It can be scary how much waste can be produced at Halloween! You can still have lots of fun without producing as much waste.
A scary costume is part of the fun, but it doesn’t have to cost the earth. Get together with friends and “swish” costumes – have a swapping party, so that costumes get reused. Or why not get creative and make your own? You don’t have to be skilled at sewing – cut up old clothes and team with face paint for a zombie or make a ghost or mummy costume out of an old sheet. It can be cut up for dusters and cleaning cloths afterwards. Alternatively check out your local charity shop as they often have second hand costumes at this time of year.
Autumnal displays and decorations
Ditch the plastic this Halloween and make some alternative decorations out of natural items. Forage for natural and free decorations, like crisp golden leaves, conkers, and spindly branches to create your own spooky scene at home. Once the fun is over, you can compost them at home, or pop them in your garden waste bin. Otherwise look for items with less plastic, or at least ones that can be reused every year.
Treats don’t have to be tricky
If you are taking part in Trick or Treating, and want to keep waste low, avoid individually wrapped items in plastic. Instead, buy loose sweets from a market or zero waste shop, or a large bag online, and wrap portions in twists of bright paper or pretty paper bags. Or why not offer alternative treats? You could try little boxes of raisins or small fruits like apples or satsumas – draw a scary face on a satsuma to match your pumpkins. Or offer something that can be kept and used, like pencils or crayons.
Eat your pumpkin
Nearly 13 million pumpkins bought for Halloween are expected to go uneaten this year. That’s nearly 360 million portions of pumpkin pie! With food waste being one of the biggest contributors to climate change, eating your pumpkin is a really simple way of reducing Halloween waste. Hubbub and Love Food Hate Waste have lots of recipes to use up your pumpkin instead of just throwing it away (and if you do throw it away, put it in your food caddy or compost it at home).
If you can choose organic pumpkins and squash, even better. Organic products contain fewer pesticides, no herbicides and are grown without using fossil-fuel hungry artificial fertilisers. Visit an organic farm https://www.thefruitfields.co.uk/ to choose your pumpkin which support more wildlife, promote healthier soils and can help slow down climate change. Or why not try growing your own at home next year!
If you really don’t like pumpkin, try reusable lanterns. You don’t have to buy them; you can make your own by putting tea lights inside empty jars you have decorated. Otherwise why not try and different type of squash, there are loads to choose from and they all look great carved!
For more information visit https://www.soilassociation.org/take-action/protect-the-environment/how-to-reduce-your-waste-this-halloween/