Halloween is a great and fun time of year but is often very wasteful. The plastic decorations and costumes are often only used once before heading to landfill. Opting for more sustainable and re-usable Halloween decorations will not only have a better environmental impact but will save you money in the long run.
One of the huge carbon footprints associated with Halloween is the vast quantity of cheaply made polyester costumes. Most of these costumes will be manufactured in countries with very poor labour conditions and are only made to be worn once before falling apart.
Instead of buying a new costume every year, consider using Ebay, Depop or a charity shop to buy something pre-loved. After you have worn it (and you don’t think you will wear it again), consider selling it online, giving it to a friend to use another year or donating to a charity shop. Another great option is to rent a costume from a costume shop, this will be of better quality than the single use costumes.
The most sustainable option is to wear something you already own. Try to get creative with your wardrobe - Do you have an old lab coat from school or maybe an old prom dress? This could be the start of a great outfit.
The best option here is to carve out your own pumpkin, making sure to utilize the whole pumpkin – roast the seeds to have as a salad topper and scoop out the flesh to make pumpkin soup. Sadly, this isn’t the reality for most Halloween pumpkins, it has been estimated that in the UK, over 8 million pumpkins are thrown in landfill every year. Instead of tossing your pumpkin in the bin, consider composting it or using the seeds to replant it for next year.
Decorating for a Halloween party is always great fun, but it can be one of the most wasteful parts – with most decor made from non-recyclable plastics. Consider using more re-usable or recycled natural decorations. A few options:
- Calving your own pumpkin
- Get crafty with old cardboard boxes – try making homemade tombstones or skeletons.
- Light your home with soy-based candles.
- Buy better quality and reusable decor – paper bunting or reusable table centrepieces.
- Check out second hand or charity shops to find spooky decorations such as old candle holders or dolls.
- Throwing a party for children? Avoid single use plastic plates and cups and opt for reusable ones. If this isn’t possible, use biodegradable ones instead.
Trick or Treating
Avoid plastic bags for trick or treating and opt for something you already own, like an old pillowcase or use a re-usable bucket instead.
Individually wrapped sweets can be hard to avoid and it can be very expensive to buy a plastic-free alternative. Our suggestion here is to only buy what you need or, if you have the time, bake your own Halloween goodies.