How to host a zero-waste Halloween party

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halloween party

We all want to reduce our impact on the environment and live a more sustainable life. But sometimes it feels like seasonal events and, especially, Halloween are designed to make those lifestyle choices difficult! Here’s our guide to how to host your Halloween party with a zero-waste approach in mind.


Zero waste means living life sustainably – and following the mantra of reduce, reuse, recycle wherever possible. In particular, we want to avoid plastics which can’t be easily recycled, have a long lifecycle and often end up in our water courses and, increasingly, our food chain.

Here’s some ideas to help you make the right choices this Halloween.


#1. Don’t rely on disposable plates and cutlery

Avoid single-use items and items that are designed to be disposable as the first step. For example, instead of opting for disposable party plates and plastic cutlery, opt instead for reusable plates and bowls and bamboo cutlery. Ikea’s children’s ranges offer an affordable way to make the transition from single-use plates and bowls to unbreakable alternatives that can be reused.


#2. Dispose of your pumpkins responsibly

Food waste is a big problem – much of it ends up in landfill. Instead of throwing your pumpkins into the trash and adding to this expensive problem, try to reuse and recycle them as far as possible.

Turn the pumpkin flesh into a tasty soup. Once you have scooped out the seeds, don’t throw them away. Wash and dry them carefully then bake them to create a tasty, healthy snack of roasted pumpkin seeds. Once you’ve finished with the pumpkins you use as decorations, dispose of them in your compost bin rather than your general waste.


#3. Avoid plastic decorations

Rather than buy disposable, plastic decorations, make your own. Look for fun paper crafts that relate to your Halloween theme. This way, you can get your kids involved in decorating the house, inspire their creativity and do the planet some good!

Fall is also a great season for natural decorations. Make use of nature’s bounty at harvesttime – using leaves, berries, twigs and squashes to decorate your Halloween party spaces.

Or make use of what you have at home to create. For example, an old white bedsheet and some wire coat hangers can be transformed into a scary ghost or two with the judicious use of a black sharpie and some string!


#4. Don’t buy candles made from petrochemicals

If you are going to be using candles, make sure you choose candles made from natural ingredients such as soy or beeswax. They are more expensive, so you might need to do more with less. However, this choice will ensure you aren’t burning nasty petrochemicals and adding to the destruction of natural habitats caused by the petrochemical industry.


#5. Don’t rely on battery-operated decorations and costumes

A lot of the commercially available decorations and costumes rely on batteries. While the lights look great during the dark nights, this is terrible for the environment. Battery disposal is really problematic for the environment and is rarely done safely. Often used batteries end up in general waste. Plus, sourcing the raw materials used in batteries is equally problematic for the environment. Their mining is responsible for the destruction of forests around the world and many other natural habitats. Instead, opt for natural candles for your decorations. Or use plug-in lights around your home. Try to avoid lights sewn into clothing or costumes. If you must use batteries (in torches etc.), choose rechargeable ones to minimize the damage.


#7. Raid your closet for costumes

Why spend your hard-earned cash on throw-away costumes you’ll only wear once? The racks of costumes in discount stores and supermarkets are designed with the expectation that they’re disposable. This means they aren’t high quality enough to last more than a couple of wears.

Instead, pull together your own costume for a more thoughtful and creative approach to Halloween dress-up. Raid your own closet – and those of your friends. Peruse the local thrift shops to discover unique finds. And make your own costumes and accessories out of carboard or the things you have lying about at home. This way, you can be proud of your unique look – and proud of your eco-credentials and low-waste approach to Halloween partying.



What next?

Find other autumnal, festive and craft ideas elsewhere on our blog: