On October 30th Earth Task Force (ETF) an environmental club at New Vista High School, hosted the very first ‘Trashy’ Halloween Costume Contest event. The event was aimed at raising awareness and pushing students to think about the impacts people have on the environment. Advisories (community based classes that students participate in daily) competed against each other to create environmentally conscious Halloween costumes made exclusively with re-used materials and geared to a “scary environmental issues” theme. ETF provided a few starter materials to advisories and let their imagination run wild. Each advisory had a class period to create their costume. After the costumes were complete the school gathered in the auditorium for a showcasing of outfits. A panel of six judges evaluated the costumes based on: creativity, relevance, and best use of reusable materials. Tributes from each advisory modeled their costumes. Often students and humans in general don’t look at the impacts their actions can have on the environment. The ‘Trashy’ Halloween Event was a fun way to get students thinking while not making them feel like they were doing chores.
ETF has focused on bringing awareness to environmental issues since its founding, but it can be tricky sometimes to narrow down a large list of environmental problems and just focus on a few. The ‘Trashy’ Halloween event was designed to give the power to the students and show the school what they feel are some of the most prominent environmental conflicts. This is important because it pushes students to think critically about the problems hurting our world and hopefully impact change. One advisory even went as far as to do extra research on environmental topics just to present their findings at the costume show. Another way ‘Trashy’ Halloween competition was impactful was in its promotion of reusing materials. Many of the costumes advisories came up with were genuinely appealing and fun to look at. This will undoubtedly make Halloween partiers think twice before just buying a new costume. Why buy a costume when you can have more fun and be more original by making your own with reused materials? Plus it’s better for the environment.
This was the first ‘Trashy’ Halloween Costume Contest event ETF has ever done and it was a great success. Almost all of the 16 advisories created unique and thoughtful costumes. It was clear that this was not just another event that people take for granted. There was genuine competition and excitement in the air. Students were engaged and cheers from the crowd helped to emphasize the cleverness of the costumes. Ivette, the dean of students, even asked ETF for ‘Trashy’ Halloween to be done again next year. And thus, a new tradition has been born! To top it all off a trophy made out of reused materials was awarded to the winning advisory. This furthered the competitive spirit and is influencing advisories to step up their environmental game for years to come.
Written by ETF Student Gabe Greenberg