I heard an interesting story this morning on the way to Explorer Hop's HQ. The young radio host announced how for the first time he and his girlfriend had gone and bought fancy Halloween costumes and then propped their phone up (against a wine bottle) to take a selfie. 1 minute later they had posted it on Instagram and about 5 minutes later, they were out of their costumes back in their pajamas content at having done their Halloween pics.
Let's put this another way. The cost of the costumes was about $150. This means one Instagram selfie cost $150! As a owner of a company with an active presence on Instagram, I am only too aware of the need to constantly post and constantly create new content in order for the IG algorithm to consider you "relevant".
I am also aware that we live in a world which is extremely visual and where image and projection of a life you may (or in most cases may not have) has become vitally important to younger generations.
Take into consideration the fact that millennial spend an estimated 8.8 billion on Halloween costumes. Like seriously! 8 billion is a whack of cash to blow on a Dracula or zombie costume which will likely end up in a landfill pretty soon. Add to that the insane amounts spent on substandard candy which also ends up in the landfill and you see how trying to look picture perfect really has an impact to the wallet.
It's not just the millennials, it's also parents with elementary school kids. How many of us actually eat all the candy we go door to door gathering? We previously spoke about how parent's spending habits impact your child's success. Sit back and just think about the effort and cost involved in going door to door and then sifting through all of it to make sure its fine to eat (yes, we all do it). After this, you regulate how much your child can eat because you don't want them bouncing off the walls in the evening, and eventually toss it all away.
THERE HAS TO BE A BETTER WAY! Honestly, we can no longer be wasting money or filling up landfills like this!
Here are some tips on how to help your wallet and keep things out of the landfill
1) RE-USE COSTUMES or Use Imagination and Make Your Own! What happened to the days when costumes were traded and a child used a cardboard box to transform themselves into robots, dinosaurs and every thing else! Take a moment and make it more creative and unique. Having a class full of Tinkerbells is hardly as much fun as having a class full of unique characters. This teaches them innovation and how to find unique products. In our program we have also noticed that the kids who through necessity create the most innovative costumes tend to be the ones who fare the best in our entrepreneurship program.
2) Instead of Candy, have gratitude cards! Kids today have a myriad of allergies and about 50% of Halloween Candy is tossed out. How about giving kids a note which says "Thank you for trick a treating at our door - we are going give 50c to a shelter for everyone who comes to our door and gets this card. This way you are helping someone else".
3) Instead of Candy, have a pop up Mural or art studio. Kids can come and paint a huge mural (Parents - Get your camera ready for this perfect IG moment!)or even a pop up art studio where kids can use 2-3 items to make something unique to them.
4) Donate the pumpkins to a food bank. We really do not need to cut up 20 pumpkins in front of our home. Allow yourself one and donate the rest to a food bank or better yet - don't even buy the pumpkins and just donate the money to a food bank.
5) TRADE! TRADE! TRADE! Trade your costumes or sell them at the end of your IG moments and allow someone else to use them, while you get something more useful in return.