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Fatal Conveniences™: The Hidden Cost of Halloween

Fatal Conveniences™: The Hidden Cost of Halloween

If you live in the United States, you’ve most likely celebrated Halloween – you’ve gone trick or treating, you’ve carved a pumpkin, you’ve dressed up in costumes – you’ve done it all. While this holiday can be fun and add some excitement to our lives, it also comes at a cost. 

For example, did you know in the United States, most of the 900,000 tons of pumpkin produced annually will be trashed, rather than used as food or composted? This enormous waste adds to the already critical global food waste crisis. Overall, around 1.3 billion tons of global waste are created each year. (World Economic  Forum, 2019) 

This is just a small glimpse into the amount of waste created from this holiday, let alone the impact it can have on your health. From pumpkins and candy to costumes, decorations, and more, we need to look at the global impact of this holiday from every angle.

That’s why in this episode of Fatal Conveniences™, we’re going to explore the holiday Halloween and how we can start to celebrate in a more sustainable and health-conscious way. 

 Don’t forget…

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Reliable sources where you can learn more:


Goodwin, L. (2016). Don’t Let Pumpkin Season Go To Waste. Retrieved from Worl Resources  Institute: 

Handwerk, B. (2018). Halloween: costumes, history, myths, and more. Retrieved from National  Geographic: ideas-history-science-nation 

Hernandez, J. (2023). California becomes the first state to ban 4 food additives linked to disease.  Retrieved from npr: additives-red-dye-3-propylparaben-candy 

History Editors. (2023). Halloween 2023. Retrieved from 

Laplante, J. (2021). Halloween and the Reality of Fast Fashion. Retrieved from Her Campus: 

Mother Earth. (2023). Tackling Halloween Waste: A Spooky Environmental Concern and How We  Can Do Better. Retrieved from living/tackling-halloween-waste-a-spooky-environmental-concern-and-how-we-can-do-better

Myers, I. (2022). Frightening food: The scary additives lurking in Halloween candy. Retrieved from  Environmental Working Group: food-scary-additives-lurking-halloween-candy 

Perino, M. (2019). 15 mind-blowing facts about Halloween candy consumption in the US. Retrieved  from Insider: statistics-2019-10?r=US&IR=T 

Real Business. (2023). Are Brands Perpetuating Fast Fashion with Trendy Halloween  Items? Retrieved from halloween-items 

Tighe, D. (2022). Halloween in the U.S. – Statistics & Facts. Retrieved from Statista: 

Trinh, D. (2021). How much waste does Halloween produce? Retrieved from 

World Economic Forum. (2019). Are Halloween pumpkins a problem for the planet? Retrieved from 

Surucu-Balci E and Berberoglu B (2022) Wasted Pumpkins: A Real Halloween Horror Story. British  Food Journal. 124(12): 4718-4735. 

Iwegbue C. M. (2011). Concentrations of selected metals in candies and chocolates consumed in  southern Nigeria. Food additives & contaminants. Part B, Surveillance, 4(1), 22–27. 

Orisakwe, O. E., Igweze, Z. N., & Udowelle, N. A. (2019). Candy consumption may add to the body  burden of lead and cadmium of children in Nigeria. Environmental science and pollution research  international, 26(2), 1921–1931. 

Devi, P., Bajala, V., Garg, V. K., Mor, S., & Ravindra, K. (2016). Heavy metal content in various types of  candies and their daily dietary intake by children. Environmental monitoring and  assessment, 188(2), 86. 

Kim, K., Park, Y., Lee, M., Kim, J., Huh, J., Kim, D., Lee, J., & Kim, J. (2007). Levels of heavy metals in  candy packages and candies likely to be consumed by small children. Food Research International,  41(4), 411-418. 

Niinimäki, K., Peters, G., Dahlbo, H., Perry, P., Rissanen, T., & Gwilt, A. (2020). The environmental  price of fast fashion. Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, 1(4), 189-200.


Yanush, V. (2023). Why halloween waste is the scariest monster of them all in 2022.


02:10 – Evaluating the Ecological Footprint of Halloween 

07:21 – Exploring the Intersections of Halloween, Environmental Sustainability, and Public Health

23:75 – How Can We Move Towards an Eco-friendly and Health-conscious Halloween Celebration


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