Best Eco-Friendly Halloween Costumes for You and Your Dog
Best Eco-Friendly Halloween Costumes for You and Your Dog
Halloween is one of those holidays that you are never too old to enjoy. It is a day when we get to embrace our inner creativity and have fun dressing up. As dog owners, we love to include our dogs in the holiday and think of creative ways to dress them in costume. But Halloween can also be a source of a lot of extra garbage in our landfills and other pollutants to be released into the environment. In this blog post we will talk about how you can create some great ideas for costumes for you and your dog that are both fun and eco-friendly.
The Problem with Store Bought Halloween Costumes
If you have ever worn a store-bought Halloween costume, you know that they are not made from the most natural fabrics. Most of them are made from polyester, which is made with harmful chemicals. Not only is the manufacturing process of polyester problematic, according to the group Hubbub, laundering fabrics like polyester is a major contributor of microplastics in our natural waterways. Hubbub also claims that store bought Halloween costumes use as much plastic each season as 83 million water bottles – in the UK alone!
In addition to the manufacturing process of the fabric and accessories in each store-bought costume, there is the packaging, and the shipping to get the costume to your home. Each step of the process adds up and contributes to pollution and a large carbon footprint for a single night of festivities. Fortunately, we can make better costumes without relying on store-bought polyester outfits that all look the same.
Applying the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Concept to Halloween Costumes
If you think about reduce, reuse, and recycle being guidelines to making eco-friendly choices, you can apply these to Halloween costumes for you, your children, and of course your pets. Not only will your costumes be more eco-friendly, but they will also likely be more creative and fun.
Repurposing Old Costumes
If you are the parent to human children, chances are you have a stash of costumes from years past. While your children might have grown out of them, you can repurpose them into new costumes with some basic sewing, or by using the accessories to create a new costume. In some instances, you can turn them into costumes for your pets. Superhero capes easily become part of a pet costume. You can turn princess dresses into dog tutus. Accessories like cowboy and cowgirl hats or tiaras can be modified to fit your pets. By repurposing old store-bought costumes and giving them a second chance to be worn you are eliminating the need to purchase additional costumes.
Using Everyday Items in Your Home
The best costumes are often assembled from everyday items in your closet or in that pile of stuff that you’ve been meaning to donate. You can recreate characters from TV shows or movies, dress as someone from another era, and more. The only limit is your imagination and ability to put everyday clothing together in a new way.
Still have your dog’s Elizabethan collar sitting around from when he/she was spayed or had a surgical procedure? There are some great photos circling the internet and social media of dogs whose owners turned their Elizabethan collars (aka the cone of shame) into funny outfits, including a dog dressed up as a martini glass, complete with olives. Throw on some black pants, a white button down top and an apron, and you have a simple waiter/waitress and martini costume for you and your dog.
Hitting the Thrift Stores
Shopping at thrift stores is a perfect way to reduce the amount of new materials from being produced and to reuse the things we already have here on earth. You can find great pieces of clothing and accessories at second-hand stores and thrift stores to put together a great costume. While you’re shopping for yourself, think of logical sidekicks for to dress up your dog.
Recyling Your Recycling
There are all sorts of ways to turn your actual recycling into Halloween costumes. The classic “cereal killer” outfit comes to mind, in which you attach cereal boxes to a black top and pants. The original idea calls for plastic knives to stab each box, but you could make cardboard knives and color them with markers or paint.
Cardboard boxes can become a variety of costumes for you and your dog, from being the graham crackers in a smores costume, to the basis of things like robots, Legos, crayon boxes, and more. You can incorporate your dog into the costume by dressing him/her up as the fire to your smores with red, yellow, and orange fabric cut to look like flames, or dressed all in one color to be the crayon to your crayon box.
We have seen a variety of ideas to make a statement about protecting the environment while enjoying Halloween, with people dressing up as the giant plastic mass that is floating in the ocean, or as recycling bins. You can get your dog in on the fun by dressing him/her up as a cute fish or marine mammal, or as a piece of recycling like a box.
Best Practices for Dog Halloween Costumes
Many dogs are not fans of Halloween costumes. When choosing a costume for your dog, it is important to understand and respect your dog’s tolerance level. Some dogs will happily traipse around the neighborhood in costume all night, and others will try to get out of it the moment you put it on. Many dog costumes are better suited for a photo-op instead of for a night of trick-or-treating with the kids unless your dog seems completely relaxed. And remember to make sure your dog is always attended so that they do not get caught on something or try to chew on or eat their outfit.
Do you have photos of your pet’s eco-friendly Halloween costume? Share them on the Pure Earth Pets Facebook page or tag us on Instagram with @pureearthpets.