Halloween is one of the largest spending holidays in the UK, with Brits forking out almost £500 million each year on costumes, decorations, and party supplies that mostly go to waste after one use. Now that’s frightening!
However, you can limit your impact on the environment by reducing waste and being more sustainable following these simple, yet effective tips:
1. Use resell apps to find costumes
Buying clothes from apps such as Depop and Vinted will give preloved clothes, that would have ended up as waste, a new life. It is a cheaper alternative to buying new clothes and will reduce the usage of the fast fashion industry.
You can sign up to Depop here: https://signup.depop.com/
2. Walk to local shops to buy Halloween supplies
If you would rather have new clothes to wear for Halloween, or are planning to decorate for a house party, walking to a local shopping area will help reduce your carbon footprint.
The Royal Mail produces roughly 181g of carbon dioxide after posting 1.2 billion parcels each year. So, although ordering from online retailers may be an easier option, supporting local businesses will greatly reduce the amount of carbon put into the atmosphere from parcel deliveries.
3. Rent a costume
Instead of spending lots of money on a one-time costume, renting a Halloween outfit will allow you to go all out, without the heavy cost. Doing this will also help with storage space and reduce the amount of waste kept in the home.
Websites such as Mad Hatters Fancy Dress deliver your rented costume to your door:
4. Share with family and friends
Raiding your friends’ wardrobe will not only cost you anything, but it will allow you to piece together a last-minute costume. You are likely to find a lot of items you want, which they will already own, and vice versa!
5. Buy locally-grown, organic pumpkins
Many of the pumpkins grown in the UK at supermarkets have traveled far and need to be long-lasting. Therefore, pesticides are used to help preserve them for longer, which can cause great damage to ecosystems and local wildlife habitats.
Try visiting a nearby farm, and you can turn it into a fun activity by going pumpkin picking with friends and family. Screveton eco-farm, in NG13, is a great place in the outskirts of Nottingham to get eco-friendly pumpkins this Halloween.
6. Turn pumpkin carving leftovers into tasty treats
14.5 million pumpkins are expected to go to waste this year after Halloween. However, you can recycle your leftovers into many autumnal recipes. Lasagna, cakes, pies, soups and lattes are some examples of what your pumpkin can become.
Find the top 20 pumpkin recipes here on BBC Good Food:
7. Hand out organic and fairtrade goodies to trick-or-treaters
Although it can be pricey, considering more sustainable options for your Halloween treats allows for farmers to be paid a fair amount for their work and stops them from being exploited.
Malteasers are a great way to incorporate this into Halloween with their multipack treat-size fairtrade bags. They also have less single-use plastic packaging than individually wrapped chocolates, which reduces the amount of excess waste.
You can buy a nine fun-size pack for £1.50 from Tesco, in-store or online here:
8. Paper cups over plastic
While disposable cups will help preserve the water that would be used for washing up after a party, opting for paper cups over the notorious red plastic ones is a far more sustainable option. This is because they are biodegradable, and will therefore break down a lot quicker without harming the environment. It will also reduce the amount of plastic sent to landfill sites which can take years to break down.
You can buy a 12 pack for £1.50 at Asda, in-store or online here:
9. Buy reusable decorations
Not only is this more cost-effective, but reusable Halloween garlands and decorative structures will also reduce the amount of single-use plastic and waste. You can upcycle ones you have had over the years to give them a new burst of life, or even make your own from materials you can find in your rubbish bin as a fun, pre-Halloween activity!
10. Choose battery-operated LED or solar-powered lights
Halloween light decorations are always a favorite at parties. However, this year, why not try using solar-powered lights? They use renewable energy, which will reduce the amount of electricity compared to a mains plug, as well as keep energy bills down.
With all these spooky and sustainable ways to celebrate Halloween, you will have a ghoul of a time!
By Eleanor Lawrence
Featured image: Unsplash