What’s green and associated with Halloween? Witches? Frankenstein? Ghoulish slime? Well yes, but Halloween is also about recycling! Let’s explore the environmental impact that Halloween has in the UK and look at how you can be more green this year by following our Halloween recycling tips:
Halloween is horrifying for food waste
Pumpkin carving is a great activity for the whole family to get involved in – seeing your masterpiece light up on its surface is quite magical. However, a large number of the pumpkins we buy and carve in the UK end up going to waste.
According to Hubbub, 25% of the 42% who buy pumpkins in the UK for Halloween throw them in with household waste when they’re finished with them. This culminates in a horrifying 18,000 tonnes of pumpkin being sent to landfill.
Instead of throwing your pumpkin in the bin, why not make a tasty pie or soup? If you don’t plan on cooking with your leftovers then try recycling your Halloween pumpkins instead – pop them into your compost bin or into your food waste caddy to prevent them rotting away in landfill. Don’t forget to put any unwanted scraps or part-eaten sugary treats from Halloween festivities into your food waste caddy too.
Scary stats on Halloween waste
As well as pumpkins and sweets, there are numerous other items sent to landfill around Halloween – these items include costumes, decorations, batteries, and party paraphernalia.
Hubbub claims that a mere 4 out of 10 costumes bought in the UK will be worn just once. They write: “Last year a shocking 14 million costumes were thrown in the bin, contributing to the 300 million tonnes of textiles that end up in landfill every year. Whilst much more were given to charity shops, these can also end up going to waste as many charities won’t resell costumes without original fire labels intact due to safety concerns over issues such as flammability.”
Think about the products you’re using for your Halloween celebrations and check whether they can be recycled either kerbside or locally.
Halloween upcycling ideas
Instead of spending a fortune on costumes and decorations, and ultimately generating more waste, you can get creative and create some from scratch by using household items and craft supplies. Here are some nice ideas to get you started:
DIY Halloween costumes
Kids love capes, and this Halloween costume staple is easy to make. Just by using an old skirt or t-shirt, keeping the neck or waistline intact, but cutting a cape shape from the rest, you can create a costume fit for a superhero, a witch or wizard!
Do you have some broken umbrellas hanging around? Well, these actually make perfect bat wings! Take a look at this tutorial for full instructions.
If you’re a bit pun-tastic, then how about a cereal killer costume? All you’ll need is an old shirt, some small, empty sharing boxes of cereal, plastic knives, and fake blood! Carefully stab a plastic knife through each cereal box and then glue the box to your old shirt. Go crazy with the fake blood to create a real massacre and you’re done.
DIY Halloween decorations
Toilet roll bats are super cute and super easy to make; just collect your toilet roll tubes for a couple of weeks in the run-up to Halloween so you can make a nice little colony of these furry flyers. Press two fingers on top of the toilet roll tube to push the cardboard inwards – do this from both sides to create a dip at the top and the illusion of two little ears either side. Then all you need to do is paint your bat and give it some cardboard wings.
Glass lanterns are a lovely addition to any Halloween celebrations. Using an empty jam jar and some black glass paint, you can create a magical ambience – try painting a simple black cat or a witch’s silhouette onto your jar and pop a tealight candle inside to light up your design.
Plastic bottle monsters are fun to look at and great for presenting snacks. By cutting the tops off empty drink bottles, and adding some spray paint and imagination, you can create some pretty awesome treat holders that will definitely impress your own little monsters. Take a look at the full guide here.
Enjoy a greener Halloween
Hopefully, our post has opened your eyes to the volume of waste generated by All Hallows’ Eve; if you’re unsure which items you can recycle when the celebrations are over you can find out using the Agile@HOME recycling app. Download it for free from the PlayStore or iTunes to find out what’s recycled in your area.