A family holding up homemade Halloween pumpkins

How to throw a zero waste Halloween party

01 Oct 22 3 minute read

There’s a chill in the air, the trees are tinged with golden hues and pumpkin spice is back on the menu. It must be Halloween!

Whether you’ve invited a few friends around to do the Monster Mash, or just want something to entertain the kids for a few hours, throwing a zero waste party is not as horrifying as you might think.

Read on to find out how to plan the perfect Halloween party that won’t cause a nightmare for the environment.

Getting into character

Dressing up is at the heart of any good Halloween party, and waste-less parties are no exception.

The most sustainable costume is the one you already own but if you’re looking to shake things up then try raiding your wardrobe for any old or unworn items that, with a little crafting magic, could be transformed into a parade-winning outfit.

Local second-hand shops are costume hunting treasure troves at this time of year too. Find your nearest Revolve certified store.

Devil’s in the details

When it comes to Halloween decorations, they’re often made from non-recyclable materials that end up being chucked in the bin come November 1st.

If you’re going to buy something new, look for decorations that are long-lasting and can be used year after year. Or repurpose any old Halloween decorations that are lurking in the back of the cupboards. Twinkly fairy lights are not just for Christmas either. Unbox them a month early to create an out-of-this-world atmosphere.

Bored of your decorations? Swap with friends and family for something new to you or try making your own decorations. Just nab any packaging that’s destined for the recycling bin – cardboard boxes, toilet roll tubes and milk bottles – to create come crafty creatures.

Then, once Halloween is over, they can still be recycled. Just remember to remove any sticky tape or embellishments as these can’t be recycled.

Do stay clear of using glowsticks too. As cool as these look they are single-use and will need to go into the non-recycling bin once you’re finished with them.

If you’re going for real pumpkins, then stick to carving as painted or decorated pumpkins can’t be composted or put into your food waste caddy and check out Love Food Hate Waste Scotland for recipes to use up your scooped out pumpkin.

If you’re going for real pumpkins this Halloween, then stick to carving as painted or decorated pumpkins can’t be composted or put into your food waste caddy. #WasteLessHalloween


The pandemic may have put pay to some of the more traditional Halloween games, like bobbing for apples, but there are still plenty of ways to keep your guests entertained!

Pre-make biscuits in an assortment of Halloween-themed shapes (a standard gingerbread man cookie cutter works for Frankenstein's monster, mummies, Bigfoot...your imagination is the limit). Then let your guests decorate them using icing and sweets.

Any standard party game can be given a spine-tingling twist. Horror film charades, musical monsters, bean bag pumpkin toss, truth or scare and a Halloween scavenger hunt can all be played relatively low waste if you already have the bean bags or stick to including items in the scavenger hunt that are already hiding around the house.

Photo of a group of children dressed in Halloween costumes decorating Halloween cookies

...and treats!

Baking your own Halloween treats will save on the single-use packaging from shop-bought goods but if the thought of catering a full party fills you with dread, ask your guests to bring in a homemade item each. Give a (zero waste) prize or award bragging rights to the most ghoulish goodies.

With your guests bringing their own reusable containers, you’ll be able to offer them any leftovers to take home at the end of the party to help cut down on food waste too.

Ditch the single-use plates and cups, regardless of material, and go for reusable crockery and cutlery instead. If you’re short, borrow extra from relatives or neighbours or hire sets online.

Top 5 Halloween party tips

  1. Swap costumes with friends, make your own or buy from a Revolve certified second-hand store.

  2. Look for decorations that are long-lasting and can be used year after year.

  3. Stick to carving as painted or decorated pumpkins can’t be put into your food waste caddy.

  4. Bake your own Halloween treats or ask your guests to bring along a homemade item.

  5. If you’re short on reusable crockery and cutlery, borrow or rent online.