Halloween is a great time of year. It’s not technically winter, but for us it feels like it’s the start of festivities in the lead up to Christmas.
There is a downside to any holiday, though, and something we should be mindful of is waste. It’s estimated that 8 million pumpkins will be wasted this year and that’s in the UK alone. Considering North America is the poster child for Halloween, you can only imagine how much waste that equates to globally.
In five years, we’ve doubled our Halloween spending. Last year we spent £419 million on Halloween products, according to Statista. This covers everything from cheap throwaway costumes to giant pumpkins.
Here are some ways to enjoy Halloween is a more sustainable way this October and cut down on some of the waste the UK is producing.
Repurposing your pumpkin
I wrote a whole article about what you can do with the remnants of your pumpkin for Yahoo, so please go and give that a read for plenty of ideas.
There’s a main takeaway from this article though and that is that at the very least you must compost your pumpkins. When put in everyday waste, pumpkins let off environmentally harmful emissions. They take just two weeks to decompose so there’s really no reason not to put them in a composter or plant them underground in your garden.
Many local councils will also take your pumpkins away and dispose of them correctly.
Don’t throw costumes away
When it comes to fancy dress, we have a tendency to treat the clothes we buy in an entirely different way than we would treat our everyday clothes.
If you don’t think you’ll use the costume in its original form, it doesn’t mean it can’t be moulded into something else for next Halloween. Or, why not try doing a costume swap amongst your friends/child’s friends so you all get to wear something new each year.
In 2016, 40% of the 7 million costumes we threw out were only worn once, according to Hubbub.
If you don’t want to try swapping or repurposing your outfits, try picking up your costume from a second-hand shop. You’ll save yourself money as an added bonus.
For some reason, Halloween seems to bring out the worst in food manufacturers. Individually wrapped cupcakes and the sweets packed individually for the trick or treaters don’t help matters.
We like giving children sweets in old school paper bags. It’s just an alternative way to cut down on waste that might work for you.
It’s not forever, though: Nestle and Mars have pledged to make 100% of their packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.
Throwaway decorations are a thing of the past
Our favourite types of decoration right now are dried flowers. We have them everywhere. They look so great and you’ll be able to find flowers to match any colour theme during the year.
The best thing about these is that they can stay up all year round and don’t need to be thrown away one Halloween/Christmas/Easter is over.