Life & Style, Special Occasions

Eco-Friendly Halloween Ideas For A Spooktacular Time

Have a real ghoul time this year with this ultimate guide to having an eco-friendly and sustainable Halloween. From environmentally friendly costumes to planet-friendly decorations and treats, you’ll be sure to pick up some eerie-sistable ideas!

Do you know what the scariest part of Halloween is? It’s not the talk of ghosts and ghouls in the air, but the sheer amount of waste we collectively produce.

Apparently, an estimated 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste – equivalent to 83m bottles – is generated from throwaway Halloween clothing sold by leading retailers in the UK each year. Meanwhile, when it comes to pumpkins, the picture is no better. 60% of people who buy pumpkins to carve say they dispose of the inner flesh. Meanwhile, 80% say they don’t consider a pumpkins’ primary purpose as a food item. It is a frightening picture.

However, I’m no ghoul. I don’t think Halloween should be cancelled. Far from it. I am all about celebrating and bringing cheer to the dark nights. What I do think is that we can turn these frightening statistics around with a bit of thought and consideration to the planet.

The Ultimate Guide to Having an Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Halloween

Image of black paper bats with a blue text box that says the ultimate guide to an eco-friendly and sustainable halloween

To treat lightly on the planet, but still have some hair-raising fun, here are some truly spooktacular ideas for greening your Halloween. From costumes to food, to decor, it’s all here!

Eco-Friendly Halloween Costumes

The most sustainable option when it comes to Halloween costumes is to use what you already have. Can you put together a fun costume from items of clothing you already own? If you’re struggling, can you borrow something from a friend? Or have a Halloween costume swap if you don’t want to wear the same costume as the previous year? If it’s for kids, can you swap costumes with other parents?

If you can’t find what you need in your own wardrobe or that of a friend, then the next most sustainable option is to buy secondhand. Some of my favourite places for secondhand Halloween costumes are Oxfam Online*, eBay*, and Facebook Marketplace. If you have time, do also try your local charity shops, as many save up Halloween costumes they have been donated to sell in October.

If you can’t find what you want secondhand, then renting a costume is another sustainable option. Search online for Halloween costume rental options near you.

If you want to make your own costume, then the only limit is your imagination. Try my guide to homemade Halloween costumes for kids for some clever ideas.

Eco-Friendly Halloween Treats

sustaianble halloween food

It’s Bone-Appetit (see what I did there?!) with these eco-friendly and sustainable Halloween treat ideas.

For Halloween Parties

If you are hosting a Halloween party then you are spoiled for choice when it comes to eco-friendly food. BBC Good Food has tons of vegan Halloween recipes. From vegan nachos to pumpkin hummus, squash stews, and vegan toffee apples there’s a host of ghoulish treats to choose from. Tangerine pumpkins and banana ghosts are also refined sugar-free treats that go down well with little kids.

For Trick or Treaters

For a sustainable Halloween, I would normally advocate making your own treats. However, for trick or treaters, I opt for packaged treats. Allergies, viruses, and general safety concerns mean I feel better handing over items that aren’t homemade.

Thankfully, there are many ethical alternatives to regular chocolate and sweets brands. Look out for products that are Fairtrade (like these mini chocolates*), are Certified Organic, or have other independent certifications.

If these options are above your budget, or too tricky to come by, then I say it’s totally fine to opt for sweet treats that you find in your local shops. Sweet wrappers can be recycled using soft plastic recycling schemes available at some supermarkets, including Tesco, Co-Op stores, and Morrisons.

If you can’t eat any leftover unopened sweets that you don’t want to eat, then consider how you can reduce food waste. Can you pass them on to someone who could via an app like Olio? Or a local food bank?

Planet-Friendly Decorations

two spooky pumpkins

Halloween really lends itself to eco-friendly and sustainable decorations. After all, it has its roots in the transition of summer into winter. The fact that it has always been traditionally held on 31st October is significant because this is the last day of the harvest.  Decorating with fruit, vegetables, and other natural materials is a great way to go to honour these traditions.

Pick A Pumpkin Or Two

I grew up in Scotland in the 1980s carving neeps (turnips) at Halloween. These carved jack o’lanterns are eminently spookier than pumpkins, but a total nightmare to carve. If you value your fingers, then pick a pumpkin instead. There are heaps of pumpkin growers across the UK. For the lowest carbon footprint, find a pumpkin patch local to you and pick up a pumpkin or two.

Carve pumpkins to your heart’s content – just don’t forget to use the innards to make soups, stews, or curries. For extra zero-waste points, you can even roast the pumpkin seeds to make a tasty snack. After Halloween has been and gone, don’t forget to compost the pumpkin in your food waste bin or compost heap.

Alternatively, some people suggest leaving your pumpkin outside in your garden for animals to eat. If you do this, make sure to remove any candle wax, paint, or other embellishments you may have used. I have read reports that pumpkins may be harmful to hedgehogs, but I can’t find any official information on this. If you wish to err on the side of caution, then popping your discarded pumpkin up in a tree in your garden for birds and squirrels to eat gets around this prickly issue.

Other Eco-Friendly Halloween Decoration Ideas

As well as pumpkins, there are plenty of low waste ways to decorate at Halloween.

The most sustainable action would be to keep using the Halloween decorations you already own. There’s no need to throw items away just because they are made of plastic. Reusing what we already own is the pinnacle of sustainability, so bring out the plastic pumpkins, skeletons, or bats with pride!

If you are looking to add some more Halloween decorations to your life, then another idea would be to source secondhand Halloween decor items that you can reuse year after year. Whether that’s an ornament, banners, or decorations for the outside of your home. I would try eBay or Facebook marketplace for these types of items.

Make Your Own Decorations

The other green option is to make your own. The internet is awash with homemade Halloween decorations. If you’ve got an empty tin can and some white fabric then you’ve got a spooky tin can ghost. If you’ve got some black paper, you’ve got some plastic-free bats for your walls. Or if you’ve got some leftover wool, you’ve got some ghost tassels to hang up. Spent 5 minutes on Pinterest and I promise you can gather tons of plastic-free and zero-waste ideas that will leave your house looking spooktacular!

Any other sustainable Halloween tips? Do share!

Home, Home and Garden

Best Eco-Friendly Towels for the Bath To The Beach

luks towels

Looking for ethical and eco-friendly towels for the bath, shower, or beyond? Here are my top ethical and sustainable picks – from organic cotton to the zero-waste ones made from waste yarn, and more.

Many of us are busy trying to reduce our use of plastic in the bathroom. But did you know that your environmental efforts don’t have to stop at switching to bamboo toothbrushes and solid shampoo bars? Yes, if you need to replace your towels, then you can buy eco-friendly towels that are kind to both the environment and the workers who made them.

It can be a bit of a sustainable minefield trying to work out what products are actually eco-friendly and ethical (spoiler: even in the eco-friendly towel market there’s a lot of greenwashing). As such, I’ve done the leg work for you and rounded up my favourite sustainable towels.

Sustainable Towel Quick Links

First off, here are the quick links for towels in case you just want to visit the site of a particular brand. Scroll down past this section if you want more information about each ethical towel brand, including a price guide.

In order to help support the running costs of Moral Fibres, this post contains affiliate links, denoted by *. Moral Fibres may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to readers, on items that have been purchased through those links. This income helps keep this site running.

What To Look For In An Eco-Friendly Towel

When asking what towels are eco-friendly, there are a few things you can look out for. Organic cotton is a better choice than regular cotton. This is because regular cotton requires heavy pesticide use that can contaminate the soil, land, and water. For peace of mind, look for external certification, such as Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton. This means that the entire textile supply chain is backed up by independent certification, so you can be sure you aren’t being greenwashed.

OEKO-TEX® certified cotton is another good choice to look out for. This means the product has been tested at all stages of production for harmful substances. This ensures that workers are working in a safe environment and that the product does not discharge any harmful chemicals either in the production stage or at home.

You might come across BCI cotton, which positions itself as a sustainable alternative. I personally avoid BCI cotton, as it turns out it isn’t a great ethical choice.

Some brands have started to use leftover yarn from making other products to make towels. This is a great zero-waste and low-impact eco-friendly option, which I’d love to see more of.

Bamboo is also pervasive in the eco-friendly towel market. However bamboo can be problematic. Whilst bamboo is faster-growing and requires fewer chemicals and water to grow, it is chemically intensive to turn woody bamboo into soft fabrics. This process can be harmful to both workers and the environment.

I haven’t featured any bamboo towel brands in this guide. This is because I couldn’t verify the bamboo towel brands that I found were making bamboo fibre responsibly. If you do specifically want bamboo towels, then look for brands that prioritise the safety of their workers. Also, look for those that have robust chemical management plans in place to minimise the environmental impact of the industrial effluent.

The Best Eco-Friendly Towels

Guide to eco-friendly towels - from organic bath towels to beach towels and more.

Whilst it can indeed be a minefield separating the green from the greenwash, to help make it easy for you, I’ve put together a guide to my favourite eco-friendly towels. I’ve particularly looked for ethical brands producing independently certified organic cotton towels. I’ve also found brands using sustainable materials such as waste yarns.

On to the towels!

Gudrun Sjoden

gudrun sjoden green organic towels hanging in white bathroom

Gudrun Sjoden’s range of brightly printed organic cotton towels are a favourite in our house. Here are ours hanging in our bathroom! In the interests of full transparency, these towels were a PR gift to me three years ago. This means I’m under no obligation at all to share them in this post. However, we use them on a daily basis and they still look new, so I wanted to share them as a tried and tested recommendation.

As well as being durable, these ethical towels are cuddly soft. They also cleverly feature two in-built hooks. This means you can hang them either on the long side or short side depending on the height of your hook. I love this clever feature!

Find Gudrun Sjoden’s towels online, starting from £14.

Himeya

Himeya at Bedeck

Himêya’s eco-friendly ‘Rescue’ hand towels are made with yarns from production waste. They are a by-product of waste yarns that do not conform to a designed size, weight, or pattern and would otherwise be binned. However, Himeya found that when these yarns are woven together, they make great-looking and well-functioning hand towels.

As well as using waste yarns, Himêya donates 20% of its Rescue Towel proceeds to the International Rescue Committee (IRC). This is an organisation dedicated to supporting those whose livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster. Donations help affected people to survive, recover and regain control of their future.

I have a set of these hand towels, also previously given to me as a PR gift. I find these stand up well to daily life, and all the extra hand washing that we need to do these days.

Buy the Himeya Rescue Towels from Bedeck* for £8.

Luks

Luks from Wearth

Luks beautiful handcrafted bath towels are handmade ethically in Turkey from OEKO-TEX® cotton. As a lightweight towel, rather than fluffy bath towels, the fabric itself is lightweight and quick drying.

Whilst it does take some getting used to a thin towel, if you’re used to the fluffy variety, you’ll soon be swung round to the pros of these types of towels. I love that they don’t take long to dry. Damp towels hanging around your bathroom for hours soon becomes a thing of the past.  

Storing your towels also takes up less room in your home – which is great if you live in a small space. The Ekin towel, for example, is as big as a bath sheet but it rolls or folds down to about a quarter of the size. This also means they are great for travelling or for trips to the beach or for wild swimming – taking up much less space in your bag. More room for snacks!

Buy Luks towels from Wearth*, from £35.

Natural Collection’s Eco-Friendly Towels

Natural Collection eco-friendly and ethical bath towels

Natural Collection’s GOTS certified organic towels organic cotton are ethically made in Turkey.

Super soft, and a great size for drying off after a relaxing shower or bath, these eco-friendly towels will soon be a favourite in your house.

These towels come in a range of sizes and coordinating colours, so you can mix and match your towels, or have a different colour for each member of the family.

Buy Natural Collection’s towels from Ethical Superstore*, from £4.95.

Wild & Stone Eco-Friendly Towels

Wild & Stone hand towels

Finally, Wild & Stone’s hand towels are fairly made in India from organic cotton that is both GOTS and OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certified. To minimise their carbon footprint, Wild & Stone use sea shipments, rather than air, for all of their products.

All of their lovely hand towels are packaged in fully recyclable, plastic-free packaging. And what’s more, a percentage from each purchase is donated to the Marine Conservation Society.

Buy Wild & Stone towels from Ethical Superstore* for £14.95.

I hope this roundup of eco-friendly and ethical towels is helpful! Do also check out my guide to plastic-free bubble bath if you have all things bathing in mind.