In the ethical & zero waste world it sometimes seems that you have to spend more to be more eco friendly, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Especially at Hallowe'en. After a few years of owning a plastic free and now generally ethical store and online store, I've seen all the greenwashing.
So - I'll get right into the nitty gritty and bust a few terrifying myths you might want to believe are eco friendly.. but believe me - there's a better way to reduce waste and help the planet this spooky season.
1. Hallowe'en costumes
Terrifying Myth: Supermarket brand 'eco friendly recycled bottle Hallowe'en costumes' are the best choice
I've seen that supermarkets (such as Morrisons) are coming up with new ways to target parents' eco guilt this year. "Buy your kids a new costume!" they say, "it's made from recycled plastic!" Don't get me wrong - I see that this is a great improvement and shows that they're aware of either the plastic problem (OR new trends in sustainable shopping I imagine) and at 10pm before your child's fancy dress you're possibly going to panic buy. I get that... but these aren't squeaky clean.
All polyester, whether it's fresh straight-from-the-crudest-of-oil plastic polyester, or been a recycled bottle once before will leech polluting chemicals down the drain when washed. Not to mention the micro plastics down the drain.
Speaking of water - it takes 2700l of the crucial stuff to make one t-shirt. So.. it's a no from me. Recycling has never been, and never will be the answer.
The not-so-scary solution: ask in your local Facebook group (wahey for my local 'What's on In Ramsbottom' or Buy and Swap Page, see if you can get a thread going to swap some old (and probable expensive once worn) Hallowe'en costumes for free! Or, if you're really keen - organise one in your local community space. Why not ask a local store to be a drop off point, then arrange them all on used hangers (you don't need rails, rope tied from pillar to post will do!) and people can leave one, swap one. Win win.
Not got time? Go as a pear of pants like this kid did.
2. Hallowe'en Sweets
Terrifying myth: Plastic mini packs packed with pork gelatine are the only way to be hygienic and for allergies, veganism on the up but sweets left behind.
Okay, this one to be fair I haven't seen much greenwashing. However, plastic free sweets that are vegetarian and vegan friendly too are frighteningly hard to find! We sell a whole range of them in Plentiful, and online (click here). They're packed in 100% home compostable packaging which you can return to us. They're pre packed for hygiene and allergen safety but can be broken down and given loose to share.
Anyway. Enough promo.
If you want to be SUPER eco friendly this Hallowe'en, I recommend making your own sweet treats. Cakes and the like might not be great for trick or treating but here's some amazing recipes for parties and home baking fun!
3. Hallowe'en Decorations
Terrifying Myth: DIY Hallowe'en decorations are take too long to make, new is quicker and cheaper.
Not-so-scary Truth: I feel ya. I swear, I'm queen of lazy low-waste living. If it's too time consuming, I won't do it. Here's my favourite 3 hallowe'en decs you can put together in 10 minutes or less - and I promise you.. NO GLITTER.
1. Old net curtain (or charity shop one, or piece of lace) cut into a giant cobweb for the corner of the room. Black paper spiders and a few splats of red paint if you wanna go fancy!
2. Paper strip pumpkins - so easy for children to do too! Click here. (I stole the idea.)
3. Black bottle candle holders - whack out the 'in case of black out' candles and black paint - jobs a good'un! They look so good once the wax has melted down, too.
And finally... PUMPKINS. Carve them at the last minute and use the whole pumpkin to make soup, roast it, dry and toast the seeds - only the stalk isn't to be eaten! (I mean, as far as I know). I'm not promo-ing our organic pumpkins - as we speak I'm pretty sure we have 5 left, which'll be gone this week!
(Image purely to show off our shop display!)
Happy Hallowe'en everyone.