This year, I wanted to make a sustainability statement with my Halloween costume.
I wanted the costume itself to be sustainably sourced, and I thought it would be fun for it to be sustainability-themed as well.
Enter my Greta Thunberg Halloween costume!
The idea came to me, as all good ideas do, in the shower. I knew I wanted to do a blog post with a sustainably sourced, DIY Halloween costume. Halloween is often a sustainability nightmare what with the millions of little plastic candy wrappers and costumes that are worn for a few hours and then discarded. I wanted to show that this doesn’t have to be the narrative. We can have fun dressing up and feeling festive without overburdening the environment.
It was the day after Thunberg’s passionate speech at the UN Climate Action Summit that the idea for this particular costume came to me. I love badass women, and Greta Thunberg fits squarely into that category. She is standing up to people four times her age and demanding action. She is inspiring multiple generations to do better by our planet. She is absolutely someone who deserves to be idolized with a Halloween costume! And by dressing like her, we are bringing even more attention to her worthwhile message and mission.
I started with an inspiration photo of Greta, taken during one of her famous school strikes for the climate.
I went to a local thrift store to find clothing that closely resembled hers. Buying your Halloween costume secondhand rather than new is a great way to lessen impact on the environment. And, the shirt and jacket cost me a grand total of $7.00. A steal compared to most new Halloween costumes! You could absolutely go cheaper with your own costume by just picking items from your closet that best fit the teenager-street-clothes vibe.
Next, I created my “school strike for the climate” sign. I used materials I already had around my house. Reusing materials you already have is better for the environment than buying something new, since new production requires more resources. I had a piece of poster board leftover from a pack I bought quite a few years ago in college. I also used leftover black paint from an outdoor project.
If you don’t have poster board laying around your house, perhaps you have a scrap piece of wood, a piece of fabric, or part of a cardboard box that you can paint white. The sign doesn’t even have to be white. It just needs to be a color that will be a good backdrop for whatever color paint you are using for the words!
Finally, I braided my hair. No makeup required since Greta Thunberg appears to wear little, if any, makeup.
If you don’t have long hair, you could absolutely go with a wig to get the long braid look. Try not to buy something new if possible, since sourcing something new has the most environmental impact. Ask around to see if any friends have a wig you can borrow. Perhaps they have something from a previous Halloween costume! If that doesn’t work, you can try purchasing a used wig from a site like eBay or Poshmark, or by searching for local listings in your area on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.
This was an insanely easy Halloween costume–I just painted a sign, took a 10 minute trip to the thrift store, braided my hair, and voila! A sustainably-sourced Halloween costume with a pro-environment message!
Happy (sustainable) Halloween!
Check out this article for more eco-friendly Halloween tips!