An Eco-Friendly Halloween

An Eco-Friendly Halloween

Despite originating from the British Isles, Halloween in the UK is generally considered an American holiday for children. As a result, we don't celebrate as much. Halloween is seen as being too commercialised and "un-British," leading to many people opting out altogether. Although pumpkin carving remains incredibly popular.

In Britain, we carve 24 million pumpkins for Halloween. But more than half of the UK don't realise the scooped out pulp and seeds can be eaten. 12 million pumpkins end up in landfill, rather than a compost bin.

It's not just food that's thrown away during Halloween. 2,000 tonnes of waste is generated by non-recyclable plastic costumes, with 7 million Halloween costumes being thrown away instead of reused the following year.

If you're keen to enjoy traditional Halloween celebrations, from carving pumpkins to trick or treating, without the waste; this is how you can have an eco-friendly Halloween this year. It's one of my favourite holidays, and the traditional festivities of Samhain are perfect for adults who enjoy simple living.

Plastic-Free Halloween Decorations

Traditionally, decorations for Samhain would involve building an altar to honour our ancestors. The altar would typically include end of season crops, like apples and pumpkins.

If you want to decorate your home for Halloween in an eco-friendly way, stick with tradition. Natural candles, foraged foliage, and seasonal fruits and vegetables will look beautiful in your home, complimenting the season and honouring tradition. Just avoid buying plastic decorations that can't be recycled or reused.

The most tradition Halloween pastime is carving a pumpkin or neep lantern to ward away ghostly spirits. Buy locally, and save the innards to eat to avoid wasting food. Once Halloween is over, either put the lantern on the compost heap or put it outside for wildlife to eat.

To use up the innards, follow this recipe for toasted pumpkin seeds and pumpkin soup to use every part of the pumpkin up. Other decorations can be foraged or made using recyclables, like this simple DIY wreath that will last all winter.

An Eco-Friendly Halloween

Sustainable Halloween Costumes

Trick-or-treating in costumes comes from the tradition of mumming or guising, where people wore homemade costumes with masks to disguise themselves. They'd go from house to house, putting on a small performance in the hopes of being rewarded with treats.

This seasonal masquerading remains a popular Halloween pastime but unfortunately the dressing up has become a huge problem. To avoid adding to the 2,000 tonnes of waste caused by non-recyclable costumes, make your own or buy one second-hand.

Use the clothes you already have, and if you're missing something; ask friends or family if you can borrow it. Check out local charity shops, thrift stores, and online marketplaces too, especially if you want to get your familiar involved.

Pet costumes often get donated, and you'll most likely find exactly what you need second-hand. If you want something very specific, try a DIY Halloween costume using recyclables.

Plant-Based Halloween Treats

Traditional Halloween treats would have been homemade from seasonal crops, like parsnips, kale, leek, squashes, and pumpkins. As well as fruits including apples, cranberries, and pomegranate. Seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg, sage, rosemary, and garlic.

To celebrate Halloween at home, you could make pumpkin soup or ginger bread. But to feed the trick-or-treaters you might want something sweeter.

Avoid the big brand sweet manufacturers who not only wrap their treats in non-recyclable packaging, they also have a terrible impact on the environment. Look for plant-based, plastic-free alternatives.

You could make your own traditional soul cakes or Halloween-themed biscuits to give to friends and family. Don't have time or want something for the ghouls that come knocking? Buy pick'n'mix sweets in bulk to avoid waste and save money.

Eco-Friendly Halloween Activities

There are so many ways to embrace the spooky season without causing any unnecessary waste or leaving an impact on the planet, especially as an adult. Since Samhain was about celebrating the end of the harvest season, Halloween is a good time to appreciate nature.

Enjoy Autumn activities, like harvest festivals, craft markets, bonfires, and other local events. Local events in community spaces often put on family-friendly Halloween celebrations.

If you prefer child-free entertainment, these Halloween activities for adults include everything from ghost walks and museum tours, to pumpkin carving and video games. If you're hosting, plan waste-free celebrations by having a zero waste party.

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An Eco-Friendly Halloween An Eco-Friendly Halloween