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7 tips for a plastic-free Halloween
Planning a plastic-free Halloween is a lot easier than it seems. It's estimated that 7 million Halloween costumes are thrown away in the UK every year and, with the majority of them being made from plastic or polyester, it really is scary times.
We've put together a collection of tips to help kick start your preparation for the 31 October and how you can make your Halloween celebration as plastic free as possible.
1. Visit your local charity shops to find a costume, as many of them will have perfectly good costumes on their rails and in good condition. The whole idea of "you can't be the same character twice", means a lot of costumes are chucked away rather than being used again. You could stumble across a real gem.
2. A bit of talcum powder, black pencil and some fake blood (food colouring, flour and cornflakes) is a quick fix if you're in a rush. Last year, I wore black leggings with a black top, got myself a white apron and covered it with fake blood. I went overkill with the eye liner and powdered my face white. I'll probably go with the same look again this year, and mix up the outfit.
3. Carve your own pumpkin! This is a great activity to do with kids. You can find your local pumpkin patch, as there as many farms that invite you into their fields to select the one you want to buy. There are all sorts of things you can do with the pumpkin afterwards, too. You can make pumpkin soup or pie... mmmmm.
4. Halloween baking is super fun, especially if you do it with friends. You could encourage a bake-off of Halloween themed cupcakes, ghost biscuits or something a bit more ghastly. Baked treats are also good for the trick or treaters who, will banging at your door.
5. Throw a Halloween themed party. Get creative with your home carved pumpkins and home baked snacks. Use old sheets as decorations, glass jars as lanterns, stuff old clothes full of straw to make your own scarecrow, drip wax down toilet rolls and make your own medieval candle chandelier, make paper bunting in the shape of a skull, toffee apples, 'blood juice' cocktails with spider paper straws - the ideas are endless.
6. If you're planning on going trick-or-treating, speak to your neighbours about going plastic free this year. They might be sceptical, but it's always nice to educate. Try not to preach though because it puts people off. If your kids are trying to make a change, then give your neighbours a bit of warning and let them know that your whole family is trying to cut down on single-use plastic. Maybe they can buy chocolates in foil instead of plastic wrappers!
7. Halloween might be a really good time to introduce your kids to an ecobrick. If you can't convince your neighbours to switch to chocolates in foil, sweet wrappers can be one of the biggest source of single-use plastic in your household around Halloween. Why not start an ecobrick to measure how much plastic you actually use and how quickly it fills up.
Have you got any tips and tricks that we've missed? Pop them in the comments below to help inspire others.