Beth Kayser

Top 3 ways to reduce your carbon footprint in Autumn

5 min Read
Aerial view of low-carbon Autumn vegetables, including pumpkin and lettuce

There’s lots to look forward to as we head into Autumn—halloween, bonfire night, potentially another lockdown (if we don’t laugh we’ll cry, right?).

For those of you with one eye on the environment as you enjoy yourself, we’ve pulled together a list of ways to reduce your carbon footprint in Autumn. Green Halloween rhymes for a reason… read on for inspiration!

3 ways to reduce your carbon footprint in Autumn

Go green for Halloween

No we don’t mean dressing up as the Hulk, Elphaba or a giant pea (our favourite of the three, in case you were wondering).

Halloween comes with a lot of bells and whistles, and while we would never want to spoil your fun it’s important to remember that there’s a high carbon price tag associated with single use items.

Instead, how about giving a few of these eco-friendly Halloween ideas a go:

  • Go charity shopping for a costume, or do a swap with a friend
  • Invest in decorations that you can use over and over again or do a swap with a neighbour
  • If you’re throwing a party ask people to bring their own vessel to drink from—the weirder the better. It’s part of the fun!
  • Eat your pumpkin after it’s carved and roast the seeds for a healthy snack. According to recent research, 18,000 tonnes of pumpkin are thrown out every year on Halloween in the UK. That’s 184,000 tonnes of CO2e if they’re composted… 11.2 million tonnes if they go to landfill. To quote Pawprint’s Pawductivity manager, this is ‘the scariest thing about halloween’
  • Avoid un-recyclable sweet wrappers by making your own trick-or-treats

Have an eco-friendly bonfire night

If celebrating the anniversary of an attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament is your bag (as it is for most of us in the UK, although we’re normally just in it for the marshmallows and outdoor warmth) then consider making a few tweaks to your night to protect the natural environment...

Tips to make bonfire night eco-friendly:

  • Only burn natural materials (untreated wood or garden waste). According to the Environment Agency, “setting fire to treated wood, tyres, plastics, rubber and oil can seriously harm health and pollute the environment.’
  • Build the bonfire on the day. Hedgehogs and other small animals have been known to set up camp in pre-made bonfires.
  • Invest in eco-friendly fireworks and/or pick up whatever debris you can find in the area afterwards. Recycling Bins UK recommends giving the debris a good soak to remove chemicals before discarding it in the general waste bin.

For a lot of us, the way we do days like Halloween or Bonfire night (or Christmas or Easter) has become second nature. But today’s climate (pun intended) calls for a rethink.

Next time you feel yourself going into autopilot, chucking a roll of glittery wrapping paper into your basket on the way to the till, for example, pause to think if there might be a better way to create the day you want. Then head to the Pawprint blog for more eco-inspiration!

Partake in Stoptober, even if you don’t smoke

If you’re considering quitting smoking, Autumn is the perfect time as the Stoptober campaign provides plenty of support to get you through it. Need a little nudge? According to WHO, the tobacco industry is responsible for a massive amount of deforestation which means smoking has a very high carbon footprint. If there was ever a reason to cut down or quit, this is definitely it!

If you’re not a smoker, how about stopping something else for October? It could be:

  • Red meat, where you’d save around 3 kg CO2e per meal
  • Dairy, where you’d save around 2 kg CO2e per meal
  • Driving, where you’d save between 0.47 - 0.66 kg Co2e per mile, depending on the size of your car. Check out our car vs bike calculator for more insight.

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