Zero Waste Halloween a Simple Spooky Guide

October 23, 2020

Spooky season is officially in full swing and whilst some people scare easier than others one thing that should be on all of our minds is waste!

It is estimated 2000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated from discarded halloween costumes and 18,000 tonnes of waste pumpkin material is generated in the UK alone, scared yet?

Well we are too, that’s why we’ve written this handy guide on having a zero-waste halloween so you can give plastic the boot this halloween season.

Zero-waste halloween costumes

£155 million is spent every year on halloween costumes alone and many of these costumes don’t make it through to see the new year. If you want to save money and reduce waste when it comes to costumes follow our tips below:


witch with jack o lantern

Making your own halloween costume is super satisfying and the likelihood is that you probably have everything you need around your house. Some essential materials you’ll need are below:

  • Tin Foil
  • Old sheets
  • Old Clothing
  • Cardboard
  • Coloured paint
  • Scissors

With those materials alone there’s a tonne of stuff you can make, all you need is a bit of inspiration. If inspiration hasn't struck, check out a few of our favourite ideas below:

  1. Tin foil robot costume
  2. Frankenstein from an old suit
  3. Vampire costume with an old suit
  4. Ghost with a sheet
  5. Zombie in any old clothes
  6. Bat costume using broken umbrellas
  7. Queen of hearts costume with an old set of cards
  8. Skeleton halloween costume by cutting up an old white T-shirt
  9. Mummy costume 
  10.  DIY Witches costume using an old broom

Your imagination is the limit when it comes to DIY costumes, just don’t leave it until the last minute if you’re trying to make something elaborate from scratch.

Swap shop

If DIY costumes aren't your thing try getting in touch with friends and family members to find out what they have you can make use of, many people have a costume box tucked away - full of treasures!

Renting costumes

It’s possible to rent costumes too, this is a great option if you’re after something specific or something that might be expensive to buy brand new.

Zero-waste halloween decorations

Halloween decorations are another huge source of waste when it comes to halloween with tonnes of cheap plastic banners and sad old looking pumpkins heading to landfill on the 1st of november.


Halloween decorations pumpkins


But it doesn't have to be that way, the key as always is to reuse what you’ve got and use a bit of your imagination to see what you can rustle up. Here are some great props to have at your disposal:

  1. Candles - always a great addition for a bit of spooky lighting and a classical gothic vibe.
  2. Old jars - a few drops of food colouring and water are a simple way to make potions or scary pots of blood.
  3. Branches and twigs - carefully placed twigs and branches are great for a blair witch theme.
  4. Yarn -  make your own DIY spiders web by tying yarn across door frames and ceilings
  5. Signs from old cardboard and paint - make hair rasing statement signs by painting on old bits of cardboard from packaging
  6. Pumpkins - what would halloween be without a pumpkin? Just make sure to make use of the flesh and seeds. Pumpkin pie and soup always go down well this time of year.

Trick or treating

If you still want to hand out treats this halloween but don't want all the waste associated with plastic wrapped candy try giving some of these DIY spooky treats below a go

Bowl of worms - these worms really look the part and are easy to make with stuff you probably have in your cupboard right now! You’ll need straws and a red jelly of your choice.

Frozen boo nana pops - made with bananas and a white chocolate coating these treats are simple to rustle up and contain some hidden fruit (a bit of a rarity on halloween).

Mini oreo bats - these 4 ingredient bats are cute and don’t require much preparation at all. You’ll need oreos, mini reeses cupcakes, edible eyes and cream cheese frosting. 

Orange jack o lanterns - all you’ll need for this one is a black marker and oranges and a tiny bit of artistic talent. Draw a classic pumpkin face on the side of an orange and viola you have a healthy spooky snack!

Cobweb brownies - an easy way to dress up a box brownie mix by simply spreading melted marshmallow along the top

Black bean hummus - this hummus definitely looks the part and is tastier than you make expect too! Why not give it a try

Healthy halloween stuffed peppers - another jack-o-lantern themed treat, this time made with stuffed peppers. The perfect halloween spin on this classic recipe


Stuffed mushroom eyeballs - These mushroom stuffed eyeballs take a bit of prep but the garlicky filling is to die for! (no halloween pun intended)


Bloody cups - like peanut butter cups but filled with fruit jam, they’re gluten free and made with only 3 ingredients (oh they’re delicious too!)

Mummy apples - another healthy and super simple addition to the list, all you’ll need for this one is some apples a peeler and chocolate chips or drier blueberries for the eyes.

There we have it, with this guide hopefully you’re teeming with awesome zero-waste ideas for this halloween, we've covered:

  • Zero-waste halloween costumes
  • Zero-waste halloween decorations
  • Zero-waste halloween treats

We’d love to hear what your favourite idea from the list is, comment down below.

Zero-waste halloween guide

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