Plan your green Halloween
24th October 2019
Words by Anna Whitaker
Looking for eco-friendly Halloween ideas that won’t miss out on the fun? We got you. Here’s a little edit of ideas to avoid the plastic tat and throwaway nature of this all-American holiday with natural décor (très chic), slave-free sweets and costumes they’ll use again and again. Now it’s just time to practice those ghost stories…
Ah Bear, king of the sneaky treat. Their snacks just contain the natural sugars found in the fruit, veg and grains in each one, which means there’s less sugar per snack than you’d find in a fresh apple. Yes way. And while their packaging isn’t 100% recyclable just yet (although it can be recycled at specialist recycling points and in local authorities with sorting schemes), they’re doing a damn sight better than a lot of brands (you can read about this here). Stock up for your trick or treaters pronto.
We all know the problem with buying something you’ll only wear once. So if you’re adamant you can’t make something in time, a quick dig around the local chazza shop this week could be a winning plan. Alas, time isn’t something us parents are particularly blessed with so if you do fancy splashing the cash, choose something they’ll wear all year round, like a gorgeous print from Mini Rodini in GOTS certified organic cotton made in a factory that implements the living wage.
Accessories are a much better buy when it comes to sustainable fancy dress. They’re generally much smaller, way more versatile and can be reused year after year. This bat set from party powerhouse, Meri Meri, is one of my favourites, featuring felt wings, silver stitching and simple elastic arms to slip them on and off. The headdress is also just adorable and can double up as all number of other creatures going forward.
This beautifully illustrated cookbook has been the ultimate resource in feasts for the dead and undead for hundreds of years. But now, for the very first time, it’s been translated for humans as well as monsters to get their goulish feast ready for Halloween. And because the monsters aren’t all bad, all profits go to the Ministry of Stories, helping little Londoners to get their imagination fix.
5. Dead leaves – FREE
For anyone with time and craftiness in their hands, there’s shed loads you can do with dead leaves. Just take the bambinos down to the park and fill your boots (and bags) with as many lovely leaves as you like. You can then hit up Pinterest for ideas for what to do with them. I’m into simple garlands and wreaths but they’re also great for making crowns and Autumnal pictures like these charming hedgehogs.
6. Local Pumpkins – Variable
Pick-your-own pumpkin patches are all over the place right now (especially in the age of Instagram) so why not make a day of it? I’ve heard that some have their own playgrounds and decent coffee too, so definitely worth a trip before the big day. Decorating with these biodegradable beauties is one of the easiest and most sustainable ways of getting in the spooky mood. And if all that wholesome fun isn’t enough, why not make a pumpkin pie with its juicy flesh.
I discovered crowdfarming last Christmas, when a friend told me about her crop of clementines that had arrived in time for the festive period. She’d adopted a tree in Spain, which I found out to be an amazingly sustainable way of getting hold of the festive fruit. Halloween might be a little early for harvesting but if you’re after the “mini pumpkins” as an alternative treat for those tricksters, why not support your local fruit and veg shop rather than the big guys.
There’s a long and actually rather interesting read on Tony’s website about the packaging they chose for these tiny treats. The long and short of it is that each one is totally recyclable so can be popped into your green bin afterwards. I’ve banged on about this chocolate everywhere I can, not just because of its slave-free commitment but also because it tastes bloody divine. I can’t even cheat on it these days because nothing else comes close.
Whatever you do for a treat bucket, don’t give in to those awful plastic pumpkins. My guess is that for each one of those bought, half of them end up in landfill a week later and the other half adds to the growing mountain of tat your kids have growing in the corner. My alternative would be these lovely personalised totes, which can be used and stored away year after year.
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