Facts about the impact of Halloween on the environment and tips to make it more sustainable. Cut on the plastic!
As much as I love Halloween, I have to say, the idea of generating so much waste for a single day of fun scares me. The figures are scarry, did you know that: on average, every trick-or-treater will generate a minimum of 1lb. of waste over Halloween. An estimated 2,000 tones of plastic waste equivalent to 83 million bottles will be generated from throwaway Halloween clothing sold by leading retailers in the UK this year research suggests.
There are many way to be more sustainable with your pumpkin for Halloween.
Make sure you locally source your pumpkins
Do not add any paint or glitters or any chemical on them while carving and decorating them. This would stop you to compost them
Do not dispose your pumpkin in your general waste after Halloween. Important fact! When you do so, the pumpkin will end up in a landfill underneath lot of other trashes. In this scenario and without the proper amount of oxygen to decompose, the vegetable will generate a huge amount of Methane. And Methane is the second most prevalent green house gas and play and plays an important part in climate change. So the key word for the pumpkin is COMPOST, COMPOST, COMPOST! Dispose your used pumpkin in the compost bin or leave it somewhere in the countryside to rot and feed wild animals...
Learn more about how to recycle Pumpkins here: Fresh start waste service (UK)
Most of Halloween costumes are made of polyester which means plastic. When disposed, most of the costumes can not be recycled. You also have to think about the energy used to create all those costumes and masks... So, how can you limit the waste on the costumes?
Make a DIY costume with stuff you have at home. Look for black legging, black T-Shirt, hoodie... anything that will have been already worn or can be reused later. Keep cardboard from deliveries to create the perfect costume for and with your little one.
Ideas for DIY costumes:
20 Cute and easy costumes for your kids
Halloween costumes you can make at home
DIY Halloween costume for kids of all age
Choose second hand. Either you get it from a charity or second hand shop or from a family member or a friend. Try to get a second hand costume and when you kid is done with it, pass it to another child. And maybe, invite your little one to dress up more often during the year. Children love pretend play and disguise, so give them the opportunity to develop their imagination all year long
Trick or treat!
Trick or treat is a major part of Halloween Holiday for the little ones. But unfortunately, from disposable buckets to unrecyclable candy wraps, this part of the party is also harmful for the environment.
All plastics can now be place in the recycle bin in Ireland. So please, dispose sweets packaging responsibly. More information here: The Irish Times: "Household recycling upgrade accepts Soft Plastics"
Choose paper wrapped candies or treats when possible. Even if all plastics can be placed in the recycle bin, paper is still easier to recycle and uses less resources.
For trick or treat pick a reusable container. Wisely choose the buckets and avoid single use plastic. It can be a plastic bucket but then reuse it for a few years or you can think out the box and use a pillow case or a tot bag. You can even customise them.
Once again, limit the use of plastic stuff and avoid single use plastic. How?
Reduce, Reuse, Pass them on. Why not trade your old Halloween decorations with family and friends? Anyway, avoid single use decoration. Once you're done with your decorations, you can drop them at a charity shop or keep them safe for next year
Do not use fake spider web outside. Those fake spider webs, like the real one will trap little wildlife animals and insects. If it's ok and natural in real spider webs, it is not in the fake ones and this will disturb the eco-system.
In case you include lights in in your decorations, think about solar light. Your wallet will thank you
Use what you have at home and Do Them Yourself! Finally, you can find a lot of tutorial online to make great decoration with stuff you already have.
I love Halloween, even more since I live in Ireland and I really wish to pass on this love for the spooky season to my daughter. However, like for other holidays, I can not pretend I did not know and every year I tried to keep it as green as possible. It is really important for me but also, I think if we show the good example to our children, they will follow this pass more easily than us.
Thank you for reading this blog article, feel free to share it on your social media and we will publish soon a post with DIY decoration ideas. Happy Halloween everyone!