Halloween is a frightfully fun time of year – who doesn’t love sweet treats and clever costumes? But it’s also dreadfully wasteful; all those disposable accessories and paper decorations have a downright scary impact on the planet. Fear not, though! Reducing your environmental footprint doesn’t mean scrimping on the scares. Here are our easy tips for turning your Halloween ghoulishly green.
Dressing up is the cornerstone of Halloween celebrations the world over, but how many of us rely on cheap and cheerful store-bought outfits and accessories to channel our inner ghoul? The textile industry is responsible for 10% of global carbon impact¹, and our penchant for polyester at this time of year does nothing to help matters. Instead of buying a cheap costume you’ll probably only wear once, try:
Most Halloween costumes call for a healthy splash of fake blood, too. Bypass the little toxic tubes and whip up a batch of homemade gore in the kitchen (there are loads of recipes online) – get the whole family involved!
Halloween isn’t Halloween without candy – and lots of it – but cheap trick-or-treat sweets can generate a lot of rubbish, not to mention come from questionable sources. In an ideal world you’d hand out sustainable treats such as raisins (in their recyclable boxes!) or non-foodie snacks such as art supplies, but we know that’s not going to make you the most popular house on the street. Instead, opt for ethically-sourced and packaged sweets, such as Rainforest Alliance certified chocolate or Fairtrade. Better yet, spend the afternoon baking your own creepy cookies or monstrous muffins to give out instead.
If your kids are doing the trick-or-treating, send them off with a pillowcase or reusable bucket to collect their bounty in, instead of cheap Halloween-themed plastic bags.
No Halloween doorstep is complete without a creepy jack o’lantern, plus lantern carving is a fun family activity. But spare a thought for ol’ jack once the holiday has passed – in the UK we needlessly throw away 18,000 tonnes of pumpkins every year, and 99% are sold for carving alone! Instead of simply binning your pumpkin’s insides, bake a delicious pie or make a warming soup. And don’t chuck your old lantern in the bin where it’ll end up festering in landfill – put it on the compost heap instead.
Forget the tacky printed plastic bunting and faux cobwebs (which you’ll find clumps of for months to come no matter how thorough your clean-up!), and decorate your home with sticks, branches, leaves and dead flowers, which are far more unnerving than a brightly-coloured novelty skeleton. Rely on a few lamps or (supervised) candles for mood-lighting, or invest in coloured lightbulbs (energy-saving, of course) to create a real atmosphere – these can be used again for future celebrations. Get the kids involved in decorating, too, with an afternoon of arts and crafts using materials found around the house – think hand-print spiders and cackling witch silhouettes cut out of card.
Tempting as it may be to sweep everything into the bin once the festivities are over – don’t! If costumes or decorations can be salvaged, pack them away for next year. Anything that can’t be kept should be recycled (or composted) properly. It’ll only take a few minutes to organise, and you can reward yourself with a leftover sweet treat afterwards.
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1Monthly cost - Representative monthly direct debit costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying in advance by direct debit, including online discount. All rates correct as of 23/08/16, but may go up or down.
2Weekly cost - Representative weekly costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas). All rates correct as of 23/08/16, but may go up or down.
3Pay Monthly Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYM OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location.
4Pay As You Go Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYG OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location.
We include almost twice as much renewable electricity as the national average: At least 33% of electricity in all of our tariffs comes from renewable sources. The national average, according to Ofgem as at March 2014 was 16.7%. For more information please visit this page.
33% of your electricity comes from renewable sources: 33% renewable electricity as standard as of 1st April 2015. Renewable electricity is generated from wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas.
3% interest: Calculated at 3% per year, paid monthly based on number of days in credit and the amount left in your account after you’ve paid your bill. OVO Interest Reward is capped at 12 times the amount of the current direct debit amount and is available to customers paying by advance direct debit. Terms apply: http://www.ovoenergy.com/terms/
95% of new customers save when switching to OVO: Based on all new customer signups between 01/02/2016 and 31/07/2016
94% of surveyed customers would recommend us: OVO conducted a survey of their customers in between 1st January 2016 and 15th April 2016. Out of 15,312 customers who responded, over 94% rated OVO 6+ when asked 'how likely would you be to recommend us to a friend and family, on a scale of 1 to 10.
Britain's top rated energy provider: Britain's top rated energy provider in the Which? 2015 satisfaction survey. Survey conducted in October 2015. Awarded in January 2016.
uSwitch's Energy Supplier of the Year: OVO energy was voted and awarded 'Energy Supplier of the year' and best for: Overall Customer Satisfaction, Most Likely to be Recommended, Value for Money, Best Deal for You, Customer Service, Billing Services, Energy Efficiency, Meter Services, Online Services, Green Services and Transfer Process. OVO Energy scored a 96% customer satisfaction score.