Halloween: number two trash festival in a calendar of many
From a pagan to a pre-Christian Celtic festival, to All Saints’ Eve, Halloween seem to have a long history associated with ancestor worship and remembering the dead including saints and martyrs. Small step from there to ghost stories and all things spooky…and an opportunity for a whole industry to profit from sprouting pumpkins and fabricating scary tat and costumes that soon will be a mountain of waste. Again and again, every year anew … not to speak of the resources wasted to make, transport, store and distribute all things Halloween, the living and working conditions in the factories somewhere overseas …
The gruesome facts: The Guardian reported recently that 8 million Halloween pumpkins will be binned in the UK alone, that’s 95 % of the UK’s annual pumpkin crop wasted. And while food waste slowly creeps on the nation’s radar and a number of websites appeal to the nation with pumpkin recipes, the full story is about more than edibles: Halloween is one of the UK’s biggest brands, second only to Christmas. According to the business analyst MINTEL, the amount spent annually on Halloween exceeded the £300 million in 2016 and is going up. And that’s just the UK – Halloween is spreading across the globe!
How come that we are, collectively, still so gullible and succumb to everything that is rammed down our throats by marketing?
Maybe I sound like a spoil-sport to you, but I like good stories, well told, just as much as the next person. I just don’t see the point of all the ready-to-wear plastic junk. It’s much more fun to get creative and make costumes and decorations out of things that lie around in the house.
And help is at hand in the era of heightened awareness around resource scarcity and climate change: an increasing number of voices from people who care provide their ideas. ‘Trash is for Tossers‘ is just one offering ideas for ‘Last-Minute Zero Waste Halloween Costumes’ – plenty of blogs and sites on the internet, if you search for it.
Think before you buy!