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Let’s make Halloween 2020 safe – and green

Let’s make Halloween 2020 safe – and green

green for halloween

Halloween 2020 is going to be a bit different as we all work to follow the COVID-19 rules and maintain social-distancing, but we can also do our bit for the environment by minimising the amount of food waste produced during this time.

Ealing Council is reminding people to follow COVID rules this Halloween, maintain social distancing and not be tempted to meet indoors with people they do not live with.

Meanwhile, residents are urged to avoid giving their green bin a scare by minimising food waste as they celebrate Halloween.

An estimated 10 million pumpkins are grown in the UK every year with 95% of these carved into hollowed-out lanterns for Halloween. Sadly, only the remaining 5% will be used for cooking.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can make the most out of your Halloween leftovers.  Rather than throwing away the contents of your lantern, why not turn them into a delicious soup, stew or pie?

Any pumpkin scrapings or carvings that you don’t manage to turn into a tasty seasonal dish can be chopped up and recycled via your green food waste bin. Alternatively, you could compost them at home.

Recycling as much of your culinary leftovers as possible via your green bin helps minimise the amount of food waste that ends up in landfill alongside non-recyclable household rubbish.

Food recycling collected by the council is taken to a special processing plant – where it is broken down and gets converted to methane gas which is used to power turbines to produce electricity, that gets pushed into the national grid to heat and light homes. What is left is used as fertiliser for farms. None of it goes to waste.

Mixed recycling is sorted after collection meaning it’s never been easier to recycle in Ealing. You can use blue bins to recycle cardboard, plastic bottles, metal tins and foil, glass jars and some food and drink cartons. Containers and bottles will need to be washed to remove any food residue.

Councillor Mik Sabiers, cabinet member for environment and highways said: “Halloween 2020 celebrations will be different to other years as residents must follow COVID-19 rules and not meet indoors with people they do not live with.

“However, it is still really important that we think of the environment and minimise food waste this autumn, whether we are marking Halloween, Diwali or Bonfire Night.

“That is why we are encouraging residents to recycle as much food and packaging as possible as they enjoy the numerous celebrations this autumn.”

Find out tips about saving on your food scraps courtesy of Love Food Hate Waste.

With autumn in full swing, there are a few tips people can follow to ensure everyone stays safe and well as the nights get a bit longer over the next few weeks and mark some important dates in the calendar.

Diwali

Diwali 2020 is here and you can still have a lot of fun by following a few safety guidelines.

Refrain from using hand sanitizers which are alcohol based before lighting diyas, candles or any such thing. This is because sanitizers are inflammable and can cause fire hazards.

Remember to wash your hands with soap and water before doing anything which involves lighting fire.

Top Tips:

  • Keep sanitizer away from fire
  • Maintain social distancing
  • Don’t forget your mask

Fireworks 

With COVID-19 restrictions across the country meaning that organised displays are not happening this year, it is likely that more people will be having household displays in their gardens. If you are thinking of holding your own display, this infographic has some great top tips to help you do so safely and with consideration for animals that might be nearby.

Remember, dogs and cats should be kept inside and have a hiding place. The RSPCA estimates that 62% of dogs and 54% of cats show signs of distress linked to fireworks – but there are lots of simple things that pet owners can do to help their animals cope with fireworks better.

Before lighting fireworks -always read the instructions carefully. Read all the safety warnings on the firework box so you know important information like how far away people should stand from the firework.

Getting Dark Early

As the clocks have now gone back, it gets darker earlier and this means being aware of your surrounding when walking alone.

At home, if you are not expecting any visitors, do not open the door to strangers. Check on older neighbours and friends nearby during the day, they may not go out during the evening now that it gets dark early.