Halloween is a bit of a contentious event for lots of reasons. Consumerism for single use plastic can be scarily high and the potential for waste can also be spookily worrying. Seriously though, it doesn’t have to be like that. Here are a few ideas for a Green Halloween that hopefully will encourage sustainability and creativity!
The Humble Halloween Pumpkin
In an online article at Global Citizen in October two years ago, authors James Hitchings-Hales and Pia Gralki brought to our attention that here in the UK, we were set to buy 24 million pumpkins. That in itself is pretty staggering but if you then think that they outlined that OVER HALF, that’s over 12.8 million would be thrown away, the facts get really frightening.
The tragic thing is that pumpkins are a wonderful, versatile, seasonal vegetable. The way they have become in a way, part of our throwaway society is nothing less than shameful.
So where is the good news? Well, there is plenty you can do to have a low impact Halloween. Check out the brilliant #plantyou account on Instagram. Carleigh Bodrug, the bestselling author, has a grid filled with brilliant ideas of how to cook with every bit of your pumpkin! Ever tried roasting pumpkin seeds or pumpkin cheesecake? Now is your chance! Google pumpkin scones, pumpkin chutney and pumpkin spice cupcakes for more ideas.
Recycle your Pumpkin
Don’t forget to compost any leftover bits after you have enjoyed your pumpkin jack-o-lantern. If you don’t have a compost bin or pile, check your local recycling centre, nearby farms, or community centres to see if they collect old pumpkins for composting.
A Sustainable Halloween
A happy Green Halloween also doesn’t mean tonnes of plastic spiders and throw away costumes. At our local school for example, seasonal costumes such as Halloween outfits or Christmas jumpers are collected every year and brought out for second hand sales. The money raised goes to the school’s Parents Teachers Association which feeds the virtuous circle. So, if you do buy new, you can do your bit for a green Halloween and make sure the purchases are used again and again. The more these types of sales become the norm, the less the stigma attached to preloved will be.
If you want to create your own costume well, nothing wrong in the old classic: the white sheet. Charity shops usually have a store of preloved items as well which you can purchase then re-donate. The humble toilet roll can make a brilliant bandage – try to buy recycled if you can.
Try going out and collecting leaves and twigs to make a Halloween wreath. It is simple and fun and won’t cost an arm and a leg! Halloween cookies can be baked, decorated and given out in packaging that can be curbside-recycled or reused such as paper bags.
Just by typing #greenhalloween into Instagram will bring up loads of sustainable ideas for an eco-friendly Halloween.
Have a fun Green Halloween!!!!