Skip to main content

How eco-friendly is your Halloween?

Two lit pumpkin lanterns in the dark
Click to enlarge

Make your night of gruesome fun as sustainable as possible

Halloween is a time to terrify yourself and your friends – but don’t let the freaky festival’s environmental impact keep you up all night. Here are some ideas for a more sustainable Halloween celebration.

Use what you already have

A key part of sustainability is minimising consumption – that is, reducing the number of new purchases and maximising the use of items that already exist. For example, rather than buying new decorations, it’s better to use the candles and re-useable party plates you bought last year.

Decorate for maximum spookiness and minimum impact

Decorations from your garden are also a good bet for Halloween as they can be composted once you’ve finished with them. Think twigs, autumn leaves and seedheads. A branch hung horizontally above the table and decked with any Halloween bits and even toys that are Halloween-adjacent is very effective.

Paper or card decorations and garlands can be re-used next year or quickly recycled. Or use glass jars with tissue-paper silhouettes to hold tea-lights

Swap spooky costumes to get the most out of them

Supermarkets make tempting displays of Halloween costumes, but many of them are made from plastic fabrics that cannot be recycled. Try to re-use any costumes you already have, repairing if necessary, or make a costume from dressing-ups or old clothing. Or you could organise a costume swap to help other families out. Halloween costumes do appear in charity shops in the autumn, and this can be a sustainable way of joining in the fun.

Put out the pumpkin

Worried about pumpkin waste? BBC Good Food has plenty of recipes for using pumpkin flesh and seeds from your hollowed out pumpkin lantern.

You can light a pumpkin with re-useable LED tea-lights, or look for tea-lights intended to be sustainable. There are refillable options, as well as tea-lights made from soy or beeswax.

And once you’ve finished using the pumpkin shell to frighten away ghoulies and ghosties, put it in the compost heap or in with your food waste. There is a lot of conflicting advice about whether pumpkin shells are good for wildlife. If you do want to feed your pumpkin to foxes, deer or squirrels – or even chickens, cut out any mouldy bits and scrape off wax that has spilled inside.

Take care storing your Halloween decorations and costumes

If you make a point of carefully cleaning and storing your Halloween bits this year, they will still be in good nick when you want to use them next year. Remove batteries, repair any damage now and give everything a quick clean.

Have a dedicated box or container for Halloween so you know exactly where to find you creepy costumes and dreadful decorations. If you’re short of space at home, rather than cramming Halloween decs into a cupboard where they will be crushed and in the way, make use of a storage unit outside your home.

All your stored Halloween goods will be covered by your self-storage insurance. The cost of self-storage insurance varies widely. Why not get a quick quote from Store and Insure to check that your storage insurance is competitive.

Photo by David Menidrey on Unsplash


Question and Answer


What is the best type of container to store seasonal decorations?

Most seasonal decorations will keep well in a large plastic box with a lid. Lidded plastic boxes can be stacked, and if they are heavy duty will protect your stored goods from moths and rodents. Cardboard boxes might be a better choice for keeping decorations in if you’re using climate-controlled storage, as they are cheaper and can easily be recycled at end of life. Baskets, too, are a good option for storing seasonal decs. They are pricy, but they can look good and become part of the decoration in themselves.