Halloween is a time for spooky family fun and creative costumes, but it's also a season when plastic waste tends to pile up. From plastic-wrapped treats to disposable costumes, it's easy to overlook the environmental impact of this event. However, there are simple and fun ways to have a plastic-free and waste-free Halloween. In this blog, we'll explore how to reduce plastic and waste while enjoying all the Halloween festivities, including a section on litter picking.
Bring Costumes Back from the Dead
It's no secret that Halloween costumes often contain a staggering amount of plastic. A recent survey revealed that approximately 90% of Halloween costumes are made from synthetic materials. Even more concerning, around 7 million Halloween costumes are discarded in the UK each year. Here's how you can make a difference:
- DIY Costumes: Get creative by crafting your own costumes from old clothes or cardboard. It's a fun and sustainable way to embrace the Halloween spirit.
- Costume Swap: Organize a costume swap with friends and family. This not only reduces waste but also allows everyone to try something new without buying more plastic costumes.
- Costume Rentals: Consider renting a costume just for the night from costume shops or online services. This option reduces your environmental footprint while still enjoying the holiday.
- Face Paint: For a waste-free costume alternative, opt for face paint. Choose natural, non-toxic face paints that wash off easily at the end of the night. Transform into a ghost, ghoul, or any spooky character you desire without the plastic waste.
Don't Waste Your Pumpkin
Carving pumpkins is a beloved Halloween tradition, but what should you do with the leftover pumpkin flesh and seeds? Shockingly, approximately 8 million pumpkins are thrown away in the UK after Halloween. Here are some ideas to help you make the most of your pumpkins:
- Pumpkin Recipes: Use the leftover pumpkin flesh to make delicious pumpkin pies, soups, or even roasted pumpkin seeds. Don't let this nutritious food go to waste!
- Feed Wildlife: Contrary to popular belief, leaving your pumpkin our for wildlife isn't beneficial as it can cause health issues in many wildlife species. Instead, try drying out your pumpkin seeds and leaving them out for the birds.
Reusable Treat Containers
Instead of single-use plastic bags and containers for trick-or-treating, consider these eco-friendly alternatives:
Upcycled Containers: Transform old plastic tubs, pillowcases, or tote bags into reusable treat containers by decorating them with spooky designs. These containers will last for many years and reduce the need for disposable plastic bags.
Create Halloween decorations that are not only spooky but also recyclable and sustainable:
- Paper Crafts: Craft paper ghosts, bats, and garlands for a recyclable and biodegradable decoration option.
- Autumnal Wreath: Construct a Halloween wreath from twigs and leaves collected from your yard. It's a beautiful and sustainable addition to your decorations.
- Leaf Lanterns: Use old jam jars and autumn leaves to create charming leaf lanterns. These can be used year after year, reducing the need for disposable decorations.
- Ghost Lanterns: Transform used milk jugs into ghost lanterns, giving new life to plastic waste.
- Spider Webs: Use brown string to create spider webs throughout your home. It's a simple, reusable, and spook-tacular decor idea.
Litter Picking and Being Waste-Free
As part of your Halloween celebrations, consider organising a litter picking event in your community. Encourage friends and neighbours to join you in cleaning up any litter left behind from Halloween festivities. Make it a fun and educational experience for the whole family while promoting a cleaner and more sustainable Halloween for all.
This Halloween, you can have a plastic-free and waste-free celebration without sacrificing the spooky fun. From eco-friendly costumes and homemade treats to sustainable decorations and responsible disposal of pumpkin leftovers, you can make a positive impact on the environment while enjoying the holiday. So, go ahead, have a ghostly good time and help make Halloween more sustainable for our planet!