Halloween is almost here and this holiday now so fashionable even by us, can be approached in a Sustainable way : DIY costumes, recycled plastic decorations, reuse of jars, creative recycling,...
Halloween comes only once a year, but in Italy (before COVID) this tradition already involved more than 10 million Italians in 2019 and over 300 million spent (source: Codacons/Finanzaonline.com). And a significant portion of this spending is attributed to costumes and decorations. We must commit to not make it a party of waste, this yes would be really scary.
Let's see how to do that:
Halloween costumes, especially in Italy where the tradition of Halloween is still "fresh", are often made of plastic, disposable and often from all over the world. These products contribute to heavy CO2 emissions, encourage single-use plastics and quickly end up in landfills as soon as they go out of style. You could actually take advantage of Halloween to get creative, without worrying too much about the perfect result, since it's the holiday of terrifying things :). For me Halloween represented my willingness to learn to sew by machine...the result is still not what I would like, but with the kids we have created this beautiful tradition of devoting many evenings in October to the design and implementation of our most monstrous ideas. We started by salvaging old clothes we no longer use, old pieces of fabric and even items we would alternatively throw away. The monstrous effect is assured. But for those of you who don't have much time and the sewing machine is an impossible challenge, you can always opt to rent costumes, this allows you to avoid the disposable and give new life to monstrous creatures once a year. And now our box of costumes is ready for a second and third "re-wear" by the little cousin.
Pumpkins: Halloween pumpkins are all the rage, and people sometimes forget that supply and demand don't always have positive effects on the environment. I love pumpkins. I love fall in general, for the warm, wonderful colors and crisp skies. Pumpkins (and chestnuts) are the most beautiful decorations, but we have to be careful.
To get pumpkins to grow fast enough, many are sprayed with heavy pesticides. They are shipped long distances, making their carbon footprint exorbitant.
We can find much more environmentally friendly solutions: we buy organic or locally grown pumpkins, all pumpkins are beautiful and in Italy we have so many edible varieties (Zucca Mantovana, Zucca Marina di Chioggia, Zucca di Castellazzo, Zucca Lardaia,...) that will allow us to decorate our homes without wasting a product of nature. There are fabulous recipes to make: Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Ravioli, Pumpkin and Walnut Risotto, Pumpkin Veloute, Baked Crispy Pumpkin. Last Sunday we went with the kids to pick up the pumpkins directly from the producer, who had organized the camp a ways scavenger hunt for the occasion and it was so much fun.
Halloween Parties: also this year if we want to organize a Halloween party we will have to take all the extra measures and precautions for safety COVID, but beyond this is a great opportunity to make this party super green and spread to our friends that having fun while respecting the environment is possible. First rule: the costumes must be homemade or rented (as we said before)...on the homemade you could have incredible surprises that will make this party unforgettable. The menu must obviously include some pumpkin-based recipes served in normal, non-disposable dishes (not even paper or organic plastic ones, can we make it through using normal dishes?). Halloween can be a night of ghosts, goblins and zombies, but with a little planning and thought, it can be turned into an eco-friendly celebration.
Decorations: here we come to my favorite topic:Halloween decorations. Having gotten to this point in the article, I think it will be clear to everyone that Halloween and DIY decorations in general are two things I really enjoy. For a few years now, we have been building our own DIY decorations with the kids. I'll try to tell you some of our latest creations, which we have discovered on the net or by putting a little imagination:
1. ghosts with tissues of old fabric and caps of sparkling wine, or tangerines or lollipops. If you are also among the collectors of corks, you can create the cutest little ghosts by covering them with some white fabric on which to draw monstrous faces. You can also use tangerines or lollipops for our children to unwrap
2. plastic c orks with which to create beautiful place cards for the Halloween party or hang them on the windows. Take the caps, color them with tempera, maybe orange and turn them into little pumpkins worthy of Jack'o Lantern's competitors
3. ghostly faces drawn on glass bottles. If you happen to have empty glass bottles you can paint them black, white, orange or purple and create monstrous expressions
4. monstrous mummies with leftover glass jars. Simply cover them with a bit of papier-mâché (reusing old newspapers) and paint them with the strangest mummy faces you can think of. These decorations can easily be transformed into lanterns by inserting a small lamp.
Recycled plastic pumpkins made from the bottoms of bottles. Cut out the bottoms of two bottles, fit one on top of the other. Paint with tempera the color of your pumpkin and then with black draw a monstrous face. You can complete the top with a piece of green fabric. With old shampoo bottles you can create scary mummies
6. monstrous masks: using black or white fabric masks, we can use leftover colored cotton to turn our mask into a portable decoration. We can apply eyes and mouth, but also small pumpkins, spiders and bats
7. obviously with newspaper clippings and used sheets you can make many decorations to hang on the windows: spider webs, cockroaches, bats, mice, ...
8. and of course there are all thedelicious decorations: cookies, donuts, cakes ... on this there is only to decide with what ingredients, but there are many recipes, including vegan ones to try
And at the end of the holidays, if you have to clean everything, continue with the sustainable approach, try to use our spray detergent refill Multipurpose R5 and if you plan to put in the shower your "ghosts" you can not you can't help but use solid shower foam R5, orange as a pumpkin, emollient and moisturizing. With rice starch and coconut oil contains 97% naturally sourced ingredients and is totally free of silicones, microplastics and preservatives. Vegan friendly, not tested on animals, 100% plastic free, zero waste. Product 100% Made in Italy.
Happy "Green" Halloween to all!