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Spooky Green Tips for a Sustainable Halloween
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The spookiest time of the year has arrived. Halloween is arguably one of the most fun times in our calendar, but it needn’t be also the most wasteful! A recent survey outlined that less than half of us Brits re-purposed or composted our pumpkin carvings last year. Food waste is one of the biggest climate change players; we have the moral duty, and the spending power, to do better! Here’s a list of our favourite eco-spooky ideas, ranging from wrap-free treats to pumpkin coolers and freaky second-hand costumes.

Banish Plastic Wrappings

Do you delight in spooking out the swaths of kids crowding your doorway? Or are you sweet enough to reward them with seasonal goodies? Either way, best to leave plastic out of the equation. If you have enough time on your hands, home-made pumpkin pies and candied apples are traditional winners. However, you could also consider bulk-buying packaging-free sweets or chocolates that come in compostable packaging. Trick-or-Treaters will be running around high on sugar anyway, so they won’t notice the difference. But the planet will thank you! You could also decide to be the healthy neighbour and hand out tangerines, apples and other delicious, 0-packaging seasonal fruits. It might not be the most pleasant treat in the kiddies’ eyes, but once again you’ll be thanked, this time by their parents!

Ghost Single-Use Decor

If you’re set on giving your driveway, hallway or door the spookiest atmosphere, best to resort to fabric-made decor, or features that last for years to come. This won’t only make you proud of making sustainable choices, it will also save you a dollop of cash in the long-run. Making your own with natural or household materials could be a fun activity bringing housemates or family members together, unleashing forgotten creative (and morbid) talents. Bloody candles, for instance, are super-easy to make: just drip some red wax on a white candle and ta-da! Spook-a-lishous! Be mindful when purchasing candles – some contain paraffin, which is on the list of least sustainable (and healthy) products. Ultimately, you’ll pass the Sustainable Halloween test if your remember that single-use decors belong in the mausoleum!

Put a Natural Scary Face On

Whether you’re a witch or a monster, face paint is a Halloween’s must-have. However, did you know that standard paints are some of the most toxic – and least sustainable- products on the market? That’s because they are made from the organic compounds derived from crude oil. Consider using natural paints, and favour brands which use certified organic ingredients such as shea butter, clay, natural oils and pigments. Remember, nanoparticles, heavy metals, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, petroleum-based pigments and animal products are the real baddies here. Amongst our favourites eco-face paint brands are: Natural Earth, also comes in eco-packaging; Elegant Minerals, who offer next-day delivery if you, like us, have left Halloween organization to the last minute. Last but not least, French brand Namaki offers the widest range of natural colours wrapped up in compostable packaging. Spook-tacular!

Spine-chilling Second Hand Costumes

There’s nothing scarier than knowing that of the millions of Brits who enjoyed putting their freak on, a third threw away their costumed after using them only once! Instead of buying brand new attire, you could swap what you already have with neighbours. Or, you could ask your colleague to lend you that freaky skeleton onsie that’s been lounging at the back of their closet for the past year! Renting costumes is another way of keeping up with the spookiness – and your eco-halo remains intact!
If you really can’t resist the allure of a new fancy dress, then consider homemade outfits on Etsy, ethical brands and of course… vintage. Today’s the only day I can scare off the fashion police with that 80s fluo jacket my mum used to rock back in the day!

Halloween might have crept up on us, but we won’t let the carbon footprint of our spooky galavanting do the same. Here’s to greener, frightening times!

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30 / 10 / 2019 // Written by Sylvia Helen Goodrick
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