8 Tips for a Plastic Free Halloween

Halloween: from gimmicky decorations to individually wrapped sweets, it's enough to frighten any ghost!
 
Don't be scared - it's easy to have a plastic-free HalloweenHere are a few quick tricks to help you celebrate all the treats of the day!

Costumes

  • Take on the challenge of making costumes from old clothes or your previous costumes
  • If you need a specific item, shop in your friend's closet first
  • If you need to buy something, turn to second-hand clothes in charity shops. A thrifted costume ends up being a lot cheaper than a pre-made one bought from costume shops or online, plus they come without plastic packaging - though they might have a price tag attached with the plastic tag.
  • Avoid polyester costume materials if possible, as small microfibers of plastic are released with every wash. Use a GuppyBag to contain the microfibers if you can't avoid the material.
  • Oh and of course, don't forget to bring your reusable tote bag to the shops!

    Sweets & Chocolate

    There are a few brands of sweets and chocolate that come in cardboard boxes instead of individual plastic wrappers.

    Some brands that have cardboard / paper packaging for at least some versions of their products include: 

    • Nerds
    • Dots
    • Original Beans
    • Tesco's Chocolate bars
    • Smarties
    • Dip Dabs
    • Wine Gums
    • Liquorice Allsorts
    • Doisy and Dam chocolate
    • Green & Blacks chocolate

    Can you name any others? Please comment down below!

    Decorations

    • Grab a pile of beautifully-coloured autumn leaves from the ground outside and sprinkle them around the house (make sure they're dry!)
    • Use autumn-coloured orange or mustard yellow twine and thread the most gorgeous leaves for some homemade bunting. Use a hole-punch to punch out small flakes for natural confetti
    • Of course, re-use any other old Halloween decorations that you bought in previous years
    • Use real plates, cutlery and cloth napkins if you're hosting a Halloween party at home. If you have little ones at home and need to use plastic, look for second hand Halloween-themed plates in charity shops, then pass them on to another family when the kids grow up
    • Use fairy or white-coloured Christmas lights that you already own for a festive feel outside.
    • Hollow out your pumpkin and use it as a serving bowl for soups or dip. Cut dipping breads into cat, ghost and witch's hat shapes.

    Pumpkins

    • Skip the pre-carved plastic decorations and buy real pumpkins, squashes or gourds instead. It's way more fun, especially when you choose your own from a pick-it farm.
    • Don't forget to actually carve and eat your pumpkin, to reduce unnecessary food waste and avoid rotten pumpkins from releasing methane gasses in landfill.
     

    Makeup

    • Look through all the colours and products that sit in your 'ignored' pile of makeup for the rest of the year - you probably have a bright green eyeshadow or sparkly purple lipstick that you bought on a whim... now's the time to put those colours to good use!
    • If you ever buy the wrong colour of eye shadow or lipstick, remember to keep them for future costumes rather than throwing them out
    • Ask friends if they have any speciality makeup you could borrow, rather than buying new products that may only be used once
    • Use biodegradable glitter made of plant cellulose to add some sparkle to your costume.

    Reusable trick-or-treat bags

    • Sew your own reusable cotton bags with some spooky Halloween fabric, or re-use an old pillow case, rather than buying a plastic bucket to collect sweets whilst trick-or-treating
    • Look for used carrying buckets or similar accessories at your local charity shop if hand making a bag is not an option

     

    Party snacks 

    A visit to your local zero waste shop should provide plenty of plastic-free snacks for any Halloween celebration. Look out for:
    • Loosely sold sweets
    • Nuts
    • Pumpkin seeds - for roasting and salting
    • Loose biscuits and cookies
    • Dried fruit
    • Popcorn (and salts and spices for seasoning)
    • Baking ingredients
    Bake cakes and biscuits - including our Halloween favourite - Spooky Witch's Fingers and drizzle some caramel on apple slices - these are lovely with some desiccated coconut on top.
     

    Halloween activities

    Bring back the old-fashioned fun!
    • Grab a bucket and bob for apples
    • Pin the (paper) tail on the cardboard ghost
    • Set up a sweets treasure hunt in the backyard
     
    These are a few quick tips to help you celebrate a plastic-free Halloween.... but there's certainly plenty more to add to this list!
     
    What are YOUR tips and tricks?
     
    Please share them down below and let's expand this list!

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