East London Waste Authority
East London Waste Authority

#Good Green Habits – 17: Green your Halloween!

Halloween

There’s growing awareness about the level of waste created around seasonal festivities. Halloween ranks up there with the worst. It’s easy to fall into the trap of purchasing items to boost enjoyment of this time of year without much thought – the big (and small) retailers are all too willing to help with this! However, with a little thought and preparation, you can ‘green’ your Halloween with a few simple changes….

#17 – THINK before you BUY

What makes Halloween special? Costumes (tick), pumpkins (tick), decorations (tick) and treats (tick). Let’s take each one in turn:

Costumes

black-and-white-black-and-white-costume-1432919

In 2016 a shocking 7m costumes were thrown in the bin, contributing to the 300,000 tonnes of clothes that end up in landfill every year. Additionally, millions more were given to charity shops, but these can also end up being thrown away as many charities won’t resell costumes without original fire safety labelling. So to avoid adding to the problem, why not customise last years’, or swap costumes with a friend or family member? There are also heaps of great ideas for making your own DIY costume…a simple google search will reveal gems such as this wicked DIY skeleton costume

Pumpkins

boy-carve-carving-1385750

It’s a weird phenomenon – we ignore these fantastic gourds for the whole of the year, then they appear like an angry swarm of bright orange globes for a week. The amount of waste we create through our carving and candle-lighting is immense.  As reported in the Guardian this week, the UK will bin 8m pumpkins after Halloween, the equivalent of enough pumpkin pie to feed the entire nation. Almost three-fifths (58%) of consumers buy pumpkins to hollow out and carve, of whom only a third bother to cook the leftover but edible innards. So – don’t waste the fabulous flesh! Here are some more delicious ways to make the most of your ghoulish gourds.

Decorations

Mini pumpkin

It’s worth thinking why you’re planning any decorations – given that it’s likely that kids are going to ring your doorbell if they pass by, regardless of whether fake spiderwebs cover your bushes or you have a plastic skeleton hanging in your window. So this year, why not just put out that carved pumpkin (remembering to cook the innards and compost the outside/shell afterwards). If you’re not into the whole carving ritual, you could go even simpler and just put one of those fun-sized pumpkins on your doorstep. Very sweet (and delicious roasted, afterwards).

Treats

halloween-1751619_640

We don’t advocate stripping the fun out of Halloween. As a child, I am sure many of us enjoyed the chance for an adult-approved (mainly!) gorge on sweets. But there are ways to offer treats which don’t include tonnes of plastic waste: going for cardboard-boxed, foil-wrapped or even loose (pick’n’mix) style which you re-bag into small paper bags (following decent hygiene of course) are all great options. Here are a few more ideas if you’re feeling creative.

Wishing you all a clean, green Halloween!

Halloween pumpkins

Click on your Borough to discover your nearest Recycling Centre

Barking & Dagenham

Havering

Newham

Redbridge