often chemically-ridden and support the wasteful textile industry. You probably won’t enjoy being zipped up inside a non-breathable, synthetic onesie for too long, anyhow.

Choose costumes that don’t require fake hair or tons of single-use makeup kits that are toxic for both you and the planet. Try borrowing wigs, makeup and accessories rather than buying new.

Halloween can be a time to dive into your more shadowy side, but it doesn’t have to mean casting a shadow on the planet.

Let’s Talk Trash is qathet Regional District’s waste-reduction education program.

Copyright © 2018 Powell River Peak

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