We’re still enjoying some lovely weather but you can feel the Autumn chill in the air in the mornings and the leaves are starting to turn.
Things are slowly returning to normal now that the Covid restrictions have been lifted in the UK but we still need to take care and keep ourselves and others safe.
Did you know that Halloween originated from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. Marking the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter
Later, in the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honour all saints; soon, All Saints Day. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later became known as Halloween.
Today Halloween is more about letting the kids have fun dressing up and going out Trick or Treating and an excuse for a Party.
Unlike 2020 there are likely to be a few more parties and Trick or Treating this year which will be great for the kids. But we just need to be a bit more conscious of our choices and put a little bit more effort into planning Halloween to make sure everyone stays safe and has fun.
Because everyone needs a little bit of fun in their lives.
Low Waste Halloween
And, as well as having fun and keeping safe we should all try and make sure we have a low waste Halloween. A great place to start is by remembering the 5 Rs of Zero Waste:
- Refuse – Learn to say no! Say no to plastic, say no to single use disposables.
- Reduce – Think before you buy.
- Reuse –Upcycle items you would otherwise throw away.
- Recycle – If you’ve managed to Refuse, Reduce and Reuse then you shouldn’t have a lot left but make sure you separate out your remaining rubbish and put the recyclable rubbish in the recycling bin.
- Rot – Don’t forget to compost those pumpkins once you’ve finished with them.
If you follow the 5 R’s when planning your celebrations, you’ll be on the right track for a Zero Waste Halloween. But, if you need some inspiration I’ve got some ideas for a low waste fun Halloween.
Ideas for a Low Waste fun halloween in 2021
Why not start off the Halloween fun with a trip to a Pumpkin Patch to pick your own Pumpkins. There are now quite a few places in the UK that do this , you may need to book a slot so check out the ones in your local area.
We love taking the boys to pick their own Pumpkins and have a few options in Oxfordshire but one of our favourites is Millets Farm.
Trick or Treating
Now that Covid restrictions have been lifted in the UK there will definitely be more kids out Trick or Treating this year.
If you’re going trick or treating remember:
- only knock on doors with a lit pumpkin outside or in the window
If you’re giving out treats things lie mini packets of smarties in carboard boxes are a great low waste option as the cardboard can be recycled. Mandarins with faces drawn on them are also a good option.
Zero Waste Halloween Costumes
It’s fun for the kids to dress up for Halloween even if they aren’t going Trick or Treating.
You can make Halloween costumes from old clothes and fabric you have or go and have a rummage through the second-hand shops. A ghost is always an easy option using an old sheet.
Makeup is a great way to get a spooky Halloween look. And, don’t forget to see if anyone has some old Halloween costumes they’d like to swap with you.
If you’re using face paints you want to go for the most eco friendly ones that don’t contain any nasties. There are quite a few recipes for homemade face paints which sounds good. However, most of them use food colouring and I’m always worried it will stain.
My favourite brand of face paints are from Natural Earth, the paints come in small glass jars and eco-friendly makeup applicators (with bamboo and corn resin handles) you can buy them from Conscious Crafts.
The face paints themselves are safe and eco-friendly with over 70% Certified Organic ingredients. The face paint washes off easily with soap and water. And, not only are the paints safe, but you will nourish your skin as they contain organic, fair-trade shea butter and organic castor seed oil. The facepaint is certifed non-toxic, and it is free of nano particles, heavy metals, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, and animal products such as carmine.
Zero Waste Halloween Decorations
The perfect Halloween decoration must be the Pumpkin. They look brilliant when they’ve been carved and have a candle inside them. But remember to use the inside of the Pumpkin and not just throw it away, check out my recipe for Pumpkin Pie. And, when Halloween is over make sure you “Rot” and pop your Pumpkin in the compost bin.
You can also decorate mandarins with scary faces and pile them up in a bowl. Bats from old toilet rolls and bits of fabric. Mummy jars (take a look on Pinterest) candles and autumn wreaths for your front door. The list is endless you just need to release your creative skills.
Zero Waste Halloween Party Food
You might not be having a big Halloween party in 2020 but that shouldn’t stop you having Halloween fun while social distancing at home as a family; or with a couple of friends depending on the latest guidelines.
And, what could be better than some Halloween themed food.
If you’ve carved your own Pumpkin rather than let all that Pumpkin flesh go to waste, why not make a Pumpkin Pie.
And don’t forget you can easily roast the Pumpkin seeds for a snack. Just preheat the oven to 300⁰F. Toss the pumpkin seeds with oil and salt and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 35-45 minutes, until golden brown. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool the seeds.
There are lots of great ideas for Halloween party food on Pinterest, including apple shrunken heads, spooky cupcakes, Halloween cookies, witches’ hats, cheese graveyard. I’ve saved lots of my favourites to my Zero Waste Halloween Board so pop over and take a look for some inspiration.
Zero Waste Halloween Games
There are lots of Halloween games that you can play but one of my favourites is the “Witching Hour – Escape Challenge Game”
Turn your house into a spooky escape room for kids this Halloween!
Can the children solve the clues and puzzles and brew the potion correctly to escape from the Wicked Witch of Eastwick?
A truly unique spooktacularly immersive experience for children for their best Halloween yet!
You could have such great fun decorating your house and playing this with the kids.
Another alternative would be to do a Treasure Hunt in the garden or house for spooky sweet treats for the kids to find.
Watch a scary movie
Why not dress up in your Halloween costumes, make some spooky Halloween food and watch a scary movie together. These are some of my favourite kids, not too scary, movies:
- Beetlejuice (1988 – Rated 15)
- Gremlins (1984 – Rated 15)
- The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2012 Rated 12A)
- Young Frankenstein (1974 Rated PG)
- The Addams Family (2019 Rated PG)
- The Witches (1990 Rated PG)
- Ghostbusters (1984 Rated PG)
- The Haunted Mansion (2003 Rated PG)
- Room on the Broom (2013 Rated U)
- Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015 Rated U)
Read Scary Stories and Toast Marshmallows
Another fun activity that you can do as a family is to wrap up warm and sit outside around a fire toasting marshmallows. And, while your toasting the marshmallows why not read some scary stories. You don’t need to read the whole book, just choose one of your favourite chapters.
Here are some books that you might like:
- Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories (suitable for tweens and teens)
- Goosebumps by R.L. Stine (lots to choose from and suitable for tweens)
- Spooksville byChristopher Pike (suitable for teens)
- Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (for younger kids)
- Ten Timid Ghosts by Jennifer O’Connell (for younger kids)
There’s no reason why you can’t have a fun Halloween and still reduce the amount of waste you produce. It just takes a little bit more planning and creativity.
Hope you all have a fun time and I’d love to hear your tips.