Halloween can be especially bad for the planet! It causes loads of food waste when people carve pumpkins and then throw them away. And lots of plastic decorations are sold and they quite often get thrown away when Halloween is over. Some people put fake cobwebs outside their houses and they might trap birds.
Here are some of the ways I tried to help the planet at Halloween.
Sometimes we grow our own pumpkin in our garden but we didn’t manage to this year so we used squashes to carve because we could get them in our organic veg box from Riverford and because squashes usually taste a bit nicer than shop-bought pumpkins for carving. We used crown prince squashes and an ornamental squash that came in our veg box.
To make them extra spooky we used scrap wood and scrap fabric to turn them into ghosts!
We scraped out as much of the pumpkin as possible and we used the middle bit to make pumpkin bread and pumpkin soup. We had some of the pumpkin soup for tea and we put the rest in the freezer. We roasted the seeds with olive oil, salt and paprika.
After Halloween we put the pumpkin skins on our compost heap.
Some people put their old pumpkins in the park because they think it helps wildlife but it doesn’t! Pumpkin can make hedgehogs poorly and mouldy pumpkin isn’t good for any animals. It can take ages to decompose and when it does decompose it can mess up the balance of nutrients in the soil and make the wrong kind of plants grow there.
The best thing to do with pumpkins is to try and cook and eat as much as possible and then compost the rest.
We made our own Halloween decorations out of scrap materials.
We made ghosts out of golf balls which we found in the stream in our local park wrapped in scraps of plastic bags.
We made lanterns using old jam jars and tissue paper that came as packaging.
When we chose treats to give to trick or treaters we tried to avoid sweets that were wrapped in lots of plastic. We made sure we chose Fairtrade chocolate. Fairtrade is important because it means the people who grow the food get paid a fair price so they can make enough money in a sustainable way.
We reused our Halloween costumes from last year which were home made using organic cotton to make them as sustainable as possible.
We dressed up as bats because we love bats!
I hope you had a good Halloween!