Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Halloween originates from Samhain, a pagan religious festival originating from an ancient Celtic spiritual tradition, celebrated from October 31 to November 1 to welcome in the harvest and usher in “the dark half of the year.” Nowadays there is not much left of the tradition celebrating nature's cycle. Halloween has become a scary (pun intended!) example of over consumption, throw away culture and ultra processed food.

Research by Environmental charity Hubbub estimated that 33 million people in the UK dressed up for Halloween in 2017. Four in 10 costumes were only worn once. Most of these costumes were made from oil based plastic materials, like polyester. The study predicted that the costumes will add up to 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste in the UK every year. Add other Halloween plastics such as party kits, decorations and food packaging and it soon becomes a throwaway celebration that horrifies our environment in the wrong kind of way.

So how can we enjoy a spooky Halloween? Here are our suggestions for a frighteningly fantastic, waste-free Halloween.

1. Dress yourself scary sustainable

Shop for second hand costumes or create your own from stuff you already have.

There are plenty of inspirations for cheap homemade costumes on Pinterest

Photo of my family's scary costumes last year all second hand and homemade.

2. Decorate using natural materials and upcycled craft.

Collect some beautiful autumn leaves when you go out next on a walk. Place them in between two pieces of cardboard with a weight on top. Dry for a week before painting them or iron in between to sheets of paper for a quick dry.

3. Replace (or supplement) sweets with popcorn or other healthy and low waste snacks.

My family and I make lots of sweet popcorn that we customise with cocoa powder and red or green food colouring to give them a gruesome look. Think bloody bones and mouldy popcorn.

You can place them in upcycled paper envelopes to give away.

Popcorn is a cheap and healthy option loved by both kids and grown ups. You can easily flavour them with a bit of sea salt, a natural sweetener like maple syrup or honey and spices like cinnamon or even chilli powder.

Check out our video to see how easy and quick it is to make popcorn from scratch

4. Finally, if you are carving pumpkins, don't waste any of the flesh.

From pumpkin pies to delicious soups there are lots of recipes to use up pumpkin flesh and seeds. Did you know you can even make a pumpkin body scrub? Just combine the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup oil (almond, olive, or coconut work best)

  • 1 – 2  teaspoons chai spices (or 1 – 2 teaspoons cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Remember to compost the skin or use as a temporary biodegradable planter.

Until next time, Rethink, Reduce, Reuse Together x

We love fruit Crumbles, they are super easy to make, healthy (as long as you don't add too much sugar) and great at reducing food waste: using fruits that are either slightly overripe, floury or bruised or too just sour to eat.

Most fruits can be used, the key is to balance the sweetness and acidity by pairing fruits like in the classic apple and rhubarb crumble.

Favourite combos:

-Gooseberry, pear and apple (pictured)

-Blackberry, apples and banana.

-Mango and blueberry.

August is the ideal time to forage in the UK, from blackberries to wild plums or wild cherries. These fruits, often quite sour, are a perfect addition to sweeter fruits.

You might also check your freezer for this forgotten bag of mix berries or frozen rhubarb.

Waste Not Fruits Crumble Recipe

200g "sour fruits" (gooseberry, topped and tailed or blackberry, plums...)

300g of "sweet fruits" (apples, pear, banana ... peeled and cut in small chunks.

85g brown sugar.

If you don't have enough fruits you can either keep the fruits in the freezer until you have enough or make a smaller portion (We love making cute one person versions!)

Crumble mix:

175g Plain flour

75g Brown sugar

85g Salted dairy free butter, chilled .You can also use coconut oil

30g Rolled oats

We love to add biscuits crumbs or bits of nuts for extra crunch.

You can freeze this mix in a jar if you made too much to use later.


Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.

Toss the fruits with the caster sugar, spread in the bottom of a medium ovenproof baking dish.

It can be helpful to stew the fruit before you make crumble. You don’t have to, but it will ensure the fruit isn’t hard in the crumble, or the mix is not too sour and also reduce the cooking time considerably.

To make the crumble, put the flour, oats, sugar and butter in a bowl. Rub together with your fingertips until you have a rough breadcrumb texture.

Scatter the crumble topping evenly over the gooseberries. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until top is pale golden and crunchy and the fruits are bubbling.

Once again I failed to picture the freshly backed crumble before it got eaten, proof of its success!

Now we'd love to hear from you! Do you have a favourite crumble recipe? or a good way to use left over fruits? What fruits are sitting in your fridge/freezer right now, and how are you planning to use them up? Please share in the comments below!

  • sunny jar

Updated: Jul 14, 2020

Hello to all readers, welcome to our blog! Thanks for joining us. We are passionate about low waste living and want to share our tips and tricks to live more sustainably. Sunny Jar is a young social enterprise, made up of a group of friends promoting eco living. We run workshops, talks, events and community projects in London. This blog is born to share our journey.

Low waste might not be the most important impact humans have on the environment but it is the one we have an immediate chance to improve. We can make a difference at home, at work, in our cities by rethinking our lifestyle, the way we do things, if we buy or don't. This blog is a great place to start!

Yes, it is about the environment, but also it's about saving money and resources. About recovering lost knowledge we once had. Changing habits to live a better life. Better for what surrounds us and for ourselves. It doesn't take much, it really isn't more than just looking after ourselves and having loads of respect for what we have. Because yes, our lifestyle does “compromise” our planet and yes, we will feel better if it didn't.

We have a practical and common sense approach to things and we don’t claim to be the scientific experts of eco knowledge. We simply want to share what we have been doing for many years and what we are currently experimenting with and discovering.

We also want to hear about you. We would like to build a community, an online hub, a meeting place. So here we have a platform where you can ask, consult, share and comment anything to do with low waste living, recycling, upcycling and sustainability.

Let's start rethinking, reducing and reusing together!

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Sunny Jar Eco Hub CIC          Company No. 11902500