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Kayden & Lauren

Half-Term Challenge:

Halloween – the scary part is how much waste we produce

It’s almost that time to either don your vampire cape, or turn off all your lights and pretend you aren’t home! The 31st of October marks the annual Halloween celebration, loved by some and feared by many.

Not so much for the fear of the dead raising from their graves but for the commercial pressures to buy into it. We need to think about the vast amounts of waste we produce for a single night. From the plastic ‘devil’ forks, vampire capes, cats ears, facemasks and fake cobwebs, to the most ridiculous thing … the polystyrene pumpkin. Not to mention all of the single use plastic from the party food, sweet wrappers and drinks containers.

Can you re-use single use plastic to create a spooky Halloween decoration?

Send pictures of your work to

Well done Mark for this spider made from single-use plastic bottle:

1. Forgo the plastic treat bucket. A cloth bag works for Trick-or-Treating and can be reused again and again.

2. Choose a plastic-free costume. Avoid costumes made with PVC/vinyl, which are more likely to be contaminated with chemicals called phthalates. Phthalates can disrupt your endocrine system… Scary, indeed! Make your own costume from natural fabrics, repurpose items you already own, or visit a thrift store for the perfect outfit. Use nontoxic makeup to create the perfect look.

3. Consider an alternative to plastic-wrapped candy. Choose candy in paper boxes or make parents everywhere happy by handing out apples (in season now), small oranges, or art supplies like pencils and crayons. Even better: recycle old crayons into colourful new crayons using this easy method. If your Trick-or-Treaters are friends or acquaintances, you could give out homemade Halloween cookies in a paper bag.

4. Use Real Stuff. Decorate your home with pumpkins, gourds, and autumn leaves. Use leaves like paper to make festive cut outs. Carve pumpkins into Jack-o’-lanterns for spooky decorations—you can even roast and eat the seeds. After Halloween, compost your pumpkins.

5. Throw a Green (and Orange) Party. Hosting a party? Just say no to “disposable” plates and cups. Use your own cups and dishes and wash them afterward. Use real forks and spoons or for an easier option, serve finger foods. Get creative with your Halloween-themed food…

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