By Chloe Brant
A plastic waste ocean monster is spooky. Plastic that does not break down, harms marine life and stays in our oceans for hundreds of years. This sounds a whole lot more scary to us. This year we want to share with you tips on how to have a plastic-free Halloween for the kiddies and for the adults! Nothing really has to change, Halloween parties, trick-or-treating and dressing up in scary costumes can all still happen while being conscious of avoiding single-use plastics. Here are our tips for a Plastic Free Halloween! 🙂
For the Kiddies
Trick-or-treating is a fun community activity for all to join in on. Meeting neighbours, playing outside and of course coming home to eat all the delicious sweets is an all time favourite. But these sweets don’t have to be wrapped in plastic, there’s so many alternatives for kid’s trick-or-treat goodie bags.
Think of sweets which come packaged in cardboard, not plastic, like Smarties and Nerds. You can also get creative and make “healthy lollies”. Things like chocolate covered strawberries, honey sticks with our local Eden to Bees honey, carve carrot fingers for a spooky, but healthy treat or even make your own caramel apple dipper. Delicious!
Caramel Apple Dipper recipe:
4 tablespoons of butter (non-dairy or dairy)
½ cup of milk (bulk milk is available at the Co-Op)
1 cup of brown sugar packed
A pinch of salt
Half a dozen apples
Add all four ingredients into a saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer and consistently stir for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool on the fridge for 30 minutes. As it cools it will thicken. Cut up the apples into wedge slices and skewer then onto bamboo or wooden skewers. Dip the apples into the caramel dip and enjoy the sweet plastic free Halloween treat!
Trick-or-treating isn’t just about the lollies, although they are a sweet addition. Dressing up in the scariest outfit is where the fun comes in. When dressing up the kiddies for Halloween, think of op-shops for retro second-hand outfits, renting from party shops, or borrowing something off someone you know who may have a closet filled with fun outfits, or make your own!
There are so many ideas, some you may even find options in your own wardrobe. Remember the character Eleven from the horror TV series Stranger Things? A simple pink dress and some sneakers is all it takes! Let your imagination run wild of mixing and matching things together to not have to shop for something new, helping support the War on Waste.
If you want to go one step further, you could always dress up as a trash monster, lurking the sea at nights by collecting all your home recyclable waste to pin onto a T-shirt or dress. That ought to scare everyone!
The last factor that ties together a perfect plastic free Halloween trick-or-treating night is the carry bag for all the lollies. You’ll see plastic carry buckets lined up at big supermarkets and shops but at the Co-Op, we believe in reusing and cutting down waste in all areas which includes carry bags.
For a fun carry bag you can use a potato sack (which would go perfectly with a farmer outfit), any cotton or mesh bags at home, or even make your own bag by sewing together some old T-shirts (the scarier the T-shirt, the better!)
For the Adults
Halloween parties are a fun way to connect with friends and have a great time seeing who has the scariest costume. Just the same as the kiddies dress-up ideas, try to reuse or re-purpose old clothes of your own or from a second-hand shop for a killer outfit.
You can count on fake blood to be at any scary event. The only problem, it is packaged in plastic tubes and usually contains toxic ingredients which we put on our skins. Not nice. Check out this edible fake blood recipe that you can drip from your mouth to create that perfect zombie or vampire look.
1 tablespoon of flour
1 cup of water
2 tablespoons of red food colouring or beetroot powder / juice for a more natural version
Place the water and flour into a saucepan and whisk until the mixture breaks up and there are no lumps. When the flour is dissolved, heat the mixture until the water boils and then turn down the heat to medium-low and cook for approx. 30 minutes or less depending on how liquid or thick you want it to be. Let the mixture cool and add 2 tablespoons of the red food colouring into the thick mixture.
Pumpkin carving is a fun activity to have at a party, although what do you do with all the pumpkin leftovers?
When carving out a pumpkin, try to save all the “guts” of the pumpkin and reuse for a delicious pumpkin soup like this one:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
1 leek, white part only, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1kg pumpkin (all the guts from your carvings)
1 large potato, peeled, diced
1 large vegetable stock
½ cup thick cream or milk
Check out Taste.com for the full recipe.
When hosting a party, avoid buying plastic cups for drinks. Try filling a punch bowl with a selection of your favourite drinks and adding some fruit on top for people to dip mugs or coffee cups into. BYO cup is a perfect idea if you don’t have enough cups to go around. Perhaps a prize for best dressed and best personal cup is a sure way to avoid using plastic cups!
Just like any holiday or event, it’s hard to keep plastic out of the picture. But by following easy steps and always preparing and planning ahead, you’ll be sure to avoid plastic at every dead-end or spooky turn.
Happy Plastic Free Halloween!
About the Author Chloe Brant – An avid ocean lover and eco blogger, Chloe works in broadcast communications and felt she needed to share the message of living a more sustainable life. The Manly Food Co-Op was the perfect fit to share their local and healthy produce and waste-free thinking with the wider community.
“I volunteer writing content for the Co-Op to share my love for local produce and to learn all I can from like-minded volunteers and community members about living a sustainable life for a happy planet :)”