By Aoife Murtagh

Here are our top tips to keep in mind during the spooky season to have mindful and sustainable Halloween.

Once the month of October rolls around, Halloween is at the fore front of everyone’s mind. Most people love the quirky costumes, sugary sweets and spooky decorations. However, one thing we don’t love is the waste associated with the eerie holiday. There are plastic wrapped sweets, single use decorations, mass produced costumes and wasted pumpkins. It is estimated that around €41 million is spent on Halloween treats in Ireland, think of all the plastic and packaging associated with that! By making simple changes such as baking Halloween treats, reusing Halloween costumes and making decorations, everyone can have a safe, spooky and sustainable Halloween.

1. Halloween Costumes

Dressing up is in one of the most exciting things about Halloween. What isn’t exciting is the inexpensive costumes that are worn once a year and the tonnes of plastic that they are wrapped in. There are many green solutions to win best dressed at this year’s Halloween fancy dress party. Do a costume swap, get in touch with friends and organise a costume swap. Search the charity shops, most people discard of their costumes after one wear so it’s time to hit the charity shops to see if they have what you’re looking for. Get creative, most of the time we have the makings of a good Halloween costume at home, it just requires some creativity.

2. Sweet Treats

The highlight of Halloween for many kids over the Halloween period is collecting as many sweets as possible during trick-or-treating. This means that tonnes of plastic packaging can end up in the bin. To reduce waste over the period it can be a good idea to do some home baking. Buying sweets in bulk also helps to cut down on plastic waste.

3. Pumpkins

Pumpkin carving is an enjoyable activity when it comes to Halloween. However, pumpkin carving can be somewhat wasteful if the whole pumpkin isn’t used. It is important to choose locally grown pumpkins and use the entire pumpkin whether it’s roasting the seeds or using the insides for a pumpkin mash. When you’re finished with the pumpkin ensure to throw it in the compost.

4. Halloween Decoration

Most shop bought decorations are thrown out after one use, making your own decorations is a fun and sustainable way to embrace the holiday.

Following these tips can help to reduce your environmental impact while making the most of the spooky season.