The beautiful Fall season is upon us and with it comes the rustic fall foliage, the irresistible fragrance of pumpkin spiced coffee, chunky knits to keep us cosy in the auto breeze, but most important of all - Halloween. With our marathons of scary movies and the excitement of ghoulish costumes, we ignore the waste we add to our garbage bins, not to mention the year on year cost of supplies for throwing epic Halloween parties. We are here to cast a sustainability spell on all these problems and help you celebrate the spooks, our ’reduce - reuse - recycle’ way and while you're at it, save the costs on next year’s celebrations too !
Halloween au naturel
Make a fun picnic out of driving to a local farm, to buy your pumpkins, rather than at the store and turn your front porch into a beautiful spectacle of fall colors. Source natural fall foliage - leaves, hay, gourds and compost them into your backyard soil after use and avoid any wastage (make sure the pumpkins are not painted on, because then its only fit for the trash bin).
Choosing the right pumpkin is often the dilemma, but there is a very easy hack to it - the hollower pumpkins are easier to carve and will have a significantly louder knock over the fleshier ones. This not only makes your carving job easier, but also reduces the waste, which can also be easily composted.
And for those of us, who love to live by the zero waste philosophy, the flesh of pumpkins can actually be used into some delicious pies, soups, cupcakes, scones and can actually be used to treat over this festive season. Click here for some lovely ideas on delicacies to make this Halloween. PS: roasted pumpkin seeds make for a healthy snack, anytime of the day!
Re-use & Reduce decor
Perhaps one of the easiest DIY decorations, from items we no longer use, are for Halloween. For instance, fibers from old and damaged pillows and worn out stockings make great alternatives for spider webs. Old white bedsheets still make for an eerie ghost, milk jugs can easily be turned into spirit jugs and waste brown paper bags from grocery stores and bakeries can be painted on to make luminarias.
And if you still feel the need to turn your house into a spectacular haunted mansion, be sure to checkout some of the thrift stores or vintage boutiques, where you might be able to buy shabby chic supplies and decorations, which you can re-use for another few years.
Dress to Impress
Design your costume from items already in your wardrobe, for looks like Wednesday Addams and Rosie the Riverter, easily available in most of our closets. However, if you definitely feel the urge to splurge, go to your local thrift store to curate the hippie look, a fortune teller or a 1920s Fancy Flapper !
Or be the glamorous witch & cast your spells with ethically formulated makeup from brands that use ingredients safe for your skin and for the environment. Check for conscious skincare and makeup brands at the Environmental Working Group , to add to your Halloween shopping list.
But more importantly, after all the fun you’ve had from your exceptional green Halloween, recycle your costume by either swapping with your friends, donating to a store with a textile recycling incentive or simply selling it for some quick cash, while saving our landfills!
Treat Yo Self
Definitely one of the most exciting parts of the Halloween festive are the Treats! We can easily offset our plastic waste from candies, by choosing homemade treats or candies wrapped in paper, which is recyclable, as opposed to bulk buckets from the supermarkets. Old buckets, gift baskets, canvas totes, pillowcases - all make brilliant alternatives for store bought plastic buckets, to collect treats in. And these are reusable again the next year.
Of course, nobody wants to be short of treats, for the little munchkins parading on Halloween and more than likely, we end up with a bulk load of leftover candy, which can get boring at a point. Its certainly helpful to use them in different formats, like using them in cookies, sundaes or storing them for use over Christmas. But one of the better ways of dealing with the excess leftover treats is donating them to children’s wing at the hospital or to local shelters.
Lastly, rather than trashing the candy wrappers, an easy recycle option is now available, with the TerraCycle Zero Waste Box , which allows for recycling any kind of plastic waste from homes. Alternately, you could sign up and send your trash to any of their recycling partners and contribute towards reducing the waste into our landfills. Read here to learn more about TerraCycle’s recycling partners.
How have you done conscious Halloween celebrations in the past? Share your tips with us below.