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How to Have A Sustainable Halloween

In a 2019 survey conducted by Hubbub and The Fairy Land Trust, it was estimated that 2000 tonnes of plastic waste would be generated from thrown away Halloween costumes alone. Trewin Restorick, founder and CEO of Hubbub, commented that, “the total plastic waste footprint of Halloween will be even higher once you take into account other Halloween plastic such as party kits and decorations, much of which are also plastic, or food packaging.” [1]

In the fight to reduce our scarily wasteful Halloween habits, we have created some important tips on how to have a more sustainable holiday while still being able to enjoy the traditional fun-filled, spooky night.

Reuse

From the Hubbub and The Fairy Land Trust survey, one sure way of reducing plastic waste is to hang on to your Halloween costumes, ready to be reused another year. In a post by The Guardian, the supermarket chain M&S commented that, “all M&S kids wear is designed to be hand-me-down quality, including fancy dress costumes which can be re-worn, passed on to friends and family or ‘shwopped’ through our partnership with Oxfam.” [2]

The reuse method can also be said for any Halloween decorations. From floating ghosts to dangling bats, keeping spooky items for another year will save you time in not having to wade through the seasonal shopping isles, and it can also save you money.

Repurpose

If your reusing habits are beginning to feel a little stale and you’d rather not see those same plastic skeleton figures for the third year running, try changing things up with paper. This year Love Paper have created 10 ways you can make quick, cost effective and creative decorations with paper, making for a Spooktacular handmade Halloween.

For a costume this year, you could try out a new look while still being sustainably conscious. If you aren’t really one for horror, why not go as another person instead. Celebrities, royalty, fictional characters, someone you know, the list is as long as your imagination on this one. Check to see if you have anything in the back of your wardrobe that you can repurpose into an iconic character or go thrift shopping to piece your costume together bit by bit.

The traditional Jack-O’-Lantern can also easily be repurposed after Halloween. The insides of the carved pumpkin can be used in a variety of meals such as soups, stews, stock, or even made into a pumpkin pie. Many pumpkin based recipes can be found online, with most being quite hearty and healthy, perfect for these colder coming months.

If you have left your carved pumpkin outside overnight however, the flesh inside won’t be safe to eat anymore. Instead, you could use the pumpkin as compost or even make a bird feeder out of it.

Reduce

To cut down on your waste easily and effectively this Halloween, try reducing your consumption of single use plastic. Have a bag for life or a paper bag to put your trick or treating sweets in. Use rechargeable batteries in your battery-operated decorations. Shop consciously by choosing sweets with the most minimal packaging. Small changes like these can really make a larger difference in reducing unsustainable waste this holiday season.

A carved pumpkin is as plastic free as it gets and is a great activity for keeping children entertained. To go one step further, you can even try making spooky fruit treats. There are many online guides that can show you how to create just about anything from banana ghosts to apple vampire teeth. Not only does the fruit route have zero plastic packaging waste but it’s also a healthy alternative to those sugary sweets.

With our reuse, repurpose, reduce tips, we are certain that a fun-filled, spooky night can still be achieved, and you can feel confident in the knowledge that this year’s Halloween will be a lot greener.

[1]http://www.fairylandtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Halloween-Plastics-Clothing-and-Costumes-Report-2019.pdf
[2]https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/oct/18/scariest-thing-about-halloween-is-plastic-waste-say-charities