Happy Halloween! We hope you're all up to something spooky and exciting this weekend, whether it's sampling some of the lovely pumpkin beers that seem to be everywhere this year or heading out on a ghostly night-time walk. Fun things like Halloween and Christmas can seem a bit like a big free-for-all on stuff that's destined for the landfill, so here are our tips on having an eco-friendly Halloween and autumn.
1. Make kids costumes at home. If you've got kids and they're heading out trick-or-treating, try making costumes at home isntead of buying them. Pre-made Halloween costumes are usually pretty expensive and don't last very long, and are often made with nasy chemicals that leach toxins into the environment (and your kids). We don't all have hundreds of spare hours to sit at home and sew elaborate pirate costumes, but the internet is a great source of super-quick costumes using stuff you'll have lying around. Bonus points if it's stuff that would have gone in the bin anyway.
2, Compost those pumpkins! We love this idea from Treehugger, who suggest holding a 'pumpkin smash' after Halloween to break up all your Halloweeny carved pumpkins for composting. Once they've been carved and have sat around for a while they're not much good for eating, and throwing all that good organic matter into the bin after Halloween is a bit of a shame when you think of all the lovely gardens and allotments that could thrive on all that goodness!
3. Save those seeds! If you're carving up pumpkins, or buying them to cook with, save the seeds. Pull them away from the stringy matter, rinse and pat dry. Leave out on a tea towel until dried, then toss with olive oil and spices for a healthy snack. Brown sugar and cinammon works well, or cumin and smoked paprika for something savoury.
4. Make crafts with nature. Instead of buying plastic decorations for your house, make decorations out of coloured leaves and string, or bundles of twigs (use bits you can find on the forest floor rather than pulling leaves and branches from living trees).
5. Use eco-friendly lightbulbs. Now that it's getting darker, you'll be using more electric light; if bulbs need replacing, replace them with energy-saving lightbulbs. Although they cost a bit more in the short-term, they'll save you money on your energy bulbs and they'll need replacing less often. This is good news for the planet (less energy used, less in the landfill) and for your pocket.
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