Isn’t it funny that some of the best costume ideas are only thought of days after Halloween? That wasn’t the case for Mike, a marine naturalist at Maui Ocean Center. The possibilities are endless when it comes to choosing what to be for Halloween, but Mike had a “bright” idea while brainstorming costume ideas – dress up as an anglerfish! In case you are one of the few people who has never watched Disney’s “Finding Nemo”, the anglerfish is a creepy sea animal with a large, toothy mouth and a special lure used to trick unsuspecting prey into becoming a tasty snack. This unflattering creature lurks in the deepest, darkest depths of the ocean abyss and is without a doubt one of the strangest marine animals, or in this case, a perfect Halloween costume.

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Mike designed his costume with the three environmental R’s in mind: reduce, reuse, and recycle. The majority of Mike’s costume was constructed using discarded cardboard from our recycling containers. After studying the basic shape of the anglerfish, Mike created a template to cut out and assemble the body of the fish. He created the notorious needle-like teeth by simply cutting drinking straws and mounting it along the jaw using a hot glue gun. The only non-recyclable products that were used for his costume are the eyes, body ornaments, and a LED flashlight that was on clearance at our Maui Ocean Treasures gift shop. Mike placed among the top three finalists in our annual employee Halloween costume contest.

This is just one of many examples of how we can go green by re-purposing material that is often discarded into a landfill or end up as litter on land or in the ocean. Consider dressing up as your favorite marine creature next Halloween using materials found around the house. Enjoy a fun and low-cost DIY experience while taking more environmentally friendly actions for our planet. All it takes is a little creative thinking.