Halloween is just around the corner! While Halloween is always a good excuse for a whole lot of fun and games, it usually produces a scary amount of waste. To avoid being too spooked out by your eco footprint this year, check out our green Halloween tips on how to celebrate the eco-friendly way.
1) Creative D-I-Y Decorating
Think outside the box – literally! You don’t need to buy any new decorations or order anything online. Instead, you can repurpose some old items that are no longer used or even collect leaves and branches outside. Worn out stockings with ladders or runs, for instance, can be upcycled as spider webbing. Old planters can be used to display carved lanterns and candles. And if you have any decorations from last year, why not reuse them?
2) Use The Whole Pumpkin
Carving jack-o-lanterns is a great family activity, but this fun-filled affair doesn’t need to come at the expense of generating food waste. Firstly, look for locally grown pumpkins that do not require being transported from long distances, which generates more carbon emissions. Secondly, don’t throw out the guts of the pumpkin – you can make tasty treats by roasting the pumpkin seeds and making puree, which you can then use in many seasonal recipes. Finally, when it’s time to get rid of your work of art, make sure to send your pumpkin to the compost.
3) Make Your Own Costumes
Time to put your designer hats on! Upcycle your preloved clothes or old fabrics you have at home, such as tablecloths, napkins and towels to construct your own costume. Use your worn down bedsheet as a cape, for example. Old pillowcases or even a bucket can be repurposed as a trick-or-treat bag. Dress all in black and add homemade ears to become a cat. A lion’s head is easily made from wool strands. Time to get creative!
CHECK OUT: Thrift Store Halloween Costume Ideas
4) Organise A Costume Swap Or Rent & Buy Secondhand
Many of us have old costumes shoved in the corner of our wardrobes, which eventually end up being tossed out and left to rot in a landfill or ocean. Why not organise a costume swap with your friends? If necessary, you can shop at thrift stores for additional items or rent from consignment platforms online instead of something buying new from retail you will only use for a few hours.
5) Avoid Plastic Props
Avoid non-recyclable and petroleum-based plastic and synthetic props at all costs. Not only does the manufacturing process of these materials use non-renewable energy sources, which generates greenhouse gases that drive global warming, it contaminates rivers, topsoil and waterways with hazardous crude oils and sludge. Plastic, even the recyclable kind, will eventually turn into an item of waste because it can only be reproduced to a lesser quality, and eventually, it finds it way in our oceans, rivers, rain, water and even food. Scary right?
6) Buy Non-Toxic & Packaging-Free Candies
Protect your kids’ and the planet’s health by choosing non-toxic Halloween candies that are free from high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin and artificial colourings and flavourings from zero-waste stores. Many bulk food stores offer packaging-free sweet treats that are vegan-friendly and contain only natural ingredients. Or opt for whole food snacks such as dried apricots, chocolate covered raisins and granola chunks. Don’t forget to you bring your own jar or container.
7) Make Your Own Healthy Treats
Not only will homemade treats be free from plastic (you can package them in paper wraps), you can make them much healthier. While typical store-bought treats might contain many preservatives, additives, refined sugars and dyes, you can use only natural ingredients in your own recipes. Beet juice, for example, can serve as an alternative to food dye, and maple syrup can be used as a sweetener. You can also swap out ingredients to make treats vegan-friendly too! Find some of our plant-based baking tips here.
8) Host A Zero-Waste Halloween Party
Finally, if you’re hosting a Halloween themed party, make sure it’s a zero waste one! Cut down on waste by avoiding single-use disposable cups, plates, cutlery and packaged snacks. You can easily use a marker to label regular dishes and cups you have at home, and serve with big bowls and plates. At the end, make sure all organic matter goes in the compost and other items are recycled and repurposed.
CHECK OUT: Inhabitat’s Zero Waste Halloween Party Guide
Lead image courtesy of Erbaviva.