The nights are drawing in and the autumnal weather is creeping in too (get it?!), which means it’s time to gear up to celebrate a great Halloween. We’ve even heard that there are going to be local Halloween themed mazes here in Leicestershire, and we can’t wait – It’s a great excuse to get outdoors at this time of the year.
We love a celebration here at OLC and what better way to do it, than in an eco-friendly way. We just wouldn’t feel comfortable without!
Think about eco-friendly Halloween costumes
The recent standard for Halloween costumes has been pre-packed, plastic, and disposable, shipped from halfway around the world. Yuk. These costumes have a heavy carbon footprint. They encourage single use plastic and clog up landfill.
A great way to be eco-friendly with costumes is to browse through ideas on the web and use clothes already in your wardrobe. Pick up tips for piecing together a unique costume from charity shop clothing, just using a sewing kit, and a couple of reusable accessories.
Get the kids involved, too! They’ll love the creative family time leading up to the occasion for trick or treat itself. If you’re not the crafty type, why not see what’s lying in your friends’ wardrobes? Do a swap! Some people have a box of costumes ready for re-wear!
Eco friendly trick or treat bounty…
Sweets go with Halloween though many sweet wrappers from our own childhood are probably still intact in landfill sites today, leaching their wasteful by-products into the soil where we grow our food, and into the water we drink.
There are several ways to reduce environmental impact (and choose healthier alternatives) on the sweets and treats front:
Choose sweets in less plastic packaging.
Fewer plastic wrappers and fewer layers means fewer things to throw away.
Make treats yourself.
Opt for small gifts instead of candy.
It could be something handmade, or something the kids can put together by themselves at home. Let the creative juices flow!
If you are giving out sweets, opt for organic or fair-trade brands. Organic sweets and other treats may be more expensive, but the benefits are obvious. The supermarket should stock them.
Organic foods are healthier and better for the environment and made from products which don’t contain pesticides or other chemicals.
Ditch the plastic trick or treat buckets or at least re-use
Who needs plastic buckets? Pillowcases make great loot bags. They are washable and hold lots! Or use one of our Turtle Bag Shoppers!
Stay away from the moulded plastic pumpkin shaped / jack o lantern style buckets being sold this time of year. Although they are reusable, they are still made of plastic. You’d need to get a lot of uses out of it though many generations to benefit from the fact that it will never decompose!
Eco that Halloween Décor!
Like costumes, most Halloween decorations are cheap and disposable pieces of plastic.
If you’re crafty: This is your time to shine! Get the kids and sit down to start creating some fantastic reusable and high-quality decorations.
Create garlands and bunting, spooky mason jars, reuse chicken wire, paper mache all the things and start painting some Halloween posters.
You can do this every year as part of a new (Greener OLC) tradition, and you won’t even realise that you’ve done the environment a huge favour!
I said the P word… Pumpkins…
Pumpkins are all the rage when the Halloween falls but people are quick to forget that with supply and demand comes dangerous effects on the environment.
In order to grow pumpkins big enough fast enough, many are sprayed with heavy-duty pesticides. They are shipped over long distances, making their carbon footprint exorbitantly high. This is more evident if you are buying from the cheaper supermarkets.
The solution is easy: Buy organic, locally grown pumpkins, or grow your own. Get Grandad to grow some for next year in the garden!
Don’t forget to make pumpkin-based recipes out of the pumpkin flesh! Try Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Ravioli, or Pumpkin Seed Granola (Obviously buying organic means that these recipes aren’t then full of pesticides either!).