5 ways to have a zero waste Halloween

Halloween is nearly upon us. Trick-or-treating, eating sweet treats, dressing up. It’s all great fun – but not for the environment. All the sweet wrappers and wasted plastic from costumes and decorations that you only use once will just end up in the rubbish heap. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Here at Markshall Estate, we are passionate about climate action and believe that lots of little choices can make a huge difference. So, we’ve put together five top tips that will help you have a great Halloween that’s also great for the environment…

Pumpkins are a classic, eco-friendly Halloween decoration

Make some zero waste decorations

Decorations are one of the worst offenders for waste at Halloween. However, with a little bit of creativity, you can help cut back on the plastic. By making use of nature, as well as reusing and recycling things from around the house, you can easily decorate with the aim of zero waste in mind. It might even save you some money too!

Where should you begin? Well, we all know about carving pumpkins, but have you thought about using all those beautiful autumnal leaves falling from the trees? Scatter some of them artfully around the place and you’ve given everything a bit of a spookier atmosphere already. Or you can use old bed sheets and nylon stockings with coat hangers to make homemade ghosts and bats. The possibilities are endless.

Transform your pumpkin into a winter warming soup

Turn your pumpkin into something delicious

Once Halloween is over, what do you do with your pumpkin? The vast majority of people chuck them away. According to Global Citizen, in 2020 Britain bought 24 million pumpkins for Halloween and threw away over half of them (12.8million). Of those, 2 million don’t even end up in food waste bins or compost heaps, but in normal household rubbish bins.

Pumpkin is a hugely versatile food and can be used in a wide range of delicious dishes, such as the traditional pumpkin pie, various curries, cakes, and soup. So think about what you could cook with your pumpkin this year and help tackle food waste!

Old clothes are a great basis for fun costumes

Upcycle materials and clothes for your costumes

Dressing up is one of the best bits of Halloween and, with a little creativity, there is no reason it can’t be done with being sustainable and eco-friendly in mind. Instead of buying a new costume, look around your house and see what materials you have on hand. A bed sheet transforming into a ghost is a classic option, cardboard boxes with a bit of paint make great robots, paper can add wings to a costume, while old clothes that you don’t really wear anymore are perfect for a zombie transformation – just add some rips and fake blood!

Baking homemade treats can prevent wasteful plastic use

Create some scrumptious, plastic free treats

Choosing sweets, chocolates and treats that don’t use plastic and have recyclable wrapping is a small change that can have a huge impact. Many companies have, thankfully, started to embrace changes here, making this an easier option for you than it used to be. Just remind the kids you’re handing the treats out to that the wrapping can be recycled.

Alternatively, you can go completely wrapping free and bake some Halloween treats of your own. Who doesn’t like a homemade cake or cookie?

Apple bobbing is a traditional and eco-friendly Halloween game

Embrace traditional games

You know every good party needs games. Apple bobbing is a traditional Halloween and autumn game that is very simple and easy to get ready – all you need is a bucket of water and some apples. You can use some cans and a ball to make a quick and easy bowling set. Or even play a round of spooky, Halloween-themed charades.

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