Ideas for waste free Halloween costumes, parties and treats

Hi there, Scarlett here.

With Halloween nearly upon us, you might have already started planning your creepy costume or petrifying party. But there is no need to dig deep into your wallets to cover the cost of the costumes, party decorations, sweets and treats… Halloween needn’t be costly, keep reading for our top tips on how to reduce waste and save your money while still enjoying the frights and treats!


Whether you’re thinking about a costume for yourself, a friend or a child, why not make your costume this year? Buying a costume can cost a small fortune! Plus a homemade costume always looks scarier than a shop-bought one, and there is no risk that someone will have the same outfit as you!

Have a look in your local charity shops for inspiration – there are loads dotted around Aberdeen. The best thing about Halloween is that you don’t need to be good at sewing to be able to make a costume, the more misshapen, the more ripped, the better! Zombie costumes can be made from any old items of clothing you have, just rip the clothes, scruff your hair up, rub tomato ketchup or red food colouring into your clothes and you’re good to go!

Have a look at this blog for more no-sew, low-cost, low-waste costumes ideas. The fairy costume made out of old books would be perfect for a book lover. There’s even an idea for a Minions costume!

When I was a child, my favourite character to dress up as was Wednesday Addams from the Addams family. Here is a photo of a mini-me wearing my Wednesday outfit. The skirt was an old one of my mother’s which had an elasticated waistband; the shirt also belonged to my mother so that the sleeves would be long enough to fold over my black jumper. I felt the part in my outfit and my parents loved it as it cost nothing to put together.

Child in home made Halloween costume

Wednesday Addams may be a little outdated now but the same costume and make-up could be a zombie, or add a hat to create a witch’s outfit.


In the UK, we needlessly throw away around 18,000 tonnes of pumpkins a year and 99% are sold just for lantern carving alone!

Jack O’Lanterns are great fun to make but don’t throw the pumpkin flesh out! Instead use the flesh to make a yummy pumpkin tart, pumpkin soup or pumpkin lasagne – great comfort food for the autumn months. Have a look at these pumpkin recipe ideas from Love Food, Hate Waste.

And once Halloween is over, don’t forget to recycle your pumpkin Jack O’Lantern in the food waste bin or your brown bin!

Hand holding out pumpkin lantern in front of food recycling bin

Trick or Treating

Trick or Treating comes hand in hand with Halloween. Decorate a plain canvas bag and transform it into a ghoulish Trick or Treat bag that can be reused year after year or passed onto others, have a look at this blog for more ideas.

Sweets are always wrapped in so much packaging, most of which can’t be recycled. Choose treats that use less packaging or packaging that is recyclable, for example packets of Chewits or Opal fruits which are wrapped in paper. Or give out pencils and crayons to Trick or Treaters.

Halloween Party

If you’re hosting a Halloween party, try making your own Halloween decorations from items you have lying about the house. How about spiders from milk bottle tops, bats from toilet roll tubes or even a skeleton from plastic milk bottles? Have a look at our Facebook photo album as well as this blog for some ideas.

Happy Halloween when it comes and we’d love to see some photos of the spooky creations you come up with, leave a link in the comments or post them to our Facebook page.


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