An occasion that revolves around costumes, treats and decorations, the UK has doubled its spend during the occasion in recent years and in 2018, a whopping £419,000,000 was spent on Halloween. This year Halloween seems to really have let loose with pumpkin picking and pumpkin flower decorating classes being advertised since the summer. Just a quick walk down the supermarket aisles, however, shows that the occasion seems to scream plastic and waste but there are ways of reducing your impact this Halloween whilst still celebrating and joining in the fun!
I’ve put together a few pointers on how to have an eco-friendly Halloween that will prove to be even more fun than ever before.
1. Avoid the plastic! Halloween costumes are often made of materials like PVC, which contain phthalate. They then often end up in landfill taking years to degrade down and leaking harmful toxins into the environment in the process. When it comes to decorations or costumes try to use natural fabrics such as felt and 100% cotton fabrics that can be composted once use is exhausted.
2. Think outside the box when it comes to costumes. Have you something in your wardrobe that could be upcycled? Can you make a costume out of old household products? Think second hand as well, the charity shops are full of treats this time of year and Facebook users are always selling costumes that their own children have grown out of on Facebook selling groups. Local costume shops will also rent Halloween costumes that can be loved year after year by different children.
3. DIY Decorations. There is so much around us that we can reuse as décor and this time of year is perfect for giving us natural products such as fallen leaves, fir cones, pumpkins and squashes. Create your own decorations out of used paper, newspaper, egg boxes, cardboard or old socks. None plastic decorations tend to look a bit more authentic and scary then a plastic pumpkin!
4. Plastic-free games are an abundance at Halloween. Think apple bobbing, pumpkin carving, pass the parcel in old newspapers, squash hunts (think Easter Egg hunts) and musical statues.
5. Use the guts! Don’t throw away the insides of your Pumpkin when you come to carving one. Make a pumpkin pie, soup or biscuits. I once made dog biscuits with pumpkin in and they went down a treat with our dogs.
6. Shop local for your pumpkin. Visiting a local pumpkin patch is now one of the must do things for Halloween in the UK and its brilliant to see but do check that they have grown their own pumpkins and haven't imported them! That way, not only are you supporting the local economy but you are also reducing carbon emissions by buying local and homegrown pumpkins.
7.Trick or treating is likely to make a huge return for 2021 but if you are taking the little one’s door knocking this year then ditch the plastic buckets for reusable linen bags or wicker baskets. Not only are they more eco-friendly but they are also likely to last a lot longer too.
8. If you’re giving out sweets this year, then try to choose ones in either zero plastic , such as Pick & Mix, sweets in cardboard boxes or chocolate in paper, or in less plastic packaging.
9. If you’re throwing a party then ditch the plastic disposable glasses and plates for compostable alternatives and try and shop local when it comes to the party food. You can even hire party kits that include reusable decorations, table linen, reusable crockery and more from the likes of Party Kit Network.
10. Turn off the lights. Create the perfect ambience and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time. Decorate old jars and pop some tealights in and turn off the lights!