Oil and gas in our lives – Halloween

Halloween without oil and gas would be all trick and no treat

By Brittany Elves
Photo courtesy Getty Images

Decorations, and costumes, and candle-lit pumpkins, oh my! 

Halloween is the second most commercially successful holiday in Canada.  

Spooky festivities often occupy the latter half of the month and come the evening of October 31 you are guaranteed to find costumed children trick-or-treating through decorated streets.  

Here’s how oil and gas and petrochemical products bring your favourite Halloween activities to life: 

Pumpkin carving 

  • The tools used to carve pumpkins are generally either fully plastic in their composition or have a plastic handle. 
  • Paraffin wax candles, or their waxy-coated faux flame counterparts that light your completed jack-o-lantern are made from petroleum. 
  • Pinterest-inspired painted pumpkins are widely popular. A common synthetic resin commonly used in paint is polyurethane.  


  • Plastic spiders, skeletons and limbs hiding under trees, climbing your house, or sitting on the porch are made of plastics and synthetic, lifelike latex 
  • Those artificial cobwebs that you thought were a spooky idea, but will take months to peel from the branches of the tree in your front yard? They are made from polyethylene terephthalate, the most common thermoplastic polymer resin in the polyester family.  
  • Nylon inflatables brighten up the neighbourhood at all hours and are a big, colourful hit with children. 


  • Colourful costume make-up and stage blood are commonly made from oil-based paints. The sponges and brushes used to apply your Halloween alter-ego are also petroleum-based.  
  • Store-bought costumes are largely made of synthetic fibres like nylon and polyester. 
  • Scary masks, whether hard plastic or soft synthetic latex, are made from polymers. 
  • Plastic flashlights and glow sticks keep children safe as they walk along dimly lit streets. 
  • Candy wrappers, bowls, bags, and buckets are also comprised of petrochemical-based materials such as plastic and polyester. 


The unaltered reproduction of this content is free of charge with attribution to Canadian Energy Centre Ltd.