How To Have a Green Halloween
When we think about Halloween, we think of trick or treating, pumpkins and ghosts…ethical and sustainable practice doesn’t exactly spring to mind. But the amount of waste a single holiday can generate can be mind-boggling: from single-use costumes to plastic sweet wrappers, to mass-produced decorations. Halloween doesn’t just have a huge impact on the environment, either – it also takes a massive toll on our wallets. In 2019, Brits collectively spent a whopping £474 million on Halloween festivities.
If you’re a conscious consumer who feels guilty and waste involved with this holiday, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with our top tips to enjoy an eco-friendly Halloween.
Decorations. Instead of buying materials for decorations, gather supplies, arts and crafts throughout the year. Examples include:
- Turn stockings with runs into spider-webbing
- Turn cardboard boxes into tombstones
- Make other creative decorations from netting from bags of oranges, cotton balls, leaves and branches from the yard, etc
- Reuse your decorations from the previous year
- Invest in quality decorations that so they last for one year rather than just one day
Costumes. Let’s get creative and make your own!
- Keep old clothes that can be used as good pieces or parts of costumes, like worn t-shirts, black shorts, etc.
- If necessary, shop at charity shops, instead of buying from retail stores
- Let your kids' imaginations run wild! Make a game of turning old clothes into costumes.
- Swap and borrow old outfits with friends
- Rent costumes to prolong its life cycle
- Parties. When having a party, cut down on waste by avoiding disposable cups, plates and cutlery. Use regular plates or buy biodegradable ones, and use a marker (or apply cute labels) to identify cups so party-goers can keep track of theirs. Encourage or reward environmental ways of getting to your party, and make sure there are green ways for people to get home
Treats. Buy locally produced foods, snacks and treats. Look for goodies with minimal plastic packaging and/or those made packaged in recycled materials.
- Check labels to see that chocolate and sugar are from sustainable sources.
- Make your own treats
- Opt for small gifts instead of treats
- Trick-or-Treat Bags. Use (and decorate) household items to collect candy in. A bucket, pillowcase, or old even an old bag can be decorated inexpensively at home - and reused year after year. Stay away from the molded plastic jack-o-lanterns being sold this time of year. Although they are reusable, they are still made of plastic.
- Pumpkins are all the rage when the Halloween season falls but people are quick to forget that with supply and demand comes dangerous effects on the environment. In order to grow pumpkins big enough fast enough, many are sprayed with heavy-duty pesticides. They are shipped over long distances, making their carbon footprint exorbitantly high. The solution is easy: Buy organic, locally grown pumpkins. Or, Better yet, grow your own -- kids love to watch them grow!
- Jack-o-lanterns.Don't throw away all the goodies from inside your pumpkin. Toast the seeds for tasty treats. Make pumpkin pie or muffins with the fruit - or compost it.
- Trick-or-Treat by walking around your neighbourhood instead of driving to another destination. Get to know your neighbours, reduce your carbon emissions and help keep the streets safe for other walkers.
- Compost and Recycle. From party food to treats to pumpkins, consider composting all organic matter and recycling other items.
- Reuse! Reuse as much as you can from year to year. Instead of throwing away an old box or bag, use it to gather all your decorations and keep for next year. Plus, you can surprise your family and friends by quickly pulling out your box and throwing an impromptu Halloween party any time of year!