Eco-Friendly Halloween Costume Ideas

Eco-Friendly Halloween Costume Ideas

Halloween can be a really exciting holiday. It’s a chance to celebrate your creativeness and self-expression through a costume. It can also be about honoring that scary spooky side of you that you never get to reveal. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most wasteful holidays other than Christmas.  
 
The average American will spend about $75 on decor, candy, and a costume for one day, which equates to $7 billion in the US alone. Most of these purchases are made out of impulse and none of the products are of decent quality. Most Halloween costumes these days are laced with harmful chemicals for our skin and also the environment. Some of the worst chemicals, “phthalates, lead, tin and brominated flame retardants, which are linked to everything from asthma to reproductive problems and cancer. A little under a third of the products tested featured components made of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, a material that, both when manufactured and discarded, leaches dioxins — suspected endocrine disrupters also linked to the aforementioned health problems — into the environment.” (salon.com)

American Dollars spent on Halloween in 2018

So this week, when you hit up for local Target or Party City, just remember that almost everything you pick up for the holiday will be harmful to you and/or the planet. It doesn’t stop there. When Halloween is finished, millions of these costumes, candy wrappers, and decor items, will be disposed of and will sit in a landfill not being able to decompose. This will wreck havoc on the soil, waterways, and ecosystem. All for one day. It just doesn’t seem worth it. 

Some will argue that it’s fun and everyone else is doing it; however, it starts with small changes like what I’m about to share to inspire others to also make a difference. You can still have fun while thinking consciously about your purchases and limiting your waste. 

I wanted to throw out some ideas for some eco-friendly costumes this Halloween. If you’ve already purchased your costume for today, use these tips for next season. Also, don’t throw anything away, reuse them for next year. 

Rent a Costume

We rent beautiful gowns and formal wear for special events like weddings, funerals, and royal balls (lol), why not for holidays? Rent the Runway has become very popular these past few years for saving money on one-time use outfits. There is also a service for renting Halloween costumes! No longer do we have to go to your local Spirit Halloween store and spend upwards of $60 for a cheaply made costume to wear for a couple of hours. I checked out the site and some were around $15 to rent! 

Shop Secondhand
Shopping secondhand is not only good for your wallet, but it’s also good for the planet. There are so many articles of clothing in the world already, why do we need to buy new? There is most likely something you can get that has already been made, barely used, and for a much better price. Shop at your local thrift store like Goodwill. You can also try online sources like Amazon Warehouse, Ebay or Swap.com.
Swap with a friend

Every once in a while I like to declutter my stuff. My first stop when giving my things away are my friends. I would rather have people that I know and trust get use out of my gently used items than some random person. It brings me a sense of joy when I see someone else make use of the things I didn’t. This is something I highly recommend with Halloween costumes. Have a big hotdog costume you bought a couple of years ago and don’t want to repeat the outfit this year? Ask around and see if anyone needs a hotdog costume (lol) or has any extra costumes in their home you can borrow. This is a great way of keeping your Halloween costumes fresh without spending any money. 

Focus on makeup

This can be so easy. When you focus on your face for your costume, you can be as creative as you want. It’s more like an art project and your face is the canvas. Some examples may be drawing wounds for a zombie look, or animal features. You can also use makeup to be a clown, a mime, a scarecrow, a doll, a fairy, a mermaid…the options are endless. By just wearing your own clothes to compliment the look, this option can be very inexpensive. 

Use clothing you already have 

We’ve all been there when we have no plans for dressing up on Halloween, then someone asks us to go to a party with them last minute. You head to your closet to quickly conjure up something that resembles a costume. Some closets are easier to figure out than others, but there are also some simple ideas to get you started. 

  • Striped shirt, black pants- Robber/Mime
  • Flannel shirt, jeans/overalls, floppy hat- Scarecrow/Cowgirl or Cowboy
  • Suit or pencil skirt/blazer, sunglasses- Bodyguard
  • Skirt/dress, cardigan, glasses- Teacher/Librarian
  • Any period costume  (50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s)
  • Workout wear, jersey- Athlete
  • Etc…
Headbands, hats, and masks

If you only get one thing this Halloween, opt for a mask, hat or specific headband. With one of these items you can completely change your look. You can turn your ordinary outfit into something fun. For example, a headband with ears can turn you into an animal. A buret can easily convert you into someone from France. Just by purchasing a mask, you can turn yourself into anything like a clown, zombie or the current president. 

These costume ideas are eco-friendly and can save you money while trying to enjoy this holiday. Halloween can be fun, but when we feel like we’ve spent a fortune on something that won’t be useful that next day, it can leave us feeling disappointed. Choose any of these ideas above to ensure you feel good about your purchases for this holiday. You can also feel awesome knowing you didn’t contribute to all the waste that comes from this day.

Make sure to post your eco-friendly Halloween costume below. I would love see what creative outfits you put together!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! 🎃

How Over Consumption is Hurting Your Self-Love

How Over Consumption is Hurting Your Self-Love

Over the past few years, I have watched numerous documentaries on the affects of consumerism on our planet. It got me thinking about my own consumption and what I was spending my money on, whether it be material things or food items. By learning more about my choices and how they are affecting the world around me, I have completely changed my mindset about the things I own and I feel much happier in my life.
Overconsumption is a new concept created within the last 50 years. Before this time, not many people were being influenced by their governments to buy in abundance or purchase things they didn’t need. There wasn’t much to go around most of the time, so people learned to live within their means. Even with less, they were happy. Why is that? Have you noticed that the more people have it either lowers their happiness level or doesn’t affect it at all? I thought that this concept was the most interesting to me. 
Wikipedia labels overconsumption as a situation where resource use has outpaced the sustainable capacity of the ecosystem. A prolonged pattern of overconsumption leads to environmental degradation and the eventual loss of resource bases (WIKI). Basically the majority of our planet is living out of their means to the point that it’s harshly affecting our climate and ecosystem. The definition even goes to say that it could lead to completely eliminating those resources all together.

Why do we feel like we need so much stuff? Why do we feel like we need to eat all the time in large quantities without knowing where the food came from? Why do we unconsciously dispose of unwanted goods without thinking about where that item may end up? The phrase “throwing something away” should be replaced with “sending my dirty, soiled items out sight so that they are someone else’s problem.” Because essentially that’s where our unwanted trash goes, somewhere else. It doesn’t disappear, even though we think it does. This idea makes us feel better and less guilty. Out of sight, out of mind.

“Overconsumption as a situation where resource use has outpaced the sustainable capacity of the ecosystem.”
-Wikipedia

The act of overconsumption has been influenced and encouraged by our culture for many years. Their ammunition has been instilling a sense of scarcity within all of us. Scarcity rests on 2 basic concepts that keep consumerism shining bright in our society.

There Is Not Enough
Advertising and the media help us to feel insecure about our lives. They focus on human desires of survival and procreation to sell us products. Essentially, humans need to feel safe, secure and loved The bombardment of advertisements that we see, puts us in fear that we do not have enough of this. By purchasing a product we can be beautiful or sexy to attract a mate. Buying in bulk to keep these products in our homes or storage units, just in case, for fear that we “might” need them. 

The scarcity mindset can also be fueled by competition and recognition. Because our society thinks that we need all sorts of pointless products to feel beautiful or wanted, most of us feel inadequate. This is due to the fact that a lot of us cannot afford the lifestyle our media encourages. Our self-worth is low. We are in fear of losing it all or even worse dying alone, if we don’t keep up with the Jones’s. So, we buy shiny new things to impress our friends, our coworkers, social media, and make us feel better about ourselves. Then, we see someone else living a “better” life, who we get jealous of. Then that new shiny thing becomes irrelevant and unwanted. The cycle begins again. Conclusively, we are made to feel like WE are not enough causing us to over-consume with the unfulfilled promise of love and stability.

“For many, comfort buys occur when people need to channel their anxieties. Shopping is a way to kill time, relieve stress and avoid boredom….So why do we shop? We are searching for excitement, looking to increase our self-worth, confidence and recognition….The result is ‘Stuffocation,’ a term coined by British cultural forecaster James Wallman. It describes a state where people’s lives are trapped in a vicious cycle of working and accumulating products in order to keep up with the pace of consumerism. This fuels the anxiety of modern life; destroying the planet while keeping us from leading more imaginative, fulfilling lives. Materialism is eating us inside out.” (ECOWATCH)

More is better

People think that by owning more, having more money, eating more they can greatly increase their happiness and unfortunately this is not the case. You know that feeling when you declutter or clean your space? It’s refreshing, sometimes even relieves a feeling of anxiety. I would always feel so disgusted and shocked by those hoarder shows. I sometimes felt a little sorry for them. They spent their lives completely obsessed with material things, that it affected their intimate relationships with others. Why are we putting more value on inanimate objects and not on other human beings? More stuff does not equate to a better life. Evidence of this is shown in those cleaning and organizing shows we seem to binge on. 

More money is also not the answer. I do agree that money can equal freedom in a lot of cases. However, it starts with your own personal money goals (retirement, emergency fund, debt..) to figure out what amount is right for you and your family. Hear about all those stories of people winning the lottery? They feel amazing for the first few years, then after they spent their money on material things, are they happier? NO. All those stories of depression and suicide from the most successful people in the world doesn’t make being rich and famous desirable. Even if you yearn for just a little more money, that’s 100% normal to achieve the financial goals you have set. When the feeling of inadequacy kicks in because of it, I have to be reminded of all the things I am doing now and all of the things I already have. 

This is where gratitude plays a crucial part of overconsumption. When we can manifest a sense of gratitude for the life we currently have, we can lessen our feelings of scarcity. We don’t search outside of ourselves as much for external happiness because we can find happiness within ourselves. Having a gratitude practice everyday can keep us grounded and focused on the things that are the most important in life. It can also drown out the expectations that others put on us. 

So, where does self-love play into all of this? When we love and respect ourselves we don’t search for acceptance through buying products. We are confident in who we are and love ourselves in the present moment. Overconsumption does not support the idea of self-love. When we love ourselves, we can extend our love to the things around us much more easily. This means our relationships with other people and the world around us. By doing this, we do not consume as much and if we do consume it’s for the right reasons, not to compete with our fellow neighbor or appear more valuable. 

What can you do?

Overconsumption and scarcity is a common theme in our society today and is wreaking havoc on our planet. By reducing what we buy, we can start to minimize our impact on our environment. 

Capsule wardrobes are all the rage now, as well as buying clothings at thrift stores and second hand websites. Take advantage of this and be creative with your style! Another thing you can do is mend your clothing. Take shoes to your local cobbler and clothing to your local tailor to extend the life of your clothes. 

In your home, only buying things you know that you need. Making multiple trips to the store during the week for food to avoid food going bad, which eventually leads to food waste. Keeping your decor minimal is also a great way to avoid overconsumption. When we do this, our home is easier to clean and we feel a sense of calm.

When it comes to paper, opt out of snail mail whenever possible. Most things you can get through email or with online banking. I also say no to receipts because I can just check my banking app to know what I’ve spent. I do not pick up pamphlets anymore, if I want to remember the information, I’ll usually just take a photo of it. I take a lot of my notes digitally and store everything in my iCloud on my computer. I can also share these documents easily with my husband. 

Lastly, recycle and compost. When you do buy things in packaging, make sure that they are easily recyclable. Having an extra trash bin/container in your home for your recyclables is key to not just mindlessly throwing things away in a regular trash bin. Composting is another way of reducing waste. Where I live there is a food waste collection service. Check out your city/county to see if this service is available to you. If not, start a compost in your backyard! I always try to use food scraps anyway that I can. I store them in the freezer, fill a bag up, then make veggie stock. I will also chop them up and put them into soups and omelets. Get creative! 

We can make a difference

There have been some amazing changes happening these past years around improving the way we take care of our environment. People are catching on to the importance behind limiting our expendable resources, because we are realizing that they are starting to diminish rapidly. Change needs to happen quickly and start-up companies are taking advantage of this opportunity to create some incredible eco-friendly options for us. 

Things can change. You don’t have to change everything about your life at once, but committing to a simple, clean, and green life, you can slowly make a difference. Start with one of these options above and gradually pepper them into your life. Inspire others to do the same and start thinking about the impact of your choices. 

Overconsumption is not a sustainable way of life. It not only affects the world, but it affects how we feel about ourselves. We are enough and we don’t need things to make us happy. Fully Love Yourself today and see how it impacts other parts of your life, including taking care of the planet. 

Comment below with your commitment toward overconsumption for the remainder of the year or even into 2020!

My commitment is to utilize my local compost drop-off in the city of Orlando. What’s yours?

 

How I Got Rid of Half My Clothes

How I Got Rid of Half My Clothes

I have recently gone through a lot of changes from moving my home to switching jobs. What’s helped me along the way has been embracing that minimalistic outlook. After watching the documentary, “The Minimalists” and reading Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” I felt an urge to purge. I started with my clothes, which is what Kondo recommends. She mentions in her book to pick up each material item you own and ask, “Does this bring me joy? How is this adding value to my life?” Most of the time the dress was ok, or those shoes mostly fit, but I could never let go of them before because I had either gotten them from a special place or it was one of the pieces I had owned for a while. The stories I was telling myself about my clothes The memories I had from those places are embedded in my soul, not in a piece of clothing or good.  I tried on ALL of my clothes, asked myself if I felt AMAZING in this item, and if there was an inkling of doubt, it was GONE! Wow! Sounds brutal right? Shorts that were too tight, that I was “waiting” to fit into, or something I was saving for the right moment, they left me, too. That day or moment will never come. These items were making me feel negative about who I was right now and that if I didn’t fit in them now, then I wasn’t good enough. 

After I was finished, all of these items were sent to a company called Thred Up (<—Click the Link for $10 off your first order). This website is amazing. All I do is create an account, ask them to send me a ‘clean out’ bag, shove my bag full of the clothes I don’t want anymore, then I drop it off at Fedex (no fees). Then it’s on it’s happy way to their warehouse, where they take photos of the items and put them up on their site to sell for consignment, and you get profits. NO WORK involved. I have literally gotten rid of more than half of my wardrobe using Kondo’s method, the Minimalist mindset, and Thred Up as a resource. Now, I barely even shop for clothes. Everything I purchase has extreme value and it’s something I absolutely love. I also have been trying to live more sustainably and more eco-friendly. I have been checking where my clothes are made and am trying to only choose locally made clothing from the USA. I also recommend purchasing things second hand, like from Thred Up! They have amazing brands to choose from and you will be saving the planet from making new goods, decreasing the amount of waste we create. 

After purging myself of all the clothing that didn’t align with who I was or who I wanted to become, I did diligent research on my style. I wanted to then create a capsule wardrobe. I love these! It’s kind of like a game to see how many ways you can wear only a few items. To only have good quality pieces around me that I adored, was so rewarding that I didn’t feel deprived at all. When we choose to not buy into the fads that come in and out of fashion and stick with the timeless pieces that look amazing on our bodies, we don’t ever feel that sense of FOMO (fear of missing out). I use an amazing app called Cladwell. You choose within their database clothing that looks similar to yours and they create thousands of outfit combos for you, and will recommend ones based on your location and the weather! WHAT?! You do pay $29/year, but I think it’s worth it. You can log what you wear, so by the end of the year you can see what you’ve worn and what you haven’t even touched, encouraging you to either wear it or get rid of it. 

I encourage us all to live more simply and not ‘buy’ into this scarcity mindset of needing more, wanting more, and what we have or who we are isn’t enough. We don’t need to buy a product or own a piece of clothing to feel more loved. Our worth is not measured by our belongings. Your naked self is enough 😜

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