A joint project of Cat Jaffee and Thelma Young

What do trick-or-treaters and climate activists have in common?

They both aim to organize door to door from the ground up, they enjoy telling the story of a cause or concept through artistic expression, and they look GREAT in orange.

In fact, one of the little secrets of Halloween is that it is actually the unsung holiday of the climate change activist in all of us. Far too often, the hoards of culturally insensitive sexy sports mascots dressed as kitty nurses cloud our vision of the the great potential of Halloween – the creative costumes, the witty slogans, the marching, the chanting, and the chance to bring the issues we care about humorously out onto the streets.

So we’re hear to say “Fear no more!” We have put together THE OFFICIAL CLIMATE CONSCIOUS COSTUME GUIDE to help steer your imagination towards a costume that brings out the true orange toting climate conscious organizer in you.



In the climate movement, we’re all the heroes we’ve been waiting for. But there are a few with more excellent accessories than others. Here are the good, the great, and the GROOT of climate change warriors.


Most of the evidence gives us reason to believe that a tree’s best fighting chance at surviving on any planet rests in the hands of a princess with a spear. Forest saving princesses of note include San from Princess Mononoke, and Crysta from Fern Gully. These costumes vary in difficulty and the use of face paint, but they share the same spirit “we must protect the forest.”


If you don’t feel up for fashioning a wolf cape from white faux fur, or donning a red tankini that would make the 90’s proud, the Lorax costume is a low hanging fruit that still delivers on the global need for speaking on behalf of the trees. To be a good Lorax, wear your bright orange extra large “Go Fossil Free” shirt from the People’s Climate March like a full body suit, purchase some orange faux fur to cut in the shape of a bushy mustache, and voila, you have a full costume to fit your mantra to save the trees.




We would be remiss if we didn’t include a tree or two who are out to save planets. Though the character Groot from Guardian’s of the Galaxy doesn’t have much to say, he speaks through his actions as the conscionable, self regenerating mutant tree set on saving lives. If you head the I-want-to-paper-mache-an-entire-body-shaped-tree route, this costume can be fairly labor intensive. Try instead taping some branches to a recycled cardboard box, insert body in box, and yell “I AM GROOT!” while saving the planet. You won’t regret it.




Ready to lead by example? The Solar Panel costume is an easy last minute costume to jump on board the climate activist costume flotilla. All you need is recycled cardboard and foam, paint, or reflective plastic. For extra points, team up with a sun costume to complete your ensemble.



Imagine this – you’re dressed as a dinosaur, aka, a fossil. But you’re wearing a vest and spending the whole evening taking it off. If that isn’t sexy, I don’t know what is. A de-robing fossil, or fossil fuel divestment, is the costume for the savvy organizer ready to put the pun in fun.




Mark Ruffalo, ie, THE HULK is out to make crime fighting green…SUPER GREEN, by calling on all of the avenger heroes to divest. For this costume, put on your favorite avenger outfit, and add a “go fossil free” orange patch to make yourself a true hero for the planet.


Looking for a costume that people will “get” right away? Dig up that old statue of liberty costume you have laying around from that high school presentation on democracy and strap on some scuba gear. A life jacket will also do.




There are quite a few climate villains. And far too often, they look like big corporations, banks, and myopic heads of state. But hey, it’s Halloween, people want to get scared, and nothing is more terrifying than neglecting our planet. So here is the bad, the bubble, and two evil brothers for your inspiration.


It’s six pm, you’ve got to head to Critical Mass, and all you’ve got is a black trash bag, tape, and a bunch of old newspapers? Ah! Worries be gone! Secure two holes for your head and waist in the trash-bag and then fill that bag with crumpled newspapers to create an orb or a bubble, if you will. For a final touch, label your bag with “CARBON” in tape, and then you’re good to go! Jump on that cruiser and encourage society to help pop the carbon bubble.

(But watch out for the NYPD)



This costume is great for “the bro” who just isn’t really into Halloween, but truly thrilled by the prospect of walking into people’s homes and taking what he wants. For this statement, dress up as a jerk (preferably wearing a cylinder shaped from the tears of baby animals) and then march around on people’s land digging erratically and ignoring everyone.



You’ve heard of the cabbage patch kids, but what about the great Pacific garbage patch kids? For this, attach a bunch of garbage to that blue jumpsuit you keep lying around the house and wander aimlessly, amassing garbage throughout the night to stick to your body.



Do you have a brother who is just about as evil as you are? How about a web of organizations that you will lock into your network of money, deception, and manipulation? This is a wonderful group costume. Dress as two gummy grumpy old men, gather all of your friends, and connect yourself to them through a web of strings laden with currency and lies. Yes, you all will be stuck together, until someone takes the courage to stand up and break off from the Koch brothers, an event that the entire Halloween pantheon would be better off for bearing witness to.

Los Angeles Times

Is there one we’ve missed? Tell us! Tweet us your favorite climate conscious costumes using the hashtag #climatecostume. Happy Halloween!

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