One of the most celebrated dates in the Fairfield calendar, Halloween 2018 is sure to be the riot of colour, costume and sugar-fuelled fun that it is every year – and who would have it any other way?
However, with everything from coffee cups to drinking straws and cotton buds to crisp packets under scrutiny from an environmental standpoint (and with very good cause), we take a look at some of the little changes we can all make to lessen our impact. Why not try a couple of them and throw yourself into the fun without having to throw so much away afterwards?
Obviously you need one, but why not make your own, put together something new from things you already have, or exchange with friends – it all just adds to the fun. If you do buy new, think about how long the costume will last, how many times it will be worn, and what it’s made from. We now know plastic isn’t so fantastic (and if you’re going out trick-or-treating, remember that it’s also not good near naked flames).
Do you carve? You probably think we’ll be down on this one, and we’ll admit it is a little wasteful to grow something as big as a pumpkin just for a single-use decoration, but at least pumpkins are compostable. For less waste and a quick, tasty snack, bake the seeds and sprinkle with salt, or, even better, find a recipe for the pumpkin itself. A top tip for the lazy: they can be just as decorative uncarved (which is probably better anyway if you do want to eat them) – just don’t paint them or they can’t go in the food bin.
It’s not just a certain manufacturer’s crisp packets that can’t be recycled – lots of sweets come in planet-unfriendly packaging, too. Look for recyclable wrappers (foil is particularly good as it can be recycled everywhere; ‘recyclable’ plastics are a little more hit and miss). If you can’t find wrappers you’re happy with, unwrapped sweets and paper bags work just as well, and the bonus is they’re often cheaper. Once you’ve chosen the best packaging, encourage the children to do their bit too by making a bin available.
Hosting a Halloween party? If possible, use real plates and cups – or if that’s not an option, it’s worth taking the time to check before you buy and make sure that your disposable ones can be composted. Anything that’s paper with a plastic layer goes to landfill. For some foods, a simple serviette is enough.
So much fun in the dark, right? But, sadly, so obviously single use we’re surprised they haven’t had more bad press. They only last a few hours, can’t be recycled, and are toxic if pierced. Now you’ve thought about it, what’s wrong with a torch?
Can you think of any more simple ways to cut back on waste? If so you should definitely join us and share your wisdom. We are also in the very early stages of planning a zero waste fayre, which we are sure to need lots of help with. Search for ‘Fairfield Sustainability Group’ on Facebook to get involved.