Like many holidays, Halloween creates a frustrating amount of unnecessary waste all for the sake of a show and tell. Yes, it's great fun for the kids, but it has a terrifying impact on the environment. In years to come, it will haunt us.
There's nothing funny about food waste, nor is it festive to have five costumes, four of which will never see the light of day. So here are four of our top tips for a more eco-friendly and green Halloween.
Make your own costume
We throw-away roughly 70,000 costumes every Halloween; this equates to almost 200 tonnes of textile waste. That's a frightening statistic if you ask me, because in Ireland only 4% of textile waste gets recycled.
So instead of adding to what we can only describe as a huge issue in society around the spooky celebration, why not make your own costume this year. Or, buy a pre-loved one from charity shops, eBay or adverts. You can also check the Facebook marketplace and freecycle groups for freebies.
Be candy clever
Sweets are the highlight of Halloween but let's face it; it has a substantial environmental impact. A large proportion of wrappers from sweets we adults once ate are still sitting in landfill sites to this day.
While a majority of people won't be giving out sweets this Halloween, they may still want to make treat bags up for neighbours, friends, family, and their own kids. This year use brown paper recyclable bags and choose sweets with fewer plastic wrappers. Avoid home-baked goods for the year that's in it.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
If you decorate the house, top to tail, ensure they are good quality and reusable before you purchase; you'll want to invest in pieces that will last for years to come.
Alternatively, get crafty with the kids and make some spooktacular garlands and bunting out of recyclable materials or maybe upcycle jars to make little lanterns for the porch. Once Halloween is over make sure you store all your decorations in an airtight container to use again next year.
Eat your pumpkin
On average we throw away over 500,000 pumpkins every year. Once Halloween is over recycle all leftovers, including the pumpkin. Put your jack-o-lantern in the compost bin along with any unwanted sweet (minus the wrappers) and any natural decor you may have accumulated over the holiday.
As for purchasing pumpkins, try to buy them from local farmers markets for a truly green Halloween. Why not toast the seed for snack time, or make a scrummy soup or baby puree from the guts.