Zero Waste Halloween - A Helpful Guide

Zero Waste Halloween - A Helpful Guide

With Halloween right around the corner, people are bringing out decorations, thinking about the yummy treats and figuring out what costume to wear...

This year will most likely be an odd one because of... well, you know what!... and we will have to adapt. 

While traditional habits bring so much joy and laughter, there is a rather large amount of waste being produced as far as sweet wrappers, plastic decor and polyester / spandex / nylon costumes every single year.

So, let’s talk about some ways you can enjoy the holiday while being eco-friendly and potentially using what you already own.


To start the Halloween fun, it’s time to bring the decorations out! However, just like costumes, decorations are typically made of cheap, non-recyclable plastics that end up in your rubbish almost immediately after the big night or in a box that you’ll probably never ever see again.. oh hello, attic!

Here are a few ways you can give the place a fall and spooky vibe without giving in to the plastic decorations. 

Pumpkin Patch

A trip to the pumpkin patch is usually on everyones to-do list once October hits. Although social distancing is required, take a trip to your local pumpkin patch to minimise emissions - you don't want your pumpkin to come from tons of miles away, am I right? #irishpumpkinsmatter

If you are carving your pumpkin, don’t forget to save those pumpkin seeds to roast later on and use the flesh to make delicious compote (try pumpkin & coconut!), pies and soups... well, if none of these options float your boat, remember to compost the whole thing.

If you decide to paint your pumpkins, make sure you are using non-toxic paint.


Ditch the fake spider webs (yes, pure plastic!) and create your own using nothing but black yearn and white twine, and a pair of scissors! Voila!


If you have a handful of those milk jugs use them to make your lanterns instead of purchasing those plastic ghost lanterns to light up your walkway! You can use LED lights to light up the night. I am actually very excited to start ours!


Part of the Halloween fun is finding or making the perfect costume. However, whether it be a superhero, favourite movie or TV show character (hello, Schitt's Creek Moira!) or showing off different ways you can be creative, you are more than likely to spend money on a look you’ll sport for a few hours.

DIY of Thrift

Instead of spending money every single year, find articles of clothing or materials to make the costume. There’s nothing better than bringing out your creative side and putting something together with things you already have. Another option is to go out there and hunt for accessories and pieces at charity shops. I am all over my 80's costume this year - all thanks to a few different charity shops, thank you!


Host an online costume swap on Facebook with a group of friends and put those costumes to use. You can use WhatsApp to host it too, it's easy peasy!


Well, that's my favourite part... I mean, my kids' favourite part *wink wink*!

However, those of us who are trying to stray away from plastic wrappings and unhealthy sweets still might look for other ways to be less wasteful on Halloween night.


Have you considered non-sweets treats? Last year I got a tray of pain au chocolat and croissants and they went down reaaaally well!

Other ideas are:

  • Apples, mini oranges, or other fruit
  • Popcorn (in paper bags)
  • Granola bars
  • Paper bags of Trail Mix

If you happen to go the DIY route with any treats, remember to label everything so parents ensure items are safe to eat for their kids (lactose, gluten, nuts, etc.)

Eco Sweets

Ok, ok, sometimes you do want sweets, I get that! What about looking for package-free alternatives? We offer plastic-free vegan jellies, chocolate and a few more options but there are incredible shops around Ireland offering a serious wide selection! Our local is The Good Neighbour, just here in Dundrum... Their selection is out of this world!


Avoid purchasing new plastic-y themed bags -use old canvas bags and even decorate them, if you can.. remember: our goal is to avoid the bin at all costs, not to mention landfill!

Whether it be zero waste webs, a costume swap or providing kids with useful halloween goodies instead of treats, there are many ways you can have fun on Halloween, plastic and waste free. With the ongoing pandemic, it is important for everyone to take extra precaution and socially distance yourselves while partaking in outdoor activities.

Stay safe everyone and have a Happy Halloween!

- Pat x


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