5 Steps for Reducing Halloween Waste
A Low Waste Guide To Halloween
Halloween is fast approaching. Soon, you’ll see retail shops filled with ghoulish decorations and young children eagerly picking out costumes and pumpkins for the big day. The scariest part of this age-old festivity is not the creepy horror films or the eerie night sky. It’s the piles of horrifying waste sent to the landfill.
Just like Christmas time, Halloween creates piles of holiday waste. Thankfully, there are ways to have a low or zero-waste Halloween. Read our guide to discover our five steps for having an environmentally friendly celebration at your home.
Reuse or Recycle Your Costumes
7 million Halloween costumes are thrown away yearly, equating to 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste. Millions of families dress up for Halloween, choosing outfits made from polyester, an oil-based plastic. Once worn, we send it to the landfill. Terrifying!
Encourage your friends and family to get creative and make their costumes. Sourcing everything from your wardrobe leaves no waste and saves you money! Or, buy a second-hand one or hire it from a costume shop. Whatever you do, recycle your old costume - donate or drop it into a local clothes bin.
When you think of Halloween, one thing comes to mind - pumpkins. Jack O’Lanterns are a traditional spooky celebration, usually kept outside to ward off evil spirits. Over this Halloween, over 39.9 million pumpkins will take the streets, and 22.2 million will go to waste. That totals over £32.6 million worth of edible food!
When pumpkins go to landfill, they release methane gas. This is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. To avoid this, try to use the pumpkin before it goes rotten (usually within five days post-carving).
You can use the seeds to grow your pumpkins or incorporate them into a seasonal recipe. Use the flesh for pumpkin soup, pie and cake or even blend it into a pumpkin-spiced latte! All pumpkin varieties are edible - just make sure to go for an orange one.
If you’re a Halloween fanatic, you’ve probably planned on decorating your house with spooky skeletons, inflatable grave tombs and dusty cobwebs. Most of these decorations are binned the moment November starts. Zero-waste Halloween décor is your ideal solution.
Use old fabric, clothes, cardboard and garden waste, like twigs or leaves, to create spooky decorations. If you don’t have these materials, buy eco-friendly decorations that can be recycled or reused for next year.
Halloween sweets may be a great treat, but they trick us into creating more plastic waste. Sweet wrappers can’t be recycled as they are often made from multiple materials, e.g., plastic or paper with aluminium. We can’t recycle these materials together, making sweet wrappers impossible to recycle.
Try to buy your sweets in big glass jars over plastic packaging. You can reuse the jar for future use. If you have time, bake Halloween treats and split them so trick-or-treaters receive a home-baked, waste-free goodie!
If you follow our tips, you’ll have little to zero waste left over. But sometimes, you can’t avoid waste! Pile your waste into four sections: compost, recycle, landfill and reuse.
As you prepare for a low-waste holiday, contact The Waste Team for all your Halloween waste removal needs. We are the number one waste removal company in Leeds, helping homes and businesses safely dispose of and recycle rubbish.
Get a FREE quote today!