BOO! 👻 Halloween is a time of spooky stories, fun costumes, and creative decorations. However, many traditional Halloween decorations can have a negative impact on the environment and wildlife. Plastic decorations, discarded pumpkins, and fake cobwebs can all harm the environment and local ecosystems. But fear not, there are eco-friendly alternatives that can help you have a more sustainable and animal-friendly Halloween. We hope these alternatives below can help you celebrate this spooky season while being mindful of the environment and it inhabitants. 

Watch out for wildlife 🦇

Halloween decorations can unintentionally harm local wildlife, especially when it comes to fake cobwebs and other materials that animals can become entangled in. Birds and insects are the key victims here, as synthetic webs are much stronger and harder to break free from than the real webs they’re used to exploring. 

  • Choose alternatives: Instead of using fake cobwebs, consider using natural decorations mentioned above and opting for spider-themed decorations that won’t pose a threat to birds and insects. You can always keep your fake cobwebs as indoor only decorations.  
  • Keep decorations secure: Ensure your decorations are well-secured to prevent them from blowing away and becoming litter in your neighbourhood. This also ensure you can reuse them annually.  

Ditch the plastic decorations  🕸

Plastic decorations have become a Halloween staple, from spooky skeletons to jack-o’-lanterns. Most plastic decorations end up in landfills, taking hundreds of years to decompose. The manufacturing and disposal of plastic items also contribute to pollution and climate change. To make your Halloween eco-friendlier, consider these alternatives:  

  • DIY decorations: Get creative and make your own decorations from recyclable or biodegradable materials like cardboard or paper. This way, you can reduce plastic waste.  
  • Second-hand finds: Explore op shops or Facebook marketplace for pre-loved decorations. You might find unique, second-hand items that add charm to your Halloween display without contributing to plastic waste. This is also a great way to find second-hand costumes!
  • Natural décor: Incorporate nature into your decorations with fallen leaves, branches, or pumpkins. These items are biodegradable and can be composted after Halloween.   


Compost your pumpkins  🎃

Pumpkins are a Halloween symbol and carving them into jack-o’-lanterns is a beloved tradition. However, when pumpkins are tossed into the trash after Halloween, they contribute to the problem of food waste and landfill overflow. To make the most of your pumpkins while being eco-friendly, try the following:  

  • Roast the seeds: Don’t let those pumpkin seeds go to waste. Roast the pepitas for a delicious and nutritious snack.  
  • Composting: Once you are done with your pumpkin, compost it. Pumpkins break down quickly in compost and enrich the soil with nutrients. If you don’t have a compost many areas have local community gardens, or you could ask a friend. 

Celebrating Halloween can be both enjoyable and environmentally friendly. By avoiding plastic decorations, composting your pumpkins, and being mindful of wildlife, you can have a spooky yet eco-friendly Halloween! 

Get to know Evan Quartermain, Head of Programs Australia Nature Law Explainer: Climate Change