Top tips for a sustainable Halloween

Forget mummies, ghosts and vampires! The most frightening thing about halloween is the amount of plastic and pumpkin waste the celebration generates.

With some 80% of Halloween merchandise made predominately of cheap plastics and an estimated 7 million costumes disposed of after October 31st, a scary amount of Halloween waste goes to landfill each year.

However, for those seeking to reduce their plastic clawprint and still enjoy a happy Halloween, there are plenty of ways to have a scarily good time.

Crafty costumes

Rather than buying new, you could buy a second hand costume online, or why not create your own from clothing brought from your local charity shop. Not only will you be helping the planet, you’ll be supporting a worthy cause too.

Do-it-yourself decorations

You don’t need to buy plastic pumpkins and bat bunting. With a little effort you could make your own decorations from reusable or recyclable materials. From bed sheet ghosts to egg-carton bats, a quick Google search will reveal a host of crafty eco-halloween decoration ideas.

Tricks with treats

Most sweets come wrapped and packaged in plastic. You could substitute these for foil wrapped treats or make your own if you’re holding a Halloween party. Trick-or-treat bags don’t have to be of the store-brought plastic variety, try getting children to decorate their own paper bags instead.

The problem with pumpkins

Of the 10 million pumpkins grown in the UK, 95% are produced just for Halloween and are grown for size not taste. This means that we have used natural resources to produce a potential food item that goes straight in the bin!

Search for cooking pumpkins on the shop shelves, which are not only tastier, they may be cheaper than their halloween branded cousins. A quick search online will again reveal many tasty pumpkin recipes such as pumpkin pie and pumpkin soup to use the scooped out innards of your edible halloween jack o'lantern.

Next year, why not start growing your own pumpkin in spring instead? They are easy to cultivate and great way of get children outside and engaging with the natural environment. 

Growing instructions from the RHS 

Compost your pumpkin

Don’t forget to compost your pumpkin too! Pumpkins are filled with nutrients and will be of great benefit to the garden. Mammals such as squirrels, deer and mice will also eat pumpkin, so you could leave it out first for the local wildlife to have a nibble.

Happy Halloween, we hope you have a spooktacular time!

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