Halloween is coming up and it’s not easy to find the perfect costume. Do you go with something scary, inspirational or funny? What should you dress your pet up as? Have friends invited you to do a group costume but you just don’t know what to be?

Are you reading this and don’t care about Halloween at all? Well you should, and here’s why—according to this article from ONE, Americans spend more on Halloween each year than the entire world spends on Malaria in a year.

So here are some costume ideas that are inexpensive, creative, and easy for you, you and your BFFs, your dog, or your bae.


1. Malala

Image: A Mighty Girl

This girl is the epitome of both adorable and inspirational with her Malala costume. Dressing up as a role model for children and adults is a great way to show the world about the greater causes you are passionate about.

Also by wearing the traditional Hijab Malala choses to wear, you can raise awareness on the controversial nature of the Hijab, and how women have the right to choose what they wear. In this article Zehra Abedi talks about how awesome it is that Malala can get the media to focus on larger issues and not just what she’s wearing.

2. "Trashy" vs. Classy: Recycling Diva

Image: Meghan Werft

Support Global Goal 13 with the most creative and sustainable of fashion. A dress made from potato chip bags, garbage bags, or newspaper perhaps? Show everyone you know the real meaning of being “trashy.” And yes, this was the height of my fashion career.

How to: Make sure you wash out any grease or food parts from the materials you use to create a dress, or any other form of clothing apparel from recyclable materials. You can glue or sew together anything from bags, bottles, and all the trash that builds up creating giant patches of garbage in the ocean.

3. Vaccine

Image: Mopani Pharmacy

Pair up with your friend who wants to go scary this year and be a vaccine. Vaccines for children in the last twenty years have prevented 322 million illnesses according to the CDC.

How to: You could use recyclable materials like plastic bottles or cardboard to create a syringe costume around you and wear grey for the needle in the middle. Draw black lines to mark the dosage of your vaccine of choice for this costume. Get ready to battle your scary counterparts like Polio, and Ebola!


4. Mosquito

Image: Flickr: The Conmunity

Mosquito's host the parasite that causes over one million deaths each year. Scary! Check out this video from National Geographic showing mosquitoes sucking blood...Personally I think they are scarier than vampires any day.

How to: You can wear grey, brown, or black and create wings and a mouth of the mosquito from recycled materials like cardboard.

5. Ebola virus

Image: Flickr: CDC Global

The media has scared the world with news of Ebola outbreaks, and Ebola is no joke. That’s why I’m suggesting the virus as a terrifying Halloween costume and opportunity to raise awareness on Ebola.

How to: You can vary the colors here, but neon or red would be most realistic to the virus. If you really want to get into this costume, add some fuzzy material on your clothes for the glycoproteins that give the virus its’ rough looking texture.


6. Outhouse

Image: Pinterest: Buzzfeed

It may be a silly Halloween costume, but you can help raise awareness to end open defecation and let everyone know about World Toilet Day just around the corner on November 18th!

How to: I’m not going to claim to be an expert on this one, so check out instructions on Pinterest here.


7. Beyoncé and JAY Z

If you’re looking to be a power couple this Halloween, why not go with the ultimate power couple and show everyone girls need to run the world. Beyoncé and Jay-Z support and fight for the rights of girls and women, the 783 million people without clean water, and so many more important causes.  

How to: For this one, my advice is to channel your inner superstar. Maybe you want to rep relaxed Bey in a KALE sweatshirt singing with friends, or you want to go all out glam “Diva”--Go for it! Switch up the gender roles if you want too. The sky's the limit on all Halloween costumes.

Pet costumes:

8. Carbon Creature

I kind of wanted an excuse to watch this video again to be honest, but this is my favorite costume of all time. You can dress up your dog as a “carbon creature” and let everyone know all about the negative effects of carbon emissions like acid rain, smog, ozone depletion, and climate change.

9. Chia Pet...Literally

Image: Flickr: Julie Feinstein

Chia seeds are a superfood, very nutritious, and you can collect the seeds to add to a smoothie after Halloween. Perfect.

10. Tractor

Image: Deviantart

Raise awareness on the best agricultural practices to help with food security and agricultural development around the world.


11. Global Goals!

You can include as many people as you want and dress up as your favorite Global Goal. Sounds cheesy, I know, but there’s so much room for creativity on this one.

Halloween is a time for fun, creativity and personal expression (in addition to candy), so I hope you take the time (not the money) to create a costume that reflects the issues you care about.

Share your own thoughts, ideas and comments on Halloween costume suggestions to raise awareness on global issues in the comments below.

You can also go to TAKE ACTION NOW and let everyone know you are not a bystander to global poverty.


Demand Equity

11 Halloween costumes to express your inner global citizen

By Meghan Werft