How To Have A Sustainable Halloween

Halloween is a fun time of year to dress up, watch scary films and eat plenty of sweet treats! But it can also be a very wasteful occasion, and we want to ensure you can enjoy the spooky season without contributing to the climate crisis.

Pumpkin outside on the pavement with autumn leaves scattered around
Overconsumption and waste: scary stuff!

Forget the ghosts and monsters – the climate crisis is pretty scary itself! But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the festivities – it just means we need to be conscious of the waste we are producing, and how that has an impact on the environment.

Environmental charity Hubbub found that, each year, seven million Halloween costumes are thrown away. They calculated that the number of costumes thrown away each year amounts to 2,079 tonnes of plastic – the equivalent of around 83 million plastic drinks bottles.

We’ve compiled a list of ideas to help you save money and waste, and still have a spook-tacular Halloween.

Choosing a costume:

Wearing a fancy dress costume is fun for children and adults alike, but it doesn’t need to cost the earth! When planning what to wear, consider the following:

  • The most sustainable thing you can wear is something you already own. Do you have a costume from a previous year that you can reuse? Or maybe you have some clothes you can upcycle into something new.
  • Ask your friends and family whether they have costumes lying around that you could borrow. Why not organise a costume swap in your local area? This could be a great idea for children’s costumes in particular.
  • Buy something second-hand, either from an online platform such as eBay or Depop, or from a local charity shop. This prevents costumes from being wasted, and saves you money as well!


Making your house look spooky can be part of the fun, especially if you’re hosting a party. When thinking about decorations, consider the following options before buying new:

  • Use what you already have! Many of us have decorations boxed away that we forget about. Check to see whether you have anything you can reuse before buying anything else.
  • Ask your friends and family if they have anything you can borrow, especially if you’re the one hosting the celebrations. Many of us buy decorations we end up using only once, so why not share with others so less waste is created?
  • Make your own! A quick online search will help you transform household waste such as egg boxes and milk cartons into Halloween decorations. This provides a fun activity for children, and can also save you money!


Pumpkin-carving is a Halloween tradition, but environmental charity Hubbub found that 18,000 tonnes of edible pumpkin ends up in the bin each year! Make sure you follow these tips to make sure your pumpkin doesn’t end up polluting the planet.

  • Use the insides to make a delicious soup! Instead of throwing away the inside of your pumpkin, use it to make an autumnal soup or stew.
  • Compost the pumpkin at the end of its life. Once Halloween is over, and your pumpkin is looking a bit deflated, chop it up some more and stick it in your compost bin. For tips on how to compost, check out our article here.

Don’t let plastic ruin your party!

Single-use plastic can be harmful to our environment if it ends up as litter or in our oceans and rivers. Try these tips to reduce the amount of waste you create at Halloween:

  • Avoid single-use cups, cutlery and plates. Where possible, use reusables. Ask friends and family to borrow items if you do not already have them, or encourage party guests to bring their own.

We’d love to see what you do at Halloween to make the climate crisis a bit less scary! Use the hashtag #candosouthyorkshire on social media to show us your costumes, decorations and pumpkins, all made in a sustainable way