It’s the spookiest time of the year, and we’re excited. It’s time to crack out the fancy dress box, decorate our homes and consume everything pumpkin flavoured. We don’t usually think of Halloween as a water-intensive time of year. But, there are still some actions you can take to save water and our waterways this year. As our loyal Greenredeem members, we know you’re looking for tricks and treats on how to have a water-friendly Halloween. As always, we’re happy to share our ideas with you.
This month for Unblocktober, across our blog and social channels we’ve been discussing how it’s the time of year when the temperature drops and cracks can start to show. Literally. We’ve made many changes this month in order to prepare our homes and waterways for the cold winter months. We don’t want nationwide celebrations like Halloween to push you off your water-saving path, so read on…
Water-friendly Halloween games
This year, for many of us, Halloween will be slightly different in that it will take place at home. This gives us the perfect opportunity for fun games. A classic favourite is apple bobbing, the only issue is that we tend to waste a lot of water playing it.
Not only is there the water use from filling the bucket, but each time we dunk our heads in, the water comes spilling out – quickly prompting us to fill it up some more. Every drop adds up, which is why we think this alternative is just as fun without the water use!
This year, why not hang apples from a tree and bob upwards. Use an apple corer to remove the middle and tie a loop of string through it. Then secure the end to a tree to let it hang down at head height. The winner is the first person to eat enough of the apple so it can be removed from the string, but remember to keep your hands behind your back! It’s a sure way to have a water-friendly Halloween.
A tasty and healthy treat that maximises the fun, apple bobbing with a twist.
Another game you can adapt is wrapping the mummy. Usually, we waste a lot of toilet paper wrapping up our family members. But when the game is over, we chuck our beloved toilet paper down the loo or in the bin, sending it to landfill as it cannot be recycled. Although toilet paper can break down in the waterways, imagine the number of flushes it takes to dispose of the waste! Each flush can use between 4-8 litres of water – it’s a lot of water.
So how can we overcome this issue while playing one of our beloved traditional games? Instead, we suggest switching out the toilet paper for old bedsheets. Pre-cut them lengthways and wrap them like normal. Once the winner is declared, you can reuse the ‘bandages’ by cutting them smaller into rags for cleaning with or save them for next years Halloween. A great water-friendly Halloween tip!
How to clean up Halloween
Slime covered tables, dirty faces and painted hands, cleaning up Halloween can be quite the challenge. It can be a tempting moment to crack open some wet wipes, but we urge against it. Wet wipes are commonly mistaken for items that can be flushed down a toilet, but they can’t, and they’re big contributors to blockages in the waterways.
Instead of chasing the kids around the house with a wet wipe, why not opt for some of those mummy bandages you used earlier to help wipe it all off before putting them in the shower for a quick 5-minute scrub down.
For cleaning surfaces, grab some more of those mummy bandages and scrub using an eco-friendly cleaner. You can buy all sorts, or make your own using baking soda and warm water. Many cleaning products contain harmful chemicals that we put into our waterways by rinsing cloths in the sink. Remember, you shouldn’t be putting anything in your drains that aren’t part of the three P’s – pee, paper and poo.
Other eco-friendly Halloween ideas
While we’ve talked about having a water-friendly Halloween, the holiday comes with many other environmental issues such as plastic. In 2019, 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste was created at Halloween. Plastic costumes, decorations and sweet wrappers being the main culprits.
If you want to discover non-water ideas on how to protect the environment this year, check out our sister recycling blog, ‘How to have an eco-friendly Halloween’.
One of the biggest issues we face at Halloween is food waste, or more specifically, pumpkin waste. We all enjoy scooping out the guts and carving spooky faces into our orange pals, but millions of us throw the innards in the bin instead of using them. Food waste in the UK is responsible for nearly 7% of our water footprint, and 18,000 tonnes of pumpkin is wasted every Halloween. The less food we waste, the more water we save. So, we’ve found some pumpkin flavoured recipes for you to enjoy to reduce your pumpkin waste this year.
When you take a step back, it’s clear to see that by having a water-friendly Halloween, you can make a big difference. Let us know what other water-friendly tips you have in the comment section below.
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