Across the world, Halloween is looking a little different this year thanks to rising Covid cases and tightening lockdown restrictions. Trick-or-treating is more or less off the cards, costume parties have gone virtual, and parents are scrambling to make things festive for their little ones indoors. Before passing this year off as a miss though, perhaps it can be seen as an opportunity to revamp your celebrations, and make this your most sustainable Halloween yet.
Over the course of lockdown, we’ve seen a mass reprioritisation, with many embracing the more minimalist lifestyle they’ve been forced into. A shift towards sustainability could be the lemonade to be made from Covid’s metaphorical lemons. More and more people are considering the environmental impacts of what they eat, wear, and buy. A global push towards reducing carbon emissions means the trend could continue to grow.
On the other hand, the UK still has a huge problem when it comes to consumerist waste. Fast fashion, plastic wrappings, and other environmental strains that offer shoppers convenience and short-term financial gains are still as prevalent as ever.
Considering Halloween is one of the most wasteful holidays of the year, it could be a good place to start your sustainable journey. Here are 7 fun ideas to make your Halloween so sustainable it’s spooky, from compostable decorations to energy-saving tips.
- Decorate your home with things that can be composted like pumpkins, gourds, apples and leaves. Try to buy your pumpkins locally, and when decorating choose to carve instead of painting – this way you can compost your pumpkin instead of sending it to a landfill. Then make sure to compost anything decorative you can’t turn into a pie.
- When it comes to lighting, create spooky mood lighting by lighting candles and dimming or turning off the lights. This way you’re saving electricity – and creating the perfect ambience for ghost stories.
- Another energy saving tip is turning down the heat and cuddling up under all your cosiest blankets for a Halloween movie marathon. If you have one, light a fire to keep extra toasty.
- Instead of buying single-use costumes, most of which end up in landfills year after year, try making your own out of vintage and/or second-hand clothes and accessories from the charity shop.
- Use things from around the house like old sheets or bits of cardboard destined for the bin, and get creative! This is a great way to get the kids involved with paints, markers, and lots of imagination.
- Find alternatives to individually wrapped sweets which produce tonnes of plastic each year and often can’t be recycled. Trick-or-treating often makes it difficult to avoid individually wrapped candy, but without that hindrance, this can be the year to decorate Halloween cookies or homemade chocolate instead.
- Not interested in baking? Try buying candy in bulk to avoid the individual wrappers.
When in doubt, when it comes to celebrations of any size, moderation is key. Think realistically about what changes you can make, and how you can prepare to make the next holiday even greener.
Keep in mind: every household and every Halloween counts. If we don’t all make changes to our lifestyles now, we’ll be creating a frightful future indeed.