Zero waste celebrations can be simple to pull off. Here are some great tips to make your Halloween zero waste and eco-friendly this year.
Opt for Natural Decorations
A great way to reduce waste is to refuse it in the first place. Choose natural decorations for your Halloween theme.
> Real carved pumpkins (naturally plastic-free!)
plus you can make healthy dog treats from discarded pumpkin skin
> Make cardboard or wooden signs and tombstones (avoid plastic and foam)
> Re-purpose old sheets into ghostly figures
>Get out your Christmas solar lights, they can be used more than once a year
> Straw bales, corn stalks and dried leaves look great too
> Don't sweep the porch, just allow the cobwebs, leaves and debris build up for a completely natural look!
Get some more ideas from this post on Killer Eco-Friendly Halloween Decorations
Reuse Existing Items
If you're anything like me, you still have items around your home that you purchased before embarking on a zero waste lifestyle. This doesn't mean you need to get rid of them and replace them with something else.
Reusing items as often and for as long as we can helps keep them out of landfill.
Things we reuse every year include:
>Costume basics (cloaks, fangs, witches hats, masks) can be used almost indefinitely and worn with ordinary black clothing instead of purchasing something new.
>A Halloween themed dish for lollies and treats (although any dish will do)
> Lanterns and novelty decorations
These days we don't really buy anything due to all the plastic packaging, not to mention difficulties recycling broken items.
If you really feel the need for extra items, or are looking for something specific to a theme, then check out the opshops and online for second hand options first.
Plastic-Free Halloween Treats
It's super simple to have zero waste Halloween treats for the inevitable door knockers trick-or-treating.
> Look for bulk stores that allow you to fill your own bags and containers
(jelly beans, chocolate coated sultanas, pretzels, gumballs, etc)
(If you're in Adelaide, here's a mega list of places to find zero waste treats)
>Avoid individually wrapped items and choose the largest bag if plastic is your only option.
> Make something at home - ok, not everyone has time for this but homemade popcorn, cookies, toffee and other treats can be relatively quick and cheap to make.
Zero Waste Halloween Activities
> Walking the neighbourhood for trick or treating can be a lot of fun. Set a time limit (we do about 45 minutes) and encourage your kids to opt for no plastic treats when they have a choice. Use a cloth bag or even a pillowcase to collect their hoard.
> Wait for trick or treaters and scare them!
> Turn of the lights, grab your torches and Tell scary stories
> Make some eco-friendly, biodegradable slime
> Make old fashioned stove top popcorn from corn kernels and watch movies
> Share your low waste efforts on social media so others can be inspired
If you're having a Halloween event or party, here are a few ideas to keep it low or zero waste
>Notify guests that your going low waste and ask them nicely to limit plastics and disposables they may bring
> Choose reusables , this especially goes for plates, cups and cutlery
> Skip the clingwrap with one of these alternatives
> Compost food waste
> Label your recycling bin so people know what can go in it
> Don't lecture! Remember, lots of people use plastics and create waste without even thinking about it because it's just the way humans are. Keep it judgement free and lead by example instead.
Have a Happy Zero Waste Halloween!
P.S. If you want some more advanced tips, check out this post on The Ultimate Zero Waste Halloween Guide