Eco Friendly Halloween!
By Zeina AlHashmi
It’s October, which means its Halloween season. Since this holiday is known to be one of the most fun and exciting as people’s creativity really kicks in, we wanted to spice up the creativity levels even more and help celebrate & enjoy it in an eco-friendly way. Now, Halloween can not only be super wasteful but also super expensive, especially here in the UAE. So, for the first time, we are bringing you a special, carefully thought out, blog to not only reduce the impact on the environment, but also the impact on your bank account!
Halloween tips and tricks inspiration made super simple and super sustainable!
Let’s talk about decorations. Here’s a couple of DIY that are easy and fun to make. The key is to use what you already have, you can really be surprised by the number of things you already own that would make great sources for amazing decorations.
Another incredible aspect to DIY decorations is that it’s a great way to spend time with your kids, family as well as friends.
Essentially all you need are:
- Old cardboard boxes,
- Tree branches & twigs
- Glass jars, bottles or old tins & cans,
- Fairy lights
- A bunch of white cotton fabric e.g. rags, cloths or cheesecloths
- Black & orange paint and markers
Here are some ideas:
The greatest thing about all the above, is that these decorations do not go to waste. You can simply pack them up in a storage box and reuse them over and over again each year!
Food & Snacks
Going low waste in food during this one-day celebration has a huge impact! Whether you are hosting a gathering or simply spending it at home with family and friends, here a list of crazy creative ways to put together delicious Halloween themed treats.
Ideas for finger food on a platter:
- Carve nails into carrots
- Cut out eyes in bell peppers and stuff with cheese, dip or veggies
- Make a brain and dip out of cauliflower and avocados
- Banana ghosts
- Peeled clementine with a celery top
- Butternut Squash carvings
- Use blueberries for eyes and slice strawberries as tongues
The key for low waste snacks is to shop unpackaged. Choose naked fruits and vegetables and bring your own reusable produce bags. For cheeses, olives and dips like hummus or labneh these can also be bought package free, as long as you remember to bring your own containers to the stores. Breads and crackers can also be bought without packaging from the bakeries.
Green Alternatives for Trick-or-Treaters
With the pandemic, trick or treating might be deemed a high risk activity and so this year, “treats” might just be about bringing Halloween treats to a friend’s place or about handing them out as giveaway to guests. Having said that, the safest, eco-friendliest option out there would be making your own.
Homemade treats is the simplest way to avoid single use packaging and, not to mention, cutting down on the sugar and artificial coloring and flavor in the ‘fun sized’ candy bars. It’s also a great way to raise awareness and divert from the “norm” that has left our planet drowning in the non-recyclable wrappers.
If you don’t want homemade, you have two more low waste options to consider:
- The bulk route: Head over to candy stalls or stores (e.g. sweet factory or candylicious) that sell package free candy. Bring your own container, select and mix. Make your own giveaway treats.
- Recyclable packaging: choose paper packaged treats like nerds or foil packaged like Hershey’s kisses.
- If you want to skip the candy handouts all together then opt for sustainable and greener way of participating, you can offer toys, pencils, erasers, DIY bookmarks, playing cards, storybooks etc.
No matter what your Halloween plans are for this year, it’s still fun to get in costume!
At the end of the night… It’s all about the costume! However, the real deal breaker is the cost of Halloween costumes!! In the UAE a costume starting price ranges from 150 dhs (for kids) to 450 dhs (for adults) aside from the add on accessories like fake nails, bloody stick-on skin, mustaches, wigs etc. These costumes are usually only worn once, made from really bad material and don’t support fair trade. On top of it, they are sold in cheap plastic packaging.
Here are your eco options for this year: Remember Halloween Costumes can be easily crafted from items and clothes you already own!
- Rent, buy or use Second hand
If you are one that doesn’t want to spend time designing and prefers ready-made, this waste less option is for you. All you need to do is a quick online search, join your local community group or swap costumes with friends and family.
- Get crafty, make your own Halloween costume and Do your Own makeup
This applies for kids, women and men! There are amazing fun ideas out there and usually only requires cut up black shirts. Now with 2020, this would involve getting creative with your face mask.
Join the GreenFootprint’s Plastic Free Halloween Party!
- List your healthy snack business (Select Event / Plastic Free Halloween Category)
- Give-away or sell your unwanted costumes. Create a listing so people can find you easily. (Select Service / Plastic Free Halloween Category)
- Share your creativity with us! Tag #greenfootprintuae on Instagram and we will share your story or share your pictures and ideas on our forum
Follow Zeina on Istagram @earthly_behavior and read more about her sustainable living here