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!

Arts & Crafts, Life & Style

15 Spooktacular Homemade Halloween Costumes for Kids

homemade halloween costumes for kids

Looking for some homemade Halloween costumes and ideas for kids? I’ve got 15 ideas for you, with varying levels of difficulty!

Shop-bought Halloween costumes are without a doubt convenient, but at what cost? Recent research shows that an estimated 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste – equivalent to 83m bottles – will be generated from throwaway Halloween clothing sold by big-name retailers in the UK.

If you’re looking to give this plastic waste the miss and make your own Halloween costume then I have got you covered. With Halloween fast approaching, I have put together 15 homemade Halloween costumes for kids of all ages.  This will help give you some inspiration and plenty of time to get making!  

Do also check out my top tips on how to have an eco-friendly Halloween.

Awesome Homemade Halloween Costumes & Ideas

For each homemade Halloween costume click on the link to be taken to the full tutorial.

Batty About Bats

diy halloween costume ideas

 This DIY bat costume from the Etsy Blog looks fab, and as a sewing novice, dare I say it, relatively straightforward?

The Homemade Halloween Shell Suit Costume

homemade halloween costumes

This DIY snail costume from Oh Happy Day looks so much fun.  This homemade Halloween costume is mostly made with brown kraft paper – no sewing required!

Dino Might

diy dinosaur homemade halloween costume

This DIY dinosaur hoodie, on Diying to Be Domestic would be adorable for toddlers!

The Buccan-ear

halloween costume ideas for babies

For babies, I’m a fan of keeping it simple at Halloween.  I love these animal ear headbands from Hart + Sew.

Up & Away

carl from up costume

There are no specific DIY instructions for this homemade Halloween costume, but this baby dressed as Carl from Up made my heart sing.  How cute is this, and so easy to put together!

 Owl Be Having You

owl wings diy

These DIY owl wings from Llevo el Invierno are so pretty, and sure to delight any kid this Halloween!

Where’s Wally?

where's wally halloween costume

I’m a big fan of simplicity, so this Where’s Wally costume from Repeat Crafter Me appeals to me so much!

Let’s A-Go!

So, I’m a little bit obsessed with this Mario and Luigi outfit idea that I spotted on Instructables.  There are no specific DIY instructions, but add some yellow felt to a pair of dungarees and you’re pretty much there!  So quick and easy!

mario luigi halloween costume

A Just Purr-fect Homemade Halloween Costume

My daughter’s in a really girly phase right now so I think this girly DIY cat outfit from Kids Stuff World would really appeal to her!

girly halloween costume idea

Too Despicable?

despicable me minions costume diy

Do your kids love Despicable Me?  Then they’ll love these minions homemade Halloween costumes, found on the Goodwill blog.  They look nice and easy to make with items you might have already, which is always handy if you’re short on time!

Taking The Mickey

mickey mouse halloween costume diy

Again, this DIY Mickey Mouse costume from The Chirping Moms looks quite simple to make, but oh so effective!

Never Grow Up

peter pan costume diy

Don’t want your little one to grow up?  Try this Peter Pan costume DIY, spotted on Babble.  It looks fairly straightforward! A green polo shirt and some green leggings and you’re more than halfway there!

Butterflies In Your Tummy?

butterfly wings diy

I love these DIY butterfly wings from Buggy & Buddy.  Maybe wear with black leggings and a long-sleeved black top for our colder climes?!

Shark Attack

diy shark outfit

For another relatively simple Halloween costume idea try this shark costume DIY from Make It Love It.

Chop To It

lumberjack outfit diy

And finally, in the last of my ideas for handmade Halloween costumes for kids, I’ve found this lumberjack outfit DIY, again from Make It Love It. It’s absolutely hilarious! I want to make this for me!

I hope you’ve enjoyed these homemade Halloween costumes!  Will you be making one of them?

ps: here are five no-sew clothing DIYs if you are feeling crafty!