What is Halloween? And how can we celebrate responsibly?

These days Halloween seems to be a marketing exercise in getting us all to spend money on unnecessary plastic goods, ghost-shaped cakes, and pumpkins, oh yes, and send our children out to pester people sitting down in their own homes after a hard day at work!

What’s the Halloween equivalent of bah humbug?

Seriously though, what used to be a little-observed Celtic festival celebrating the end of summer and harvest time has turned into a completely different event with ghosts and ghouls which bears no relevance to the original celebration, and frankly the only thing it’s terrifying for is the planet!

Having said all that if you have young children it’s hard to be a killjoy and ignore Halloween altogether. So, what can you do to make your Halloween as eco-friendly as possible?

If you want to decorate your house you could try using natural things such as fallen leaves, fir cones, and branches. Re-purpose old clothes or bed linen for your children to dress up in, use old cardboard boxes to make masks.

Another idea is not to buy plastic trick or treat bags, use paper bags, or recycled cardboard boxes. If you want to decorate your house with lights, using LEDs is more eco-efficient and therefore better for the planet.

If you scoop out a pumpkin, don’t throw the flesh away, you can make great soup and pies, or if you don’t have time for that then your compost heap will be happy with some pumpkin flesh.

Last but not least be careful with trick or treating, some elderly people are unnerved by groups of children knocking on their door at night. Houses where the owners are happy to have trick or treaters usually have a pumpkin outside as a sign that it’s okay to knock.

We’ve noticed already when we’re out cleaning your bins how many pumpkins have been skilfully hollowed out and decorated, and they do look great.

If you are going to celebrate Halloween we hope you have a happy and safe time whilst looking after our planet and thinking of other people. We’ll be sitting at home after a hard day bin cleaning, with our feet up watching a scary movie and eating homemade pumpkin pie!

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