6 Simple Tips For An Eco-Friendly Halloween

Many holidays create a lot of unnecessary waste, and Halloween is no exception. From plastic sweet wrappers to leftover pumpkins, it’s fair to say that many of us could be doing more to cut down on waste and protect the environment.

But can Halloween ever become an eco-friendly holiday? With a few simple swaps and a big mindset change, it’s definitely possible.

How To Go Eco-Friendly This Halloween:

1. Go For Plastic-free Treats!

Many individual sweets in the shops are wrapped in plastic. And sure, this might seem easier for the consumer, but it’s not great for the environment.

To cut back on waste, you have a couple of options. You can buy a big plastic bag of assorted sweets (with no individual plastic wrappers) and hand these outs to trick or treaters loose. There will be some plastic waste, but this is better than loads of individual wrappers.

The other option is to buy pick and mix from an old-fashioned sweet shop. Many shops have paper bags instead of plastic, so this dramatically cuts back on waste. Or alternatively, you can take your own paper bag or large glass jar and have that filled instead.

If you are giving out sweets only to family members or friends, you can simply fill up old glass jars and tie a piece of twine or old ribbon around it. This is low effort and makes the perfect Halloween gift!

2. Use Up All Of The Pumpkin

One of the worst things about Halloween is how many pumpkins go to waste. In fact, research shows that approximately 8 million pumpkins will be tossed in the bin, generating tons of waste. Why does this happen? Well, it’s largely due to the fact that many consumers buy pumpkins for carving, and not to eat.

The best solution is to use the leftover pumpkin in a recipe. There are many dishes that can be added to. Here are some ideas:

There are many other recipe ideas online to choose from. If you’re not a fan of the taste of pumpkin, mixing it with other vegetables and blending it into a soup or adding it to a cake is your best bet. The flavour will likely be concealed by all of the other flavours going on.

If you’re not used to cooking or baking or you’re unable to use your pumpkin, you can ask friends or family members if they need it. Alternatively, you can list it for free on Olio, which is a food sharing app that helps you cut back on waste and lands your neighbour a fab freebie.

If all else fails, you can put your leftover pumpkin in the compost or a food waste bin.

Pumpkin soup in an open glass jar with a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds on top.
Via Pixabay

3. Shop Second-hand For Costumes

The main issue with Halloween costumes is they are often made from synthetic fibers and arrive packaged in plastic. Both of which have negative consequences for the environment.

What’s more is that Halloween costumes are often only worn once or twice. As children grow, these costumes will often be thrown out to make way for next year’s costume. This generates a lot of waste!

You can work around this by shopping second-hand. Charity shops, eBay, Vinted, Depop and other marketplaces are great places to find costumes, masks and accessories. By shopping around, you can usually find exactly what you need; just make sure you don’t leave it until the last minute!

If you do run out of time, you can ask neighbours or friends if they have any old costumes that you could borrow. Or you can get creative and try making your own. This article has some tips and ideas for last-minute costume ideas by using things that you already own and upcycling.

4. Make Your Own Decorations

Halloween decorations are part of the holiday fun, but we can’t ignore the impact it has on the planet. Firstly, many decorations are made from plastic. Secondly, many decorations get thrown away each year after they’ve served their purpose.

If you’re in need of some decorations this year, why don’t you try turning it into a crafting session? This can be fun if you have children or younger siblings.

If you or your children are artistic, you can try drawing some bats, skulls and ghosts on card or paper, cut them out, make a small hole in the top, thread a string through them and hang it up along the wall.

Alternatively, you can make your own potions using a glass jar and adding food colouring, plastic bugs or spiders or anything else that will give it a “spooky” feel.

This article has many other ideas, many of which involve using what you already have at home or things you can borrow.

5. Prepare Your Own Food

If you’re throwing a Halloween party, you’ll probably need some food. Most people want Halloween-themed sweet treats and various finger foods for their party.

A lot of prepared foods come wrapped in plastic, most of which won’t be recyclable. So, if you’re buying a lot of food, you can expect a lot of waste.

You can work around this by looking for food with the least amount of packaging possible. Opt for tins, glass and cardboard packaging instead.

Alternatively, if you like to cook or bake, then this is a great opportunity for you to get creative and show off your skills in the kitchen.

BBC Good Food have many recipes on their website, ranging from cookies to cake pops to cheesecake. It doesn’t have to be boring or daunting; see if you can get an extra pair of hands to help!

Most children love to bake Halloween-themed treats, so it can be a great activity for them, too. While you’re at it, it’s a great time to explain to them the benefits of an eco-friendly Halloween, so they can understand how their small actions can make a difference.

6. Reuse What You Have

Honestly, it doesn’t make any sense to throw out decorations every year to make way for new ones. You should love and cherish your decorations year in and year out.

The best way to be eco-friendly this Halloween is to take good care of what you already own and appreciate them for the happiness they bring you and your loved ones.

Lastly, remember to enjoy the holiday, however you decide to celebrate!

Hello! Welcome to Eco Cozza, a website all about living sustainably, slowly, and intentionally. I'm passionate about reducing waste, plastic and harmful chemicals in my everyday life.

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