It’s that time of year again; pumpkins are back in fashion, apple bobbing has returned to the party scene, and we’re all handing out sweets and chocolate like Willy Wonka. Yep, it’s Halloween – and, whatever the age, everyone seems to be getting involved. I mean, when else can grown-ups get away with acting like big kids and dressing up as a Ghostbuster?
But, before you grab those devil horns for the office party, spare us a minute, we’ve got a couple of truly frightening tales to tell you. Crank the creepy music up, this is the real nightmare of Halloween…
1. The revenge of the pumpkin
When we think of Halloween, we think of pumpkins. They are the October 31st equivalent to the giant fir tree and Christmas. And they’re great, because they’re the perfect base for carving the scariest face imaginable into, but they’re also edible. So, what’s so spooky about that, you ask? Well, despite being yummy to eat, 50 million pumpkins are binned every Halloween. That’s enough to make a bowl of pumpkin soup for every person in Britain. Now you’re a little unnerved, right? So, this year, we’re asking you to help turn this scary tale upside down, crack out the apron and embrace the culinary wonders of this orange vegetable. Try your hand at a pumpkin pie, swap potato wedges for pumpkin ones, and roast up those seeds to snack on at work. And remember, with any scraps or leftovers, just pop them into your compost bin rather than the general waste.
2. Voldemort’s one-way ticket to landfill
Head out on the 31st October and, for one evening only, you’ll be walking among ghosts, witches and, most likely, the clown from It. These days, us humans are getting seriously inventive with our costumes and the shops are stacked full of different options to choose from. But, as it’s not really the norm to stay dressed as Voldemort the whole year round, these outfits then get discarded and, often, thrown in the bin – where they find themselves on a one-way ticket to landfill. To make sure that doesn’t happen this year, how about organising a Halloween costume swap with friends or colleagues? Or go one step further and make your own scary costume (if all else fails, there’s always the white sheet turned into a ghost option). But, if you’ve already bought your costume, don’t worry – just make sure to donate it to a charity shop afterwards, or store it away safely for next year.
3. A spooky atmosphere and its even spookier demise
To create a truly spooky atmosphere at Halloween, whether at home, in the office, or at a party, you need to decorate accordingly. To do so, most people head straight for the shops, purchasing fake spider webs, skull bowls, hanging skeletons and the like. But many of these decorations are tricky to recycle and end up in landfill, with the Voldemort costumes for company (lucky them). So, while you’re making your outfit, see if you can go DIY with your decorations too. It might take a little more time than buying pre-made, but that extra effort will help the planet and your pocket. If you do still decide to buy your decorations, go for items that you can reuse time and time again. And, if your decorations are battery-operated, remember to check if the batteries can be recycled (they often can) and find out where the local collection points are.
We hope the above tales have given you some food for thought (specifically pumpkin-flavoured). All that’s left for us to say now is…happy Halloween! Good luck with the apple bobbing and watch out for those black cats…