How to make Halloween eco-friendly

Columnist Kirsty-Jo Muddiman says ditch expensive costumes and head to the charity shop before trick or treating this year.

By Laura Andrew
Thursday, 31st October 2019, 6:51 am
Updated Thursday, 31st October 2019, 7:02 am

Halloween is not far away and yes, you’ll have the kids off school again that week and you’ll more than likely give in to them wanting to go trick or treating, getting dressed up and you’ll panic buy a huge tub of something sweet to hand out at the door.Save yourself some cash, give them something to do on their week off and make Halloween green.

One of the best outfits my daughter ever had was the year we got an embroidered dress from a charity shop which we made “spooky” by sewing on spider’s webs and old bits of netting.She drew dolls eyelashes and mouth “trap door” on her face with eyeliner and rosied up her cheeks with lipstick. Truly unnerving actually.

Using clothes from charity shops for fancy dress has less environmental impact than buying new clothes and you can choose natural fibres for a fraction of the cost of new.Natural fibres have less environmental impact than plastic fibres, but the real reason you’ll want to make this choice is that they are safer.Remember the young girl who was badly burned because she was wearing synthetic fibres?Fancy dress outfits don’t have the same safety regulations as regular clothes and when there are so many candles out on the streets for Halloween, go for the safer, greener option of second- hand, hand-customised outfits. You’ll be supporting a charity too.

When it comes to what you’ll give out at the door, it’s difficult. So many sweets come in plastic.

Some people worry about contamination from little fingers sharing the same bowl.Some kids are vegetarian or vegan, some don’t eat pork gelatine, some don’t eat beef.Some kids are allergic to nuts, some to dairy.If you try to cover all angles you just won’t come up with anything to give out other than cold hard cash, and that’s not really the point of Halloween at all.One thing I don’t think you should worry about is fingers sharing germs in the bowl of sweets.Research suggests that allergies are on the rise because we’re just too clean.The theory is that our immune systems are just idling around, with nothing to fight and so start to turn on things which aren’t a threat at all.I’m not saying your kitchen has to be filthy, I’m just saying that a little germ here and there is no bad thing, it keeps our immune systems busy and working within their job descriptions.

My advice is to pick sweets in a big tub or jar (hopefully that you can repurpose or return) that come without individual wrappers or get creative in the kitchen and make a basic fudge or mini flapjacks.

Happy Halloween!