What do you think of when I say Halloween?
Haunted houses? Trick-or-treat? The beginning of pumpkin spice everything?
If there’s one thing scarier than ghosts and wizards that come out on Halloween, it’s the amount of waste, money and single-use plastic people tend to go through.
While Halloween can be a time for unleashing your inner child, it’s not the time to let go of your morals and ethics. Initially, it may seem crazy to attempt to make Halloween sustainable however, there are simple things that all of us can do to transform your night from hallo-ween to hallo-green.
If you’ve ever seen a scary movie, I’m sure you’ve come into contact with a haunted house. Call me twisted but come Halloween time, there’s something so special about creating something absolutely terrifying with your family (I’m just saying it how it is).
When it comes to decorating your house, there are easy ways to make it a more environmentally friendly process.
- Do you have any old stockings that got runs approximately 2.6 seconds after you put them on? Don’t throw them away – old stockings are great for creating spiderwebs.
- Instead of purchasing plastic pumpkins, use natural pumpkins for jack o lanterns. For extra brownie points, recycle the stuffing and seeds on the inside to create delicious snacks and meals. You can bake pumpkin seeds in the oven with spices or, create pumpkin soup with the inside – get creative! Or make these scrumptious breakfast bars.
- If you are using natural produce, it’s a great idea to ensure what you’re using is compostable. Some compostable Halloween items include pumpkins, hay leaves and branches.
- Once you’re finished with your decorations, be sure to stow them away for next year to help reduce your waste.
One of my favourite parts about Halloween are the costumes. If you’ve ever seen my wardrobe, you’ll know a lot of it originates from thrift stores. There’s honestly nothing more satisfying than finding amazing pre-loved clothes for a cheap price, and the same goes for costumes. Always opt for vintage and re-usable where possible. And yes, I am recycling an image from 2018 :).
I love getting thrifty and recycling old costumes with things I already have. If you’re in need of something new, don’t underestimate the power of a white sheet for a ghost, or old grubby clothes for a zombie. Or go gender neutral as a bank robber in black pants and a black tee, it suits any boy or ghoul, just add black eye makeup as a mask because Draaama! With the right make-up or face paint, you can really take a look to the next level.
When I'm doing a wardrobe clean-out, I always ensure I keep some old clothes that can be reused for costume parties too!
If you do want to look a bit more grandeur, consider cutting the costs and renting a costume from a local party shop. Alternatively, find a friend or neighbour who’ll costume swap with you each year.
Let’s talk trick-or-treat. If your kids are going hunting for the goods, give them reusable bags, such as canvas bags or buckets, instead of plastic pumpkins. If they come home with more candy that they can chew (sadly, this is usually impossible, but we can dream), donate it to a local kitchen. Alternatively, use it in baking – try sprinkling some on top of Golden Gut Nice Cream or adding it to my Chocolate Fudge.
If you’re the one giving out the treats, try buy locally produced candies and treats with minimal packaging. You can even make your own treats and put them in cute recyclable packages – such as my Turmeric Tummy Gummies or Strawberry and Chia Roll Ups.
If you’re up for the challenge of hosting a Green Halloween dinner party, try your hand at creating a beautiful pumpkin-filled tablescape, like this one here.
Avoid disposable cups, plates and cutlery. Rather, choose biodegradable or glass. Be sure to fill the table with locally grown food that’s in season, such as the almighty Halloween pumpkin.
If you’re in need of a brand new pumpkin-filled festive recipe, I’ve got just the one down below! Its a Fibre-rich Chunky Root Veg Mash that'll knock your stockings off. I know it sounds super simple, but honestly this mash with ghoul busting garlic, nut butter and lemon is the yummiest mash I've ever eaten.
Not sure what to do with your left-over pumpkin? 🎃
I've put together five delicious tricks for pumpkin treats here ! Or try these tried and tested tricky treats...
This chunky Root Veg Mash from my gut-supercharging and life-altering book, Supercharge Your Gut, is a great side to any mains. It’s a smooth way to get your roughage in too and its loaded with fibre and prebiotics!
This delicious vegie mash is suitable for vegans, but you can also replace the vegetable broth with the Gut Healing Turmeric Chicken Broth for some extra gut love.
Chunky Root Veg Mash
- 2 large carrots
- 2 parsnips
- 1/2 butternut pumpkin (squash)
- 1 small sweet potato
- 1 whole leek, white part only, washed well and chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, unpeeled
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 125–250 ml (4–9 fl oz/ 1/2–1 cup) Vegetable Broth or Gut Healing Turmeric Chicken Broth.
- 1 tablespoon nut butter (optional, if tolerated)
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Peel the carrots, parsnips, pumpkin and sweet potato, if you prefer, then roughly chop. Place in a large bowl with the leek and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle the olive oil over and rub it in with your hands, until the vegetables are well coated.
Spread the vegetables on the baking tray, add the garlic clove and bake for 35–45 minutes, or until all the vegetables are roasted and caramelised, checking now and then and removing the vegetables as they are cooked.
Leave to cool slightly.
Slip the garlic out of its skin, into a high-speed blender. Add the roasted vegetables, lemon juice, 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) of the broth, and the nut butter, if using. Whiz until you achieve a mash-like consistency, adding more broth if required. (Alternatively, for a coarser texture, you can mash the mixture together with a fork.)
Transfer to bowls and enjoy.