Ghosts, ghouls and goblins! October 31st is scary enough without plastic waste filling your bins. So, check out our guide for all the tricks (and treats) you need for a green Halloween, including sustainable Halloween costumes and eco-friendly decorations.
Sustainable Halloween costume ideas
A spooktastic Halloween bash is only as good as your guests’ costumes. But the most terrifying part of these outfits can often be the amount of waste they produce.
Retailers generate 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste from Halloween costumes (Hubbub). That’s the equivalent weight of 350 elephants and heavier than 83 million plastic bottles!
But don’t worry, we’ve got plenty of frightfully easy, sustainable Halloween costume ideas up our sleeves. Here are ten of our fave tips and tricks:
- 1. Use cardboard boxes
Anyone who’s ever moved house or simply bought something off the internet will know that it’s easy to start hoarding cardboard. But every year, comes one day you can make full use of this excess packaging.
An empty cardboard box is just a robot, lego brick, train, car or rubix cube costume in the making. All it takes is a bit of pen and creativity.
Just remember, if you’re taping more cardboard and paper to your box costume, you’ll need to remove the tape before tossing it in your recycling.
- 2. Reuse your costume
40% of Halloween costumes are worn just once (Hubbub). If you’re planning on partying with different guests next year, there’s no shame in reusing a costume!
- 3. Organise a costume swap
Give your outfits a new lease of life by sorting out a costume swap with your children’s friends and neighbours. This way, everyone gets to try something new, without any excess cost or wicked waste.
- 4. Sell your costume
Apps like Vinted and Depop are ideal for avoiding waste and making a few quid in the process.
If your friends are getting a bit bored of seeing that same old, regurgitated witch costume, consider selling it secondhand or giving it to a charity shop.
- 5. Use old sheets and towels
There’s something fantastically simple and rustic about recycling an old sheet to turn your littluns into cute little ghosts.
- 6. Shop secondhand
Charity shops and used clothing apps are absolute gems for finding new, unique, sustainable Halloween costumes. They can also save you a lot of money and waste!
- 7. Recycle your own clothing
New clothes can have a hefty carbon footprint, with the fashion industry accounting for 10% of global emissions and 20% of wastewater (World Bank). It’s definitely more sustainable to upcycle existing clothing items rather than buying an entirely new Halloween outfit.
- 8. Rent a costume
Is there anything worse than clambering into the loft to be greeted by the big scary clown outfit you forgot you bought six years ago?
Halloween costumes tend to only have one or two uses per year, so there’s no need to always buy a new one. Look for your nearby rental store or try asking your local theatre if they have any costumes they’d be willing to temporarily lend you.
- 9. Use organic, natural face paints
A simple Google search will show you there are several natural, non-toxic face paints on the market that are kinder to the planet than traditional face paints.
- 10. A green, post-Halloween clean
The party is over. Your guests have gone home but left an awful mess in their wake. What do you do? You grab your eco-friendly cleaning supplies from Modern Milkman and enjoy a green clean, of course!
Eco-friendly Halloween decorations
Planning on making sustainable Halloween decorations? The nightsky’s the limit! Here are some ideas to get the creative juices flowing…
- – Recycle tin cans and turn them into spooky garden lanterns with a candle.
- – Create a creepy wreath using fallen branches and leaves.
- – Make tiny bats from sticks, twigs and leaves.
- – Cut out pumpkins and other spooky characters with paper and tie them to your walls with string to create a garland or bunting.
- – Fold pieces of paper multiple times and cut shapes into them to make spider’s webs.
- – Avoid plastic treat bags by making your own out of felt.
More ways to turn your Halloween green
Get sustainably packaged sweeties
Sweeties are a must-have at Halloween, whether you answer the door to trick or treaters or not. But did you know you can get them without pesky plastic wrappers? Explore our sustainably packaged sweet treats for an extra green Halloween.
If you’re bobbing for apples, make sure they’re sustainably wrapped!
Our apples arrive fresh on your doorstep in a recyclable, home-compostable paper bag… With no ghastly plastic in sight!
Picking your own pumpkin is a lot of fun, and a great way to get into the spooky spirit. It also helps to reduce food miles and cut down transport emissions. Everyone’s a winner!
Use your leftover pumpkin in a recipe
The UK bins eight million pumpkins after Halloween each year (The Guardian). That’s enough to feed pumpkin pie to the entire nation!
A little bit of oil and salt can turn leftover pumpkin seeds into a delicious snack, too. Just lob them on a baking tray and roast in the oven!
Looking for more ways to cut down on binning grub? Check out our other eco-friendly recipes!
… Or compost it!
More sustainable tricks and treats
Whether you’re looking for green Christmas tips or anti-waste recipes, our blog is the place to be. Click below to see how the magic happens!