Liz Iudakhina

Liz Iudakhina

Oct 2, 2023. 4 mins read

Sustainability

Green Halloween: How to Celebrate Sustainably Down Under

Crikey, it’s almost time! The ghosts and ghouls are stretching their spectral limbs, and the witches are dusting off their broomsticks. Before you head out the door to pick out spooky costumes for the entire family, however, make sure you’re not haunted by the scariest part of Halloween festivities – the waste. To be creepily precise, some international statistics indicate that at this time of the year alone, 2000 tonnes of plastic waste are generated. And here’s the especially horrifying part: polyester, used in over 60% of Halloween costumes and subsequently ending up in landfill, can take anywhere between 20-200 years to fully decompose. Yikes.

girl halloween scene pumpkins bats witch

The popularity of Halloween is rising and sure we Aussies might not have the crisp fall leaves or chilly winds of our Northern Hemisphere friends – but it's totally in our power to have a bloody good time while embracing sustainable living and reducing waste! 

So today, we proudly present our top tips for the ultimate Green Spooky Season Extravaganza so we don’t end up contributing to these nasty statistics.

Chilling Costumes

While it might feel like the easiest route to visit your nearest K-Mart and pick out a new set of Halloween costumes each year, this doesn’t exactly scream “circular economy”. Cue poor quality synthetic contraptions packaged in plastic…we’re not about this life, are we?

By using what you've already got in your wardrobe, borrowing or clothes swapping with friends, visiting local thrift hotspots or even borrowing a costume from a toy library, you're not only reducing waste but also saving money, all while giving new life to forgotten treasures. So, whether you're going for a "green witch" look or channelling your inner charming blood sucker, remember that a sustainable costume isn't just about looking top-notch, but also about feeling good knowing you're giving the environment and the sharing economy a fair go.

Dreadful Decorations

On the topic of reaping the used life benefits, Halloween decorations are something else that can be easily adapted from thrifty treasures, borrowing, things you already have on hand and toy marketplaces. From candles to extra creepy kids toys (hello, rubber insects), the only thing that’s separating you from creating the perfect spooky space is your imagination.

Another way to create eco-friendly decorations while embracing green living is incorporating natural decor such as pumpkins, gourds and bales of hay. Add some solar-powered lights, and you’ve got yourself the cosiest Halloween backyard in town!

Twisted Treats

Still haunted by waste? Time to sink your fangs into a new era of Halloween treats that go beyond the ordinary and into the realm of sustainability. 

When it comes to more traditional Halloween delights, why not swap out the conventional sugary fare for locally sourced, fair-trade, or organic candies that ensure your indulgence supports a greater cause? Also think boxed sultanas, small apples, paper wrapped confection or fun sized boxed lollies. And for a sneaky frugal living twist, consider offering homemade sweet treats – light both on the wallet and unnecessary packaging.

But that's not all – non-edible treats are also a wonderful option, sparking creativity and fun without the sugar rush. A plastic free halloween is possible, compostable stickers and eco-friendly trinkets are the new stars of the trick-or-treat bag, inviting kids and adults alike to revel in the joy of giving and receiving. Best of all, in this scenario children can easily swap toys and little things without worrying about allergies and intolerances (which can be a massive downer with traditional sweets). 

Petrifying Pumpkins

Carving pumpkins is a popular Halloween activity – and if you’re participating, pinky-promise to put the leftovers to good use! Whip up some soup, try a new pie recipe, or if all else fails – chuck it in the compost to help your garden thrive. 

Here’s something else to keep in mind – while in America, the home of Halloween, pumpkins are naturally in season during the festivities, it’s not really the case here in Australia. Rare local varieties that are harvested all year round tend to be more expensive, and have tougher skin that doesn’t lend itself to effortless creations.

With this in mind, you may want to consider some fun alternatives – such as juicy pineapples, giant watermelons and squishy papayas! Bonus sustainability points while saving money - check!

Astral Activities

Hosting a spooky gathering? Avoid the horrors of plastic cups, decorations and cutlery for a celebration that doesn’t cost the Earth. Fortunately, there are so many biodegradable options these days that this easy swap truly becomes a no-brainer. 

And when the party’s over, consider composting all organic matter and recycling as many things as possible. 

And there you have it, fellow eco warriors and Halloween enthusiasts – a bewitching blend of spooky shenanigans and sustainable practices that'll make the ghosts and gum trees proud! 

Whether you're embracing the eerie elegance of natural backyard decorations, sharing ethically sourced treats, or hosting your own Aussie-inspired Halloween party, each little choice makes a difference – and together, we can ensure that it's a difference as big as the Outback itself.

Liz Iudakhina

Liz Iudakhina

Researcher . Dietitian . Crazy cat lady . Toddler mum

When she’s not decoding the universe or negotiating with a tiny human over juice vs. water ratios, you’ll find her cuddled up with two meowing furballs. A true plate-spinning pro, she turns broccoli into superhero snacks and threads various facets of motherhood into delightful stories.

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