9 Ways to have an Eco-Friendly Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner and we have some tips and tricks for you to welcome the spooky holiday sustainably!

Did you know that an estimated 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated from Halloween costumes alone? So steering away from single-use plastics is a great place to start.

Halloween is quickly joining Christmas as one of the most expensive and consumptionist holidays which we celebrate. Halloween doesn't need to be centered on over consumption of sugar filled treats and mass buying of tacky plastic decorations. There's no reason why Halloween can’t be a holiday celebrated with friends and family in an eco-friendly manner.

9 ways to have eco friendly Halloween

We love the philosophy of “Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle, Rot” and think it's a great take on how to handle Halloween this year.

  • Refuse – do not buy something just for the sake of it.
  • Reduce – try to reduce your consumption or buy things that use less packaging.
  • Reuse – whenever you can, reuse something you already own, or make sure that what you buy can be reused in the future.
  • Repurpose – most things in life can be repurposed! This could be as easy as passing on items to family or friends or donating to charity. 
  • Recycle – always recycle. Once something no longer serves you any purpose try to recycle this even if it means going out of your way to drop at specific recycling centres. 
  • Rot – not everything is recyclable, but things that aren’t recyclable, such as food waste, can be composted instead!

Before you read any further, have you thought about offsetting your businesses’ products or services with solutions for sustainability? Visit Gone West’s Carbon Footprint Offsetting page to learn all you need to know about the services we offer.

Anyway, let's get into the 9 ways to be more eco-friendly this halloween...

Eco - Friendly Decor

Eco-friendly Halloween decoration

Single-use plastic Halloween decorations and packaging are a frightening problem that we face each Autumn. Not only are most of these products wasteful, but some are impossible to recycle. Things such as cobwebs, character wall hangings, and plastic cauldrons aren’t recyclable at all. Unless these are used throughout the years, (which never normally happens as these items are usually cheap and ‘annoying to repackage’) people will simply opt to repeatedly throw away items every year once the annual spooky festivities come to an end and then rebuy the year after.

Alternatively, this year you can choose to buy/invest in eco-friendly halloween decor. It's simple things you can keep in mind when buying decorations. When buying lights, always check if these are LED lights or use energy saving bulbs. Or you could even use candles and jack-o-lanterns to light up your home. This ensures lower carbon emissions. As well as that, always try to use soy or beeswax, as these are biodegradable products!

But don't go rushing to throw away what you already have to purchase eco-friendly products, reuse them! Halloween trends rarely change, so as tempting as the new decorations are, try to upcycle the items you have. Sure, you can treat yourself to a new decor item each year, but only if you feel that you will get a good few years use out of them!

Travel

One other eco-friendly way to celebrate Halloween is to throw a party at home or take the kids trick-or-treating. Make sure you do this in your local area so you can walk instead of driving. This eliminates the need for cars! It is not only greener than driving further afield, but better for everyone! This is because you are getting some fresh air and exercise.

While we are on the subject of how being in nature can benefit us, why not check out our Complete British Nature Guide to find out more.

Now, we know not everyone can be within walking distance of family and friends, and that not everyone can throw their own halloween party, so another option to go greener is to car share! Set up and organise ride sharing with your children and friends to the party.

Halloween Candy

Halloween candies

What would Halloween be without sugar crazed kids wanting some sweet treats? Ideally fruit would be a great eco-friendly, healthy option to give, but we know this could put quite the damper on halloween…. However, there is still a way to have an eco-friendly halloween. You can simply purchase chocolate and candy that has eco-friendly packaging or supports things such as fairtrade. 

You could also purchase some vegetarian or vegan sweets in an attempt to be more sustainable. These are normally more eco-friendly because they have a lower carbon footprint. This is because they don't contain animal products. This is also a great way to be friendly towards trick-or-treaters with dietary restrictions. Alternatively, you could do some home baking! This can help cut the costs and plastic use! Check out some of these recipes from Country Living you can whip up this halloween.

Enjoying the article? Why not check out our blog page for more of our great articles. They range from tips and tricks to sustainably travel and small businesses to support!

Use Reusable Straws at your Halloween Party!

If you are reading this article, we can assume you are trying to be more eco-friendly. So, you must have heard of the massive plastic straw movement, which resulted in numerous countries enacting legal action to ban the use of plastic straws used in the hospitality industry. So, it's only right to follow suit and ban the use of plastic straws at your party! This event couldn't be more suited as there are so many reusable fun straws you can use in your Halloween concoctions; skeleton or eyeball straws can add that extra scare factor to your party. Or you can simply buy recyclable halloween themed paper straws for a cheaper option.

Go Pumpkin Picking!

Pumpkin field

A trip to the pumpkin patch is an Autumn favourite, with some pumpkin patches opening as early as the start of September. Pumpkin picking is normally hailed as an American favorite, but this culture has certainly been picked up in the UK, with an increase in popularity throughout the years here. It's normally on everyones to-do list when halloween is around the corner. 

We are advocates for taking a trip to your local pumpkin patch, as it has many benefits.

  1. It helps minimize your carbon footprint as you are within walking/commuting distance. 
  2. It helps support local business and local farmers
  3. It decreases the demand from big stores like Tesco and Asda, who exploit farmers and undercut them for prices to offer you the cheapest pumpkins.

Superstores are normally locked in price wars to gain the most customers, and a lot of the time you will find that supply is above demand and I'm pretty sure you have probably seen a bunch of rotting pumpkins left in your local supermarkets towards the end of the festivities…

 Use every part of your pumpkin

Now, we talked before about going out pumpkin picking, and we are sure most of you will be carving the shell out to create some spooky jack-o-lanterns. But not a lot of people use their pumpkins for anything more than decoration. Ideally you would use the inside of these pumpkins to bake or cook as well! We know some people can be intimated to use pumpkin in cooking, but there are a lot of great recipes in which you can use it.

The flesh of the pumpkin can be made use of for a lovely soup, pumpkin pie, or in cookies. Pumpkin belongs in any baked good, and can make for a lovely autumn treat. Not only can the flesh be used, but also the seeds! You can roast these and make them into delicious pumpkin seed snacks. All you will need are the seeds, some seasoning, and an oven or airfryer! That way you can be sure you got the most out of your pumpkin.

Though not every pumpkin will taste great for every dish, so check out the guys at The Spruce who have made an easy guide for you to help pick out the best pumpkin for your needs.

Zero Waste Halloween Costumes

Unless you are a die hard outfit repeater, more than likely each year you are going to be thinking of and finding the perfect costume to wear for halloween. It's part of the Halloween fun! However, whether it be a spooky favorite or your new favourite movie character, you are most likely to be purchasing this costume and spending quite a lot of money on it. As we know, full outfits can set you back quite a bit... Just for an outfit you will wear once for an evening! So we recommend ‘DIYing’ your outfit instead of buying it! You can do this simply by routing through yours and your household wardrobes for clothes/material to make your own.

Yes, it might take some time and effort and a little bit of money for the little things, but we still believe it is better than spending money on costumes that could potentially hurt the environment. It doesn't stop there, you could then sell your creation and put the money towards next year, or give it to a friend, or donate it so it doesn't just end up in landfill.

Forage for a Wreath

You know autumn is in full swing already (it feels like once August ends we automatically swing our minds to Halloween and Christmas). So you have probably seen people already buying and setting up autumn wreaths. These are normally filled with spectacular looking leaves with acorns and branches. You can usually find these in the store. Some can be cheap as they are normally made using plastic and are coated in glitter, which is harmful for our oceans, however you can actually go out yourself in your local park/woodland or even garden (depending on what you have).

This will cost you absolutely nothing! Not only is this free but you will then be avoiding consuming more plastics to what will eventually end up in landfill when Autumn is over. Check out this great article  on how to create your own foraged wreath or similarly how to DIY different eco friendly eco wreaths.

Plan Your Party

Haunted house

If you’re throwing a party, try to avoid using as much waste and plastics as possible. If you don’t have enough of your own plates and glasses, don’t be tempted into buying party plates and cups. Consider buying cheap sets from charity shops or not even sets for the matter, different sets can make for a quirkier party! You could even consider asking friends and family to lend some of their extras. Even ask party goers to come bearing their own cup, this would also ensure no one's glasses get mixed up that night!

If drinking is involved there’s sure to be a lot of waste so be sure to set out recycling trash bags in advance for all the recyclables. To ensure there’s no needless food waste, try to plan out how much food there needs to be. However, if there are still leftovers at the end of the night, make sure that you send each guest home with a goody bag!

There are going to be more people in your household, so it will naturally be warmer. You should turn your thermostat down by just one degree while the party is on. Data from Uswitch.com suggests that two in three households in the U.K. are setting their heating at over 20°C, but by lowering just one degree lower can help you save money and help reach climate change targets.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our How to Have an Eco-friendly Halloween Blog post, and you go on to become more sustainable this Halloween. To keep up with us on our forestation journey be sure to follow our Instagram and subscribe to our monthly newsletter for updates.

 We hope you enjoy the festivities, Happy Halloween!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published