Be Spookily Sustainable: Tips for Halloween!
It’s that time of year again that you either love or hate… or just want a good excuse to dress up.
We’ve put together a few tips for how to embrace the Halloween fun, whilst considering your environment whilst you do so.
TIP 1: Stay local and get to know your neighbours by paying them a visit (unless your neighbours don’t celebrate Halloween that is!)
This one might not be at the top of your expectation list for how to be sustainable at Halloween, but it does link in with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 16 (In relation to promoting peaceful and inclusive societies). According to statistics from the UN, 1/3 of the world’s population fear walking alone in their neighborhoods at night (mostly women). When relating this specifically to the UK, 76% of UK residents feel safer in their homes if they know their neighbours, and 67% of people who took the time to get to know their neighbours felt happier as a result. With one in 10 UK adults – equivalent to around five million people – not knowing any of their neighbours by name, this indicates a need to get to know!
So, Halloween can be used an opportunity to pay your neighbours a visit, have a chat and introduce yourself, compliment their decorations, or simply smile at them when you see them. One thing I will say though is please don’t knock on anyone’s door who doesn’t have any Halloween decorations out- this probably means they don’t celebrate it and don’t want you to disturb them! Building a supportive community also includes having respect for individuals’ privacy.
TIP 2: Stock up on plastic-free, bulk bought sweets (and vegan if possible!)
I can remember getting home from trick or treating as a child, armed with a bag full of individually wrapped sweets, chocolates, lollies, and other balls of sugar that I’d eat entirely within an hour of sitting down. That part of Halloween I have absolutely no regrets about…
The one thing I think we should control, however, is the type of sweets that we buy and give out to trick or treaters. Instead of choosing lollies with individual plastic wrappers on all of them, why not try a box or bag of sweets without the plastic wrappers? To do this, buying bulk is best as it is both cheaper for you, and better for the environment! I saw these sweets on wholesale which I think are a perfect example of what I mean! But what about if I don’t get many trick or treaters and I have just bought all these sweets for nothing- isn’t that worse? Well, no actually because you should be able to keep them until next year if they’re already all sealed! If you have opened them though, check out Olio to share your sweets with others in your area, and reduce food waste!
Another suggestion is chocolates (such as chocolate coins) which are foil-wrapped. This foil can be recycled if you scrunch it and keep it until it’s the size of a tennis ball. You could also make your own sweets or cakes, which may save you money too.
Of course, I could just say give fruit instead of sweets but I’m sure lots of kids wouldn’t be very happy about that one…
TIP 3: Go handmade for your costume! Or second-hand as I appreciate that not everyone is as crafty as Instagram might make out.
When I’m scrolling through my Instagram around Halloween it seems like everyone and his dog are making glamorous, wacky, and wild costumes for themselves! I promise you, not everyone’s costumes look this good- I can assure you that my arts and crafts abilities are far from good. However, why not give it a go, even if it’s just a hat?! Get yourself secondhand shopping and pick up some random items that you can fit together into a wacky costume to get some laughs. One of my ideas for this year was to be an old woman- an easy charity shop haul!
So, why do this?
TIP 4: Make full use of your pumpkin!
According to the Guardian, 81% of families of four believe they throw away less than £30 worth of food a month, when in reality they waste nearly double that at £58.30 a month, on average. This is so much food waste!
Halloween is an occasion which encourages this issue further, through the tradition of pumpkin carving and leaving the pumpkin outside to rot. One way of reducing pumpkin food waste is to cook with the pumpkin ‘guts’ or insides. Here’s a website with various yummy recipes to use up your pumpkin leftovers!
Send us some tips, photos, or ways that you are sustainable this Halloween to email@example.com for us to share on social media!
This article is in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production. To read more click here.
Loughborough University Sustainability Blog