For many of us Brits, the scariest thing about Halloween isn’t the ghosts and the goblins. Instead, it’s the amount of money we spend, and the amount of waste we produce.
When we enter the Halloween season, it’s fair to say words such as ‘ethical’ and ‘sustainable’ don’t immediately spring to mind. Yet, the popularity of Halloween continues to grow here in the UK, so a little education on how to make your Halloween more eco-friendly, could help make a real impact.
So, why not follow our handy guide below, and help make your Halloween greener than ever?:
1) Rent, or make your own costume:
Buying your single-use vampire costume each year can be a real pain in the neck, not just for you, but for the environment, too.
One of the largest carbon footprint producers at this time of year comes from the manufacturing of millions of poor-quality, mass-produced, Halloween costumes.
Instead, why not hire a costume from your local fancy dress shop. These shops offer a huge array of stand-out outfits, and are likely to be much better quality, too!
Making your own costume is also a great, eco-friendly idea. Our homes can be an Aladdin’s cave when it comes to finding old clothes from which to make a costume. So, why not see if it’s more than just skeletons lurking at the back of your closet this Halloween?
Alternatively, a quick visit to the charity shop, or car boot sale, can unearth some amazing DIY costume goodies! Not only can you find some bargains, but you’ll be re-using too, which is great!
2) Compost your pumpkins:
This Halloween, it’s estimated that £25.13 million will be spent on pumpkins, in the UK*. Unsurprisingly, £25 million can buy an awful lot of pumpkins, and as a result, there’s going to be a substantial amount of waste. So why not use Halloween as an excuse to start composting? (If you don’t already, of course!).
If we throw pumpkin waste straight into the unrecycled rubbish, it will most likely end up in landfill, which is never a good thing. In 2016, Halloween turned into a real-life horror story, as more than 5 million pumpkins ended up in landfill, the equivalent to 25Mkg of waste, or an astonishing 15,000 cars!
Composting your pumpkins will reduce the amount of waste we’re sending to landfill, whilst also acting as a natural fertiliser for your garden.
Also, as the leaves fall from the trees this autumn, signalling a wave goodbye to summer, it’s worth bearing in mind they can also be composted. Not only will this add to your composting pile, but it will help keep your garden/driveway safe and tidy, too!
3) Ensure decorations and party supplies are eco-chic:
Avoid non-biodegradable plastic decorations and why not check out your local vintage or charity shops, instead?
They’re often full of quirky Halloween classics, which can also be used outside of the spooky season, such as; lanterns, apothecary bottles, mirrors and dolls... all of which, with a bit of Halloween crafty creativity, are bound to get hearts racing!
Another option is to make your own Halloween decorations. Our humble abodes are often littered with items which can turn our home into a real house of horrors! Why not get crafty with old cardboard boxes (which would make a great tomb), old stockings (which could make a spooky spiders web), and white linen sheets (come on, you don’t need us to tell you they would make great ghosts!)
If you need a little more inspiration, take a look at these 42 cheap and easy ideas for DIY Halloween decorations.
4) If you’re having a party, lose the disposables!
Disposable cups and plates are a huge plight in the UK. Figures show that, in 2018, the amount of plastic waste produced equates to 5.2 million tons, raising to 6.3 million tons by 2030***, with Halloween only adding to the problem.
Over the course of this year’s spooky spell, one in four of us will be throwing our own Halloween party, splashing out an average of £104.57**** on party food, drinks and plenty of other goodies. So, it’s a good idea to avoid the disposables, and do our bit to stop that figure getting any higher.
Instead, try using biodegradable cups and plates, they do exactly the same job as regular disposable ones, but are much more environmentally friendly. Or, if you don’t mind a bit of washing up, why not stick to regular dishes and provide ‘spooky Halloween name stickers.’ This way, party-goers can keep a track of their plates and cups...and nothing ends up in landfill!
5) Save for Halloween, 2019!
Both for children and adults, Halloween can prove to be a hugely exciting time. However, it is often a very expensive time, too, not to mention the fast approaching festive period.
On average, Brits are going to spend in excess of £320 million this Halloween*****, and this figure is only set to rise. So, packing away all your Halloween costumes and decorations for next year can really help save you some pennies. This will mean your fright-fest shenanigans for 2019 will be ready and waiting in the loft, all you’ll need to do is prepare some goodies for trick or treaters... or risk facing a terrifying tirade of terribleness!
Happy Halloween, from all the Glasdon team!