Is there anything scarier than the downfall of the ENTIRE PLANET? We don’t think so. That’s why we’re writing this cheat sheet on how and why you should make conscious (but still creepy) choices this Halloween.
Holidays always seem to involve a lot of waste; whether it’s general, plastic or food. Halloween is no exception, with masses of single-use items going to waste as soon as ‘spooky season’ is over. Pumpkins rot on doorsteps and windowsills, rubber masks perish at the back of the wardrobe and packets of sweets are thrown out as soon as we’re sick of them.
We don’t want to be complete party poopers so we’re not going to say that Halloween is cancelled or anything, but there are some easy peasy steps you can take in the right direction:
1. By all means carve a pumpkin, but there’s no need to invest in pointless plastic carving tools that are going to snap at the first fang. And a tealight is just as safe as (and much cheaper than) a plastic candle if used correctly!
(sorry-not-sorry for the callout photos, CoOp)
2. Use fabric pens to decorate a plain tote bag or pillow case to use as a loot bag instead of a plastic bucket or bag! That way, you can customise them to fit your costume or go for a more generic autumnal look so that it’s reusable.
3. Don’t dump the pumpkin once you’re done with it – it can all be used. Roast the seeds in smoky spices or sweet cinnamon for a tasty snack, and make anything from face masks and hair masks to stews and soups with the flesh.
4. If you’re going to buy a costume, check out the charity shops first (and donate it back afterwards). They end up with loads of intentional costumes, and the vintage bits and pieces might inspire you to get more into your zombie’s character.
5. Alternatively dress up using clothes you already have by going as someone #relatable, or make your own – no need to buy a skeleton costume when you’ve got black clothes, some white paper, a pair of scissors and a stapler!
6. Oh, and definitely don’t don a plastic mask that’s only going to make your face sweat anyway. Print something out and stick it onto cardboard, or watch some YouTube videos and try your hand at your own makeup (cruelty-free of course, with biodegradable glitter).
7. Use nature to your advantage – Halloween has very handily plonked itself in the middle of Autumn, so there’s plenty to be picked up without having to forage too far. Use pinecones, dry leaves, fallen fruit… and live creepy-crawlies if you’re feeling brave. Why not offer those spiders a cosy home and let them help decorate?
8. If you want to supplement your scattered leaves, don’t use synthetics. Use paper to make a less festive version of paper chains, cut out spider webs instead of snowflakes and use templates to adorn the porch with paper ghosts and ghouls galore.
9. Be conscious about what sweets (US translation: candy) you’re handing out. Go dairy-free and gelatine-free for the sake of the animals and the planet (and to make your treats as inclusive as possible). Minimising plastic is tricky here, but there are a few options. Go halfway and buy bags of sweets that are at least individually wrapped in paper (like Starburst) or foil (like chocolate coins) or splash out on individually wrapped bars of chocolate like those in Aldi. Our research found Elizabeth Shaw’s range to be the best value with the least waste! Handing out aluminium cans of drink or fruit with decorated skins can be fun (if a little rogue)…
10. For the bigger kids, stick to canned drinks and make sure you take your reusable straw with you if you go out-out!