26 Oct 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.
You can order now by heading to darinolien.com/fatal-conveniences-book or order now on Amazon
Reliable sources where you can learn more:
- Halloween can have spooky environmental consequences
- Why Halloween Is Terrible For The Environment
- The Environmental Impact of Halloween: What the Jack-o’-Lantern Story Says About Food Waste in Our Society
- Halloween candy comes with hidden environmental costs
- 13 Sustainable Halloween Tips That Are Anything But Boo-Ring
- 4 Ways To Make Your Halloween As Sustainable As It Is Stylish
Goodwin, L. (2016). Don’t Let Pumpkin Season Go To Waste. Retrieved from Worl Resources Institute: https://www.wri.org/insights/dont-let-pumpkin-season-go-waste
Handwerk, B. (2018). Halloween: costumes, history, myths, and more. Retrieved from National Geographic: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/article/101029-halloween-costumes ideas-history-science-nation
Hernandez, J. (2023). California becomes the first state to ban 4 food additives linked to disease. Retrieved from npr: https://www.npr.org/2023/10/10/1204839281/california-ban-food 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: https://www.hercampus.com/school/lasell/halloween-and-the-reality-of-fast-fashion/
Mother Earth. (2023). Tackling Halloween Waste: A Spooky Environmental Concern and How We Can Do Better. Retrieved from https://memotherearthbrand.com/blogs/plastic-free 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: https://www.ewg.org/news-insights/news/2022/10/frightening food-scary-additives-lurking-halloween-candy
Perino, M. (2019). 15 mind-blowing facts about Halloween candy consumption in the US. Retrieved from Insider: https://www.businessinsider.com/halloween-candy-consumption-usa-facts statistics-2019-10?r=US&IR=T
Real Business. (2023). Are Brands Perpetuating Fast Fashion with Trendy Halloween Items? Retrieved from https://realbusiness.co.uk/brands-perpetuating-fast-fashion-trendy halloween-items
Tighe, D. (2022). Halloween in the U.S. – Statistics & Facts. Retrieved from Statista: https://www.statista.com/topics/1727/halloween-in-the-us/#topicOverview
Trinh, D. (2021). How much waste does Halloween produce? Retrieved from https://thestute.com/2021/10/29/how-much-waste-does-halloween-produce/
World Economic Forum. (2019). Are Halloween pumpkins a problem for the planet? Retrieved from https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/10/halloween-pumpkins-food-waste-energy/
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. https://doi.org/10.1080/19393210.2011.551943
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. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-018-3706-3
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. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-015-5078-1
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. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2008.01.004
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. https://doi.org/10.1038/s43017-020-0039-9
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
I hope you enjoyed this episode of The Darin Olien Show! If you want to support or follow the podcast, here’s how:
Follow my Instagram to keep updated on the podcast, weekly deep dives and other projects that I’m supporting (and the occasional Chaga appreciation post)
Sign up for my Weekly Email to keep up with what I’m tuned into.
For feedback or suggestions, email my team at [email protected]
Find the list of brands & products that get the big tick of approval from me here.
Comment below to join the discussion!