Halloween spending will exceed $6.9 billion this year, with the average American reveler planning to spend $74 on decorations, treats, costumes and cards, according to the National Retail Federation. That translates to a large environmental footprint.
1. Reimagine a costume. Store-bought costumes, often made in a far-off land with synthetic materials and then cast into the trash come November, "are a landfill nightmare," Helm says. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that 85 percent of all discarded textiles — 12 million tons — were sent to U.S. landfills in 2012. To curb that wicked waste, make costumes out of sheets and outdated clothing or fabric you find around the house or a thrift store; consider renting a costume; buy a used costume; or link up with friends to swap get-ups from years past. Come November, donate costumes you no longer want.