Green Halloween Guide: Halloween is almost upon us as we begin to revel in a myriad of spooky activities from pumpkin carving right through to trick-or-treating. Yet in amidst all the fun befalls a scary reality: waste, waste and more waste!
The spooky season encourages colossal spending as the National Retail Federation expect US consumers to splurge $10.14 billion on cheap, single-use Halloween-related items such as sweets, fancy dress, decorations, pumpkins and much more. A 2019 UK study by environmental charity Hubbub and family nature charity Fairyland Trust found 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste –comparable to 83 million bottles – is generated from Halloween clothing alone. The same study revealed 83% of Halloween costumes are made from oil-based plastics which can only lead to terrifying environmental consequences.
So, here are some simple, and cost-effective, tips to help you have a chillingly green Halloween!
5 Tips for a Green Halloween
- Recycle Your Pumpkin
Soups, pies, planters and even composting – there are so many ways you can ensure your Jack-O-Lantern won’t go to waste! Rather than buying your pumpkin from big supermarket chains, go to your local farmers market or plan a fun day out at your nearest “Pick Your Own Pumpkin” patch.
- Preloved Costumes
Instead of buying synthetic fast-fashion Halloween outfits manufactured under unethical working conditions, why not browse some second-hand clothing stores, swap with a friend or reuse what you already own?
- Plastic Free Halloween Party
Swap out plastic plates and cups for reusable or biodegradable ones. Make decorations from natural and recyclable materials – we’re thinking cardboard tombstones and fabric pumpkin garlands. If you are short on time, buy good quality decorations that you can use again and again!
- Toxic-Free Face Paint and Biodegradable Glitter
Some face paints can contain heavy metals and toxic chemicals. Similarly, most face glitters tend to be made of polluting plastics. There are plenty of non-toxic face paints and biodegradable glitters out there. You could even try making your own fake blood if you are feeling particularly ghoulish!
- Sustainable Sweet Treats
As most Halloween sweets are wrapped in unrecyclable single-use plastic, why not make your own deliciously spooky treats?
If baking isn’t your jam, buy sweets that are cruelty-free, palm oil free and hold a sustainable certification e.g. Fair Trade Certified, FSC or The Vegan Trademark. Mainstream Halloween sweets made by companies such as Cadbury’s, Nestlé and Mars often support unsustainable palm oil and cocoa farming practices that are unequivocally linked to illegal deforestation and child slavery.
What are your sustainable top tips this Halloween? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments section below!