06 October 2023
The month of October is known mainly for two things; the changing of seasons and Halloween. Halloween has been celebrated in Malta for a while now and is immensely popular with young children and adults alike.
Unfortunately, it is not a very sustainable holiday. Nowadays, we live in a world where there is an increased need for sustainable and eco-friendly practices which extend even to our holidays.
Not to worry though as there are a number of different ways in which to celebrate Halloween in an eco-friendlier way. These ideas will be the main point of discussion in this blog post and range from small changes to bolder, more creative ideas.
Halloween wouldn’t be Halloween if it weren’t for the costumes. Unfortunately, these costumes which are bought and thrown away every year are not very good for the environment. Therefore, one solution to this issue could be for groups of people to create their own costumes from clothes they already own and maybe don’t wear anymore, a way of giving torn or weary clothing a second life. This also allows an extra layer of creativity as well as provides a degree of uniqueness, therefore possibly allowing a more enjoyable and fun time for all involved.
The only other thing arguably more synonymous with Halloween than costumes is pumpkins. These too can be used in a more eco-friendly way. They can be sourced locally and carved in an efficient manner so as to be able to use the flesh of the pumpkin for food purposes. The locally sourced pumpkins could be used to make treats for potential trick-or-treaters to take home with them as opposed to individually wrapped sweets. Furthermore, after Halloween passes, it is important to note that the used pumpkins should be disposed of properly, be it discarded in the organic waste bag or even better used for compost!
Following from the treat perspective, where and when possible, it would be significantly better if homemade treats were made and given out to trick-or-treaters instead of buying sweets individually. It would be even better if these homemade sweets are made using local or seasonal ingredients. Realistically however, it is not feasible for everyone to make their own homemade treats but at least instead of buying sweets individually, it would be much better for the environment if sweets were purchased in bulk. It would also be a good idea for trick-or-treaters to use reusable bags for collecting their sweets as opposed to single-use plastic bags. These bags could then be used yearly and also greatly reduce the amount of plastic waste that is generated.
Waste however, is unfortunately unavoidable to a degree and therefore still needs to be cleared up and collected. Therefore it would be a good initiative to clean up areas where trick-or-treaters frequent in order to reduce the degradation of the environment and decrease our carbon footprint on the area in question.
Decorations are very commonly used in Halloween and even here small changes can be made to make the holiday more sustainable. These would be changes like for example; wherever lights are being used, one could use LED lights instead to reduce their electrical consumption. Similar to the costumes, one may also opt to create and design their own decorations as opposed to buying them. These decorations could potentially even be made out of natural resources like pinecones or shells. There’s also an aesthetically pleasing element in using natural resources for decorations and give a house a more authentic feel to it. If buying decorations, one should look out for and opt for those made from recyclable material.
Lastly, weather permitting, one could host or go on tours of local haunted houses. More often than not these ‘haunted’ houses would have a historical or cultural significance behind them. Such as houses with catacombs underneath or leading to bomb shelters. This can also be extended beyond homes to some nature walk destinations with a spooky twist. Generally, the weather in October will still be moderate enough for this to happen. These tours can be used to highlight the importance of preserving and respecting natural areas, this can be linked also to the idea of cleaning up the area post Halloween season.
These are just a few tips on how to enjoy a more sustainable and eco-friendlier Halloween. Most suggestions are only fairly small changes and therefore would not compromise the fun of the holiday season but arguably make it even more fun adding in some creative and unique features! Have a fun environmentally friendly Halloween 2023!
Our GO Green Initiative
At GO plc, we’re not just a telecommunications company, we’re a group of people who connect people all over Malta and Gozo. We strive to maintain this connectivity, not just digitally, but also physically. It’s important that we take care of our physical environment so that future generations can also enjoy the same connectivity. That’s why we’ve set up GO Green, an extension of GO primarily focusing on helping sustain and improve the environment whenever possible.
This blog post was written by Benjamin Thomas Scerri – Sustainability Associate, GO Green.
Benjamin is a member of the GO Green team. His main focus is keeping track of new ways in which to make GO more sustainable wherever and whenever possible.