Schools, houses, and showcases display their black and orange decorations to celebrate Halloween. This celebration is a fun moment of the year, but unnecessary purchases affect not only your pocket but also the planet.
The Woman Post | Laura Valentina Cortés Sierra
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The Woman Post wants you to enjoy this exciting celebration in a way that reduces the negative impact on the environment. It can be your first year making your own costume, decorating the house with recycled materials, or cooking spider cookies.
When it comes to decorations and ornaments choose high-quality ones made up of recycled and/or decomposable materials and re-use them every year. Avoid plastic and mixed materials difficult to recycle. Make sure you properly dispose of any batteries used.
Another entertaining way of decorating is getting together with your family and friends to make your spooky spaces with reused materials like used plastic cups and straws. You can also collect sheets of newspaper, cardboard boxes, plastic bottles, etc. Just get creative exploring many 'do it yourself' tutorials online. Garlands of spiders made with the bottoms of bottles and wool, ghosts made with yogourt recipients painted in white or hanging bats made of leftover paper. For the candlesticks, you can use soda bottles or pumpkins, however, make sure you avoid the most common commercial candles made with paraffin wax or mineral wax, a petroleum by-product. Try to find coconut, soy, or beeswax candles instead.
In a study by environmental charity Hubbub alongside the Fairyland Trust, it was found that the seasonal outfits produce 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste, equivalent to 83 million bottles. If you wait all year to dress up you can make a terrifying costume reusing costumes from previous years and turning them into new ones with things you have at home.
An emoji costume made of cardboard and recycled paper; a skeleton one with scrap paper, or a witch with a broom and a paper hat you made yourself. To be a scary zombie browse makeup tutorials made with wet toilet paper, paint plaster, or glue.
Other sustainable options include renting your costume, purchasing it from charity shops, or borrowing something from friends or family members. If you want to experiment with makeup make sure you select eco-paints and avoid glitter.
Cravings Are Fun, Wasting Food Is Not
Research by Hubbub and Knorr revealed that, only in the UK, 8 million pumpkins were binned in 2017, which is 51% of the people that buy pumpkins. Instead, make sure you use the inside to make autumnal dishes such as soups, pies, and risottos. You can also get healthy eating pumpkin seeds after boiled, drained, and baked.
In case you are organizing a party you can bake cupcakes and decorate them like spiders, turn tangerines into pumpkins and make ghost-shaped cookies. Explore the internet for hundreds of simple recipes for wicked snacks.
Trick or Treat in a New Way
National Retail Federation estimates that $2.6 billion were spent on candy for Halloween 2019 in the United States. Many of these candies are never eaten and most of them are packed in wrappers many times made of single-use plastic and/or aluminum. Even if the candy wrapper is made of 100% plastic of a single type, it is still very difficult and unlikely it will be recycled as it is too small and with no value.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency reported that in 2020 66% of waste paper and cardboard was recycled, compared to just 8% of plastics. Look for products that come in card and paper packaging or consider baking treats or decorating fruits to avoid non-recyclable sweet wrappers. Finally, you can be the neighbor known for handing giving useful and fun pencils or erasers instead of candies.
You Can Have Extra Fun This Sustainable Halloween
The key is to think of ways to reuse, reduce and recycle this Halloween. Maybe even make it a year-long project to grow your own pumpkins. Don't fall into the consumerism temptation of using plastic-based accessories like synthetic wigs, hats, masks, and even pets disguises. Finally, If you are organizing a party you have no need to print the invitations, instead laugh at yourself preparing a digital invitation card or a spooky video.