How to make Halloween more sustainable

team egg | 26/10/2022

From how to repurpose your pumpkins to fun homemade Halloween decorations and crafts – this is to guide you through a sustainable spooky season.

At a Glance

We all love the spooky season, but it produces over 2,000 extra tonnes every year in the UK.

We’ve pulled together some tips and Halloween craft ideas to help make it more sustainable.

We all love the spooky season, but it produces a lot of waste – over 2,000 extra tonnes every year, in fact.

We’ve pulled together some tips to make Halloween more sustainable, such as repurposing your pumpkins, DIY Halloween costumes, recyclable Halloween decorations and fun and easy Halloween crafts – all to make it zero-waste.

Repurpose your Halloween pumpkin

Every year in the UK, 40 million pumpkins are bought for Halloween, over half go uneaten, and 14.5 million are thrown away.

Repurposing your pumpkin will avoid you from adding to the 7.1 million tons of household food waste that the UK throws out every year.

  • Buy locally and organically from food markets or farms for your Halloween treats and pumpkins

  • If uncarved, use your pumpkin for some recipes – from toasted pumpkin seeds and soup to cupcakes and dog treats. You can even use what you make for Bonfire Night in the following days!

  • Use your pumpkin for compost (use your own bin or have your local council collect it)

  • If carved, leave your smashed or carved-out pumpkin in your garden on a bench or bird table for wildlife to feast on. Some animals, like hedgehogs, shouldn’t eat pumpkins, so keep your pumpkin remains raised so only certain animals can eat it.

Recyclable Halloween decorations

The Halloween aisle in supermarkets is always an exciting visit, especially when looking at the decorations. As fun and endearing as these decorations are, they are mostly plastic, synthetic and use disposable batteries – which aren’t disposed of correctly.

  • Swap out disposable batteries for chargeable ones and look for companies that recycle disposable batteries

  • Use solar-powered or LED lights

  • Buy second-hand or support small businesses like those on Etsy

  • Reuse previous decorations (we save our decorations for Christmas– why not Halloween?)

  • Swap decorations with friends and family

  • Bring the outdoors indoors, like acorns and leaves, to build a spooky yet autumnal aesthetic

  • Old sheets and clothes can make great ghosts

  • Some eco-friendly Halloween decorations are recyclable

  • Use yarn to create that spiderweb or cobweb look

  • You can even make your own Halloween crafts for kids (and the child-at-heart) at home…

Fun and easy Halloween crafts

Some Halloween arts and crafts can be some of the best Halloween activities, for kids and adults alike. Reuse and recycle the rubbish you have to make fun crafts at home. It’s even better if you use chemical-free ecological paints.

  • Cut-out paper decorations – from garlands, paper ghosts and cardboard tombstones

  • Make spooky spiders out of bottle caps or pebbles

  • Reuse your empty milk bottles, jars or tins to make Halloween lanterns

  • Some paper, paint and finished toilet roll tubes can make the best Halloween crafts for kids

  • Use half an apple to make pumpkin paint prints on paper

  • Egg cartons make a great base for a ghost’s head – just throw a cloth or pillowcase over it, draw a face, and hang it from the ceiling

Avoid single-use Halloween costumes

More than 30 million people in the UK dress up for Halloween and more than 90% of families consider buying costumes. Seven million outfits are thrown away each year, and only a tiny proportion are recycled.

Most Halloween costumes we buy are single-use and synthetic, eventually thrown away the next day or whenever we find them in the back of our wardrobes. Try some of these tips below!

  • Avoid buying costumes that are made of PVC or vinyl

  • Shop second-hand or hire a costume

  • Swap costumes with friends and families or donate it to a charity shop

  • See what clothes can be thrown together from what you already own

  • Get creative! DIY Halloween costumes are often the most enjoyed costumes at Halloween parties – and fun to make

Sustainable Halloween parties

While a sustainable Halloween party might not be the most frightening, here are some tips to cut down on waste and encourage greener living.

  • Avoid plastic waste where you can. Use biodegradable or recyclable (or real) cups, plates and cutlery instead of plastic forks and paper plates

  • Buy organic or Fairtrade food

  • Encourage DIY Halloween costumes by having a competition for the best one!

  • Buy food that are in recycled packaging

  • Cook or bake your own party food – and ask friends to bring a dish or two, too

The trick of Halloween treats

Some of the most Halloween waste comes from Halloween sweet wrappers. Most are not recyclable and not disposed of correctly. When buying your Halloween sweets, check their packaging on whether they are recyclable.

  • Avoid buying individually plastic-wrapped Halloween sweets and chocolates.

  • Look for foil-wrapped chocolates and treats in paper or cardboard – they are recyclable!

  • Buy organic or Fairtrade food

  • Halloween cupcakes or cookies are always a win

  • For parties, try a glass jar of sweets. Glass jars can be reused and is easily recyclable. Sweet shop sweets always spark that childhood excitement – and help small businesses, too

Keeping waste to a minimum can be difficult during Halloween, but trying just a few of these sustainable tips for Halloween can help in the long run – and still makes for a fun spooky season.

Why stop at Halloween? We have even more sustainable tips you can use in your home that can help with the energy prices creeping in the dark.

The energy nightmare is causing quite the fright, but there’s no need to be scared at the thought of switching to electric cars or even a green home.

Keep up with the current

Sign-up to our newsletter to receive all the latest news, advice and content as well as unmissable offers and promotions.

We take our privacy obligations seriously, you can opt out from updates at any time - for more details, please see our Privacy Policy.