How to have a Halloween that doesn’t scare the earth: 5 tricks for a lower-waste night
Hold the fangs, Halloween is almost upon us. Are you ready? Are the kids excited? Do you already have sweets falling out of every kitchen cupboard?
Don’t panic. Halloween can be a brilliantly fun event for the whole family, but there’s one scary thing to remember: it can be terrifying for the environment if you don’t make conscious choices.
We know you try to live a more sustainable life day to day. But if you’re lost on where to start to make sure your wee one’s don’t miss out on the fun this year while you stay green, we’ve got you covered.
Here are 5 creative ways to enjoy Halloween without the grizzly impact on the planet…
💀 NO. 1
Make your own tricks and treats
Pre-packaged sweet bags at Halloween contribute to a huge amount of non-recyclable plastic every year. Instead of adding to the horrifying statistics, opt to create your own treats to give out to trick-or-treaters at your door.
Vegan Life has a fantastic trick-or-treat pick ‘n’ mix idea to dip dried fruits, seeds, coffee beans, cardamom pods etc. from your store cupboard in melted vegan chocolate and let them set. Your Halloweeners can choose their own… will they get something yummy or bitter? Store any leftovers in a silicone ziplock bag and enjoy the guessing game yourself later in the week.
Better yet (and to avoid unnecessary allergens) consider opting for non-edible tricks and treats instead. Do you have old children’s books your kids no longer read? Teddybears? Toy cars? Mix those in with some ‘tricks’ like clementines, bananas (even though we see those as treats, too!) or even odd socks to keep things exciting.
Entertain with eco-friendly craft kits
When is there a better time to enjoy a spot of crafting than a holiday? Here at Eco Ness, we’re always looking for fun ways to keep the whole family entertained without creating damage to the environment, and these craft kits are the perfect activity for those dreary autumn evenings.
Try a Skeleton or Bat Keyring craft kit from Cotton Twist that uses sustainable wood, thread and beads. They come in recyclable packaging and with their own printed instructions so they’re perfect for ages 3 and above. Clip onto Halloween outfits or if you’re extra generous, give them away as treats to unsuspecting guests!
Speaking of outfits, why not try your hand at making a Bat Face Mask, too?
👻 NO. 3
Choose recyclable and biodegradable decor
It’s time to get crafty yourself here, adults! Halloween decorations needn’t end up in landfill, adding to the single-use threats to our planet.
Instead of choosing plastic based garlands, skeletons and other ghoulish decs, opt for items that can be reused year after year. Glass pumpkins, ceramic ghosts and wooden witches are all great options, but if you’re worried about your small ones knocking things over (we hear you!) paper and cardboard are your saviours.
Fancy recycling some of your home items into decorations? Try simple egg box bats, paint wooden pegs into characters or get creative with cleaned and dried glass jars. We love this clever ‘ghosts in a jar’ DIY from Landeelu that uses cheese cloth and wooden sticks.
Make the most of your pumpkin
Pumpkins have become synonymous with Halloween season, and it’s clear to see why. They’re versatile and fun to carve and look awesome on your doorstep with a candle inside. But, they come with a darkside.
According to research from Hubbub, the UK alone can waste up to 14.5 million pumpkins each year. We don’t know about you, but we just got chills. All of those pumpkins being used as a classic Jack O'Lantern and simply thrown away after the week is up. Let’s not forget that these supermarket pumpkins are still edible!
While we’re not suggesting you skip the carving, we will suggest that you don’t just discard the rest. Roast the seeds with salt and spices, throw the stringy bits into soup, and carve your pumpkin deeper so you still get the flesh to roast up and use in your favourite recipe.
We even love pumpkins just as they are uncarved, as decorations. But if you do decide to create a scary face and light a candle inside, be sure to dispose of your Jack sustainably afterwards by either composting it or donating it to a local animal shelter — our farmyard friends will love it.
Ditch the pre-made costumes
We don’t mean to frighten you, but around 7 million Halloween costumes get thrown away each year.
Instead of reaching for a pre-made, plastic-laden outfit that your little one (or you!) will only wear once, look for old clothes that you can revamp with a little creative accessorising.
Red lipstick like this one from Beauty Made Easy in the shade Ruby is ideal for a little vampire. Black eyeliner is great for drawing on spider webs or creating a smudgy pirate’s eye. Or Love The Planet’s Mineral Eyeshadow in Storm would be spot on for those wanting to be a mermaid for the night, mixed with a second-hand sparkly jacket.
Of all the creative ideas out there for a low waste Halloween look, this one from Hippie In Disguise has to be our favourite. Make a ‘Mother Nature’ dress out of the beautiful autumn leaves in your back garden. It’s fun, free and completely compostable once you’re done with it. Genius!
We’d love to hear all about what you’re up to this Halloween! Have you considered eco-alternatives for your ghostly essentials, or will you test out some of these simple swaps? Tag us in your sustainable snaps on Instagram, at @shop.econess!