Making Halloween less scary for the environment

Halloween is here again and with it comes a chance to think twice about the impact we make on the environment. As the shops fill up with decorations, costumes and trick or treat sweets, it’s easy to forgot how much waste is created. Here are a few spooky tips to ensure a more environmentally-friendly Halloween this year.

Eat the flesh!

Halloween pumpkinPumpkin carving and pumpkin patches are growing in popularity. The internet means there is endless inspiration out there if you want something different from the simple scary faces from your childhood. Unfortunately a lot of families simply scoop out the pumpkin flesh and throw it away along with the seeds. Granted, carving pumpkins aren’t the tastiest variety but they are still edible. We’d encourage you to try your hand at making something with the left over pulp. If pumpkin pie doesn’t appeal, what about adding it to vegetable soup? BBC Good Food have a full page of pumpkin recipes.

You can also get crafty with the seeds.  Wash them, allow them to dry out then get creative. From basic craft ideas to creating a simple music shaker, there are lots of ways to use the pumpkin seeds. This video has some cool ideas for making basic instruments.  And don’t forget, once the celebrations are over your decaying pumpkin can be composted with your regular kitchen waste.

Kill the single-use plastic

If you’re hosting a kids’ party it can be tempting to buy some cute disposable Halloween-themed partyware to make the table look the part. It also reduces the risk of breakages! There is another way, though. Invest in some good-quality plastic or bamboo Halloween partyware that can be used time and time again. Even better, keep it plain so it can be used for picnics and other parties throughout the year, too. Not only will you have a more environmentally-friendly Halloween, other events will be too!

Dogs dressed as ghostsResurrect the ghosts of Halloweens past

It’s tempting to buy new Halloween decorations and costumes every year, especially when there are great ones on offer. However, most of them will end up in landfill if thrown away as they are made from cheap fabric or plastic. Our suggestion? If you like decorating your house for Halloween, buy some decorations that you love and store them safely for next year. Similarly, a costume doesn’t need to be new or shop-bought to be effective. Looking for a costume for a baby? Pick a babygrow costume so they can wear it to bed for weeks rather than just on Halloween itself.

The internet is full of amazing ideas for cheap or free outfits. Some suggestions?  A zombie librarian, a bat costume made from a broken black umbrella, a raining men costume, a good old ghost, a spy or an Instagram filter- you just need a large cardboard frame and some make-up/face paint!

Have you any tips we’ve missed for a less scary Halloween?