The decorations. The costumes. The candy. The haunted houses. Halloween is the best holiday of the year – and that’s an objective fact.
Personally, I’ve been a long-time fan of home made costumes over those bought from a store. Something about putting your creativity to work just makes a disguise all the better, whether you’re a master crafter or just someone who threw some paint on an old T-shirt. But is your Halloween costume really water conscious?
The average store-bought Halloween costume is made of cheap materials, meant to be worn once and then thrown away. Think plastic (24 gallons of water for every pound) nylon (we couldn’t find a number, but it’s not good) and polyester (about 830 gallons per pound). Even if some of those items may not sound water-intensive in and of themselves, do you really want to leave that footprint for one night of revelry?
But let’s delve into our creative side a bit and assume you’re making your own Halloween costume. If you’re the crafty sort, you might break out the sewing machine and some scrap cloth. 250 grams of cotton (i.e. about a shirt’s worth) require 2,495 liters – that’s worse than the polyester listed above. A pound of wool requires 101 gallons of water All in all you may be better harvesting fabric you already own (like old sheets or ripped or stained clothes you can’t donate) rather than buy new.
And that leaves those of us who want to get creative but have two left thumbs when it comes to fashion. (Don’t feel bad – I’m in that category with you.) The good news about re-purposing existing clothing is that it has very low virtual water impact – shop used or raid your own closet to turn that striped shirt into a mime outfit or your old red skirt and white T-shirt can transform you into a gumball machine.
Of course, there’s more to the perfect Halloween costume than your threads. We’ve touched base before on the virtual water impact of your makeup. Aiming for colored contacts or false nails? Both are made of plastic, and have the footprint listed above. Wig? Unless it’s a high-end wig made of human hair or horse hair, it too is plastic.