How to have a Spooky and Sustainable Halloween

Halloween is almost upon us, and to get into the spooky spirit of the season we’re sharing our Recycle Now and Love Food Hate Waste tips and tricks for a more sustainable Halloween!

Recycle Now – scary single use plastics and carbon neutral costumes 

Sweet wrappers

Gone trick or treating? That stash of sweets is probably crawling with plastic wrapping. The good news is that whilst these kinds of plastics can’t usually be collected for recycling from your home, sweet wrappers are now recycled alongside plastic bags and wrapping at supermarkets across the country. Find your closest participating store on our Recycling Locator: Recycle an item. Just be sure to put them inside another bag and drop them off at the front of the store next time you go shopping. 

Low carbon costumes 

Score some Halloween recycling brownie points with these top tips:

  • Make your costume from recyclable items – from cardboard box robots to DIY witch hats made from old bits of fabric and ghosts from old bedsheets, it’s a great time to get creative with the kids!
  • Reuse costumes – there’s no shame in being the one who always comes as a zombie if you’ve already got the costume, and it saves buying new. If the kids’ costumes don’t fit them anymore why not hunt around in a charity shop, or online marketplaces to find something pre-loved? These are great places to take your outgrown costumes, too! 
  • Rent a costume – if you’re after something more elaborate, or you don’t want to wear the same thing as last year, another option is to rent your costume. There are lots of websites that allow you to rent fancy dress outfits, and these not only look more impressive, but they’re much kinder to the environment!
  • Share the Scare – If you’re hosting a party, why not set your guests the challenge of making their own recycled costumes? Offer a prize for the most creative use of recycled materials! Why not have an #unwornfridays Halloween special and share your pre-loved creations on social media.

Reduce your disposable plastic

Every year, Halloween can be awash with cheap plastic: LED pumpkins, scary masks and devil horns, buckets for trick or treating… the list goes on. Reduce your plastic this Halloween and make some simple sustainable switches:

  • Real pumpkins – carved or not, pumpkins of all shapes and sizes make the perfect Halloween decorations, with no plastic required. Even better, you can eat them as well as carving them! Take a look at these delicious ways to eat your Halloween pumpkins from our friends at Love Food Hate Waste, and pop any bits you can’t eat in your food waste collection, if you have one. If you’re not sure, head over to to find out if you have one or not.
  • Paper pumpkins – if you’re on a budget or just don’t want to fill your home with real pumpkins, paper pumpkins are a sustainable alternative to plastic ones. If you can’t find any in your local shop, they’re easy and fun to draw, and make great bunting when tied to lengths of string! You can do other spooky paper cut-outs, too – think spiders, skeletons and tombstones.
  • Use face paint instead of masks – painting a scary face on is a great alternative to buying a plastic mask that could soon end up in the bin.
  • Use real cutlery and glasses – instead of disposable plastic knives, forks and cups at parties.
  • Use wicker or metal buckets instead of plastic – get the kids to gather their trick or treating haul in a more sustainable option. A bonus treat if they decorate it themselves!

Love Food Hate (pumpkin) Waste 

Pumpkins are an essential part of the spooky season, however, the question of what to do with the pumpkin once Halloween is over is one to consider. There are alternatives to just throwing it away. Pumpkins are high in vitamin A and C and it’s not just pumpkin pie which can be made with the leftovers this autumn. You can make a hearty soup, pasta bake or risotto, or tasty muffins, as an afternoon treat. Additionally, the seeds can be roasted for a tasty snack.

Take a look at these delicious ways to eat your Halloween pumpkins from our friends at Love Food Hate Waste, and pop any bits you can’t eat in your food waste collection, if you have one.

Remember, if you’ve got more pumpkin than you can use straightaway, you can also freeze it – just parboil it in chunks, cool in iced water and pop in an airtight container ready to conjure up something delicious another day. Halloween never looked so tasty!

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