It’s spooky season! As if anyone can avoid it. Pumpkin spice is everywhere, and the supermarket aisles are groaning with spiderwebs and sweets.
It’s not necessarily good news for the planet though. Halloween sadly means a serious amount of single use plastic is coming for our oceans.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
We’ve got four quick ideas for minimising waste this Halloween, and having a brilliant time while you do it.
Second hand costumes
OK, we were going to suggest homemade costumes here, and if that’s your thing, we’re so onboard with you. BUT we know that not everyone has the time, creativity or mental capacity to be thinking about cutting out patterns and sewing on sequins. And we’re not here to tell parents that instead of buying a readymade witch outfit while doing the weekly food shop, they should be getting the sewing machine out and labouring for hours over a homemade version.
So hit up eBay, Facebook Marketplace, charity shops, ask a friend with a child who’s bigger than yours if they’ve got a spare. Beg, borrow and buy second hand, and you’ll be amazed at what you can find. Chances are it’ll be lighter on the pocket too. You can even stick it back up for sale or donate to a charity shop when you’re done so that someone else can wear it next year. Winner.
Save the pumpkin!
Going to be carving a pumpkin this year? Don’t bin the flesh! There are SO many good ways to use it up.
Roast it in a sheet tin with some black beans, cumin and garlic and stuff into tacos with some cheese, blitz it up into puree for pumpkin pie. Or take a look at 2 Minute founder Martin Dorey whipping up pumpkin soup in his campervan!
Big pumpkins can be a little watery, so if you’re carving a whopper, maybe pick a recipe that involves a bit of roasting. Roasting will dry out some of the wateriness and the flavour will be more intense. Most pumpkin dishes freeze really well too. Winner.
So get searching for pumpkin dishes and serve up a Halloween feast with all that lovely pumpkin flesh.
Give a modern nod to ancient traditions
Forget Halloween altogether! And revisit the ancient Samhain traditions that preceded it.
Samhain was one of the most important dates on the ancient Gaelic calendar, and it marked the end of the harvest season and the darkening of the days.
The veil between the human and spirit worlds was thought to be at its thinnest, and doorways between the two were thought to open, letting in fairies and spirits.
The original traditions of bonfires, feasts and rituals might be a little tricky in our modern lives. But why not share a meal with friends, light some candles and use natural decorations to mark the moment? We like the idea of using leaves, branches and candles for decoration, and cooking up some seasonal treats to celebrate the end of the harvest in a tasty way.
Hit up your local Refill Shop – or make your own treats
One of the biggest culprits for plastic at Halloween has got to be the endless bags of sweets, some with little bags inside big bags, others with individually wrapped sweets, don’t get us started! The plastic packaging is endless.
If you’re expected little hands knocking on your door, maybe pop down to your local Refill Shop (if you’re lucky enough to have one nearby), and fill up on sweet treats without the plastic.
And if you’re really feeling dedicated, you could always make your own sweets. We like The BBC Good Food Guide’s Halloween recipe section. Choose from creepy cookies, eerie eyeballs and candy apples. So much fun and tastiness!