Rather than spending a small fortune on a new Halloween costume that you’re probably only going to wear once, why not create a costume out of recycled materials? There’s plenty of fabulous and creative costume options that don’t have to wind up in the old costume graveyard at the back of your closet. Check out a few fun and sustainable ideas:
Recycle Man Made from Plastic Bottles
Is Recycle Man the superhero sidekick of Captain Planet? Perhaps! Fashioned completely out of old aluminum cans and plastic water and soda bottles, Recycle Man is undoubtedly one of the greenest superheros (and costume options) you’ll ever find! Make your own version, though you don’t have to go as crazy as the original Recycle Man if you don’t want to!
Cereal Box Cowboy Boots
Prove that cowboys can be “green” with this cute, fresh take on the classic cowboy boot. Made of braided cereal box strips, this option will look adorable on children, while adults can enjoy plenty of comments and questions about the make.
Newspaper Ballerina Dress
This dress made its debut at the 3rd Annual Fashion Trashion event at the University of Minnesota, and makes a super-chic Halloween costume. Heck, you can even wear it while out and about with friends!
Cardboard Box Nintendo Controller
Pay homage to the classic video game by creating the famous controller out of a cardboard box. It will surely be a hit!
Bubble Wrap Wedding Dress
Yes, bubble wrap is fun to pop, but the stuff usually ends up in landfills, where it will sit for the next who-knows-how-long. Instead, try using the packing agent to create clothing, such as this amazing wedding dress.
Cardboard box Garage Truck
Cardboard is highly versatile when it comes to Halloween costumes, so why not use to make make a variety of options, such as this adorable garbage truck? You’ll need a bigger version to construct one for adults!
“White Trash” Costume Made from Well, White Trash
This hilarious take on “white trash” is just that–literal white garbage bags used to create a “white trash” dress!
Unique Bottle Cap Hat
What you’ll be “going as” with this hat may be a little unclear, but one thing’s for sure: no one will dismiss the uniqueness of your colorful, crazy hat!
Black Garbage Bag Dress
Use black garbage bags to create a sustainable version of the little black dress. Wear it for Halloween and beyond, such as when attending a formal New Year’s Eve party!
Recycling Bin R2-D2
Another extremely literal recycled Halloween costume, this idea involves using a (clean) recycling bin to create one of the most famous robots in movie history, R2-D2.
Metro Card Pirate
Metro cards are used for a week or a month to get around town via public transportation, and then end up in the garbage bin. This man decided to put an end to the madness by constructing a pirate costume made from these cards. He’s even rocking Captain Jack Sparrow dreadlocks!
Have you made a Halloween costume from recycled materials, or know someone who has? Share your favorite sustainable costume ideas in the comments section! Happy Halloween!
Kent Page McGroarty is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the SF Gate, AZ Central Healthy Living, LIVESTRONG and many other websites and online magazines. Although Kent probably won’t be wearing any of these costumes this Halloween, she will be recycling. Kent supports the conservation and recycling efforts of Republic Services.