Eco-friendly halloween ideas to try at home

Looking to green up your Halloween celebrations and make them more eco-friendly? The popular autumn holiday is responsible for a scary amount of food and plastic waste each year.

Here, we’ve put together some tips for making your Halloween festivities more eco-friendly.

Easy changes for a more eco-friendly Halloween

Make the most of your pumpkin

Researchers estimate that 12.8 million Halloween pumpkins are sent to the landfill each year, making your Jack-O’-Lantern a great place to start when looking to reduce waste.

Carving pumpkins aren’t just decorative, they’re also edible! Pumpkin meat is perfect for seasonal recipes like roasted pumpkin and chilli soup or spiced pumpkin and carrot loaf, and toasting the seeds makes for a deliciously nutritious snack. Anything leftover can be used as bird feed or composted.

Buying your pumpkin locally will also reduce water and carbon emissions. For a fun family day out, many farms even let you come along to pick out your own from the patch.

Waste-free costumes

According to a 2019 report, Halloween costumes contributed around 2,000 tons of plastic waste last year. For those wanting a greener holiday, avoiding single-use clothing and accessories is key.

Thankfully, there are countless other ways to source an outfit for the spooky season!

Browsing your pre-existing wardrobe is undoubtedly the most sustainable option. Why not have a family competition and see who can make the best costume from what’s already in their closet? Get creative and DIY items you no longer use.

DIY applies to accessories too. Instead of buying plastic props, try making them from spare household cardboard or construction paper.

Sharing is caring when it comes to costumes. Pooling closets with your household will yield even more fresh pieces – and you can even dress up as each other! If that’s not possible, then buying second-hand or renting from a Halloween shop are also great options.

It’s also worth paying attention to what you wear on your face. Some Halloween makeup can be detrimental to the environment when washed down the drain. If you’re planning to use glitter, opt for one that’s certified biodegradable and microplastic-free. Likewise, if face paint is on the agenda, go for a natural and non-toxic option.

How to make witches and wizard hats:

  • 2 sheets of black or purple A1 size thick paper or card
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • PVA glue

Method

  1. Measure the circumference of your/your child’s head. Then draw one circle and one semi-circle with a diameter the same as the circumference measurement on the card, then cut them out.
  2. Twist the semi-circle to create a cone, with the base slightly larger than the circumference of your/your child’s head and glue in place.
  3. Once dry, snip one inch cuts approx. one inch apart around the base of the cone to create small flaps around the edge and bend inwards. Then position the cone in the centre of the circular piece of card and draw around it to create a second circle.
  4. Cut away the second circle to leave a hole in the centre of the circular card. This will be the brim of the hat. Bend the flaps of the cone outwards and place the brim over the top of the cone and glue the flaps to the underneath to hold it in place.

Feel good sweets

Trick-or-treating typically means a surplus of sugary candies wrapped in excessive plastic packaging. However, parents can take control this year, with most Halloween celebrations happening at home.

Doisy and Dam offers a fantastic range of fun yet conscientious dark chocolate treats perfect for the whole family. The brand is a certified B-Corp Company and proudly palm oil free, with cocoa sourced ethically from Columbia. Its classic shapes are ideal for kids likely to miss more mainstream brands, and parents wanting to retain an element of surprise can choose a Mystery Box, available in two sizes.

The Conscious Candy Company’s vegan pick-and-mix is another great alternative to trick-or-treating. The 1kg pouches are made from sustainable plant cellulose and soy ink, meaning they can be safely thrown away with general rubbish or composted. Orders are delivered to your door, with locals to the HQ Warehouse in Plymouth free to collect theirs direct should they wish.

Down with disposable decorations

Steering clear of foil and plastic decorations is an excellent way to ensure your home is more eco-friendly this Halloween.

Instead, why not spend the next rainy day creating your own décor with the kids? Homemade decorations can be easily wrought from leftover cardboard boxes or rolls – just add paints and scissors.

For a more grown-up autumnal look, dried fruit slices and pressed flowers can be made into ornaments too.

Choosing items you can reuse year after year is also a great option if you’re too short of time to make your own. Decorations made from naturally-derived materials, such as paper garlands or crochet pumpkins, add a kitsch yet sustainable touch of Halloween.

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Words: Tilly Alexander