Eco-friendly Halloween

20th October 2021

Halloween, also known as All Hallows’ Eve or All Saints’ Eve, originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain and is now observed in many countries on 31st October. However, along with its popularity, comes a dramatic increase in plastic usage and waste.

Is it possible to have an eco-friendly Halloween? We find out in this week’s blog.

Fang-tastic fun

Halloween has grown in popularity in the UK, seeing spending double to over 470 million pounds since 2013. In fact, fright night is the second biggest party after New Year’s Eve!

This year, costumes based on Squid Game, Suicide Squad, zombies and Mexican Day of the Dead are set to be popular dress up options, with many spooky spectacles expected on the streets of Tunbridge Wells.

Shock horror stats

Along with its popularity, comes some startling statistics. Halloween is the worst holiday for waste aside from Christmas. Seven million Halloween costumes are thrown away each year, and only a tiny proportion are recycled. In fact, in the UK, an estimated 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated annually from throwaway outfits alone.

According to a survey by environmental charity Hubbub, 40% of consumers purchase pumpkins to carve for Halloween, and 60% of that number admit they dispose of the inner flesh.

Spooky season without the treason!

This year, Halloween coincides with the start of COP26 – the UN climate change conference taking place in Glasgow. There couldn’t be a better time to make sure your Halloween celebrations are as eco-friendly, waste-free and sustainable as possible.

Here are some eerie ideas for an eco-friendly celebration:

Homemade horrors

Rather than buying shop-bought treats, bake and make your own. Ask children to help you make toffee apples, ghost meringues, cookies, fudge and sweets. These are a great idea for trick-or-treaters and as part of an un-boo-lievable party buffet.

Trick or (plastic-free) treat

Avoid buying sweets and chocolates that come in plastic packaging. There are a variety of alternatives, such as foil-wrapped and paper-wrapped sweets, boxed chocolates and loose treats.

The Zero Waste Company in The Pantiles stocks a popular range of vegan fizzy and gummy sweets, chocolate buttons and chocolate covered raisins, all of which can be bought by weight. These could be popped into paper bags and rewarded to mini monsters at your door!

Smashing pumpkins

Pumpkin carving is a fantastic family activity for all ages. These ghoulish gourds are also highly nutritious – so don’t throw away their flesh! Their high antioxidant content may reduce risk of chronic diseases, they have vitamins that boost immunity, protect eyesight and can promote weight loss. After carving, why not use the pumpkin flesh to make a delicious pie or hearty autumnal soup?

If you’ve got it, haunt it!

Get creative with costumes by using items you already own. Old bedsheets for ghosts, a past-its-best black dress can transform you into a witch, old clothes could be distressed to morph you into a monster or zombie. Alternatively, visit charity shops for pre-loved outfits!

Crafty capers

Create eco-friendly spooktacular displays in your home using old fabric and materials, toilet rolls, egg boxes, milk cartons, string, wine bottles and candles and even leaves from the garden! It’s the perfect opportunity to get crafty with the kids whilst minimising the impact on the planet.

Prepare to scare

Whether you’re looking for ghoulish groceries, creepy candy or devilish delights, The Pantiles stores are stocked with fiendish finds to help you and your family celebrate in style. Head to The Zero Waste Company, Oliver Greens and Trevor Mottram for some ideal inspiration.