How to sustainably dispose of your Halloween Waste: A quick guide

Halloween – every year on 31st October, kids dress up in their most spooky and ghoulish attire to knock on doors asking for treats, and we adults also love to get involved. There are parties galore and even some rituals among those who dare.

It’s a fang-tastic celebration that derives from the ancient Celtic festival, Samhain, when the veil is at its thinnest and spirits are believed to walk the earth once more. While celebrations have been modernised in recent years, some traditions live on.

However, newer developing traditions are far scarier than any wandering ghosts. With Halloween comes commercial indulgence, which can be more damaging than we might imagine.

Let’s look at how the festivities can have a detrimental environmental impact and find out how to enjoy a zero waste Halloween instead.

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What is peat and is it bad for the environment?

What is peat?

If you’re an avid gardener you’ve no doubt heard of peat, even if only from reading “peat-free” labels. You’ll see it mentioned in some way in every garden centre, and may even have heard its usage debated.

But what is peat? Well, it’s a type of turf that makes up the surface organic layer in soil. It’s mostly made of decomposed organic matter such as decayed vegetation, and can often be found in natural areas known as peatlands as well as moors and bogs.

Peat is formed through waterlogging and lack of oxygen, as well as low nutrients and acidity in the soil. The way peat is formed varies depending on the temperature of the area, and its definition and purpose can mean different things in different places across the world.

When it comes to gardening, there are many benefits of peat, so it has historically been used for mulching and soil improvement. Because the thick mulch easily retains moisture, it has been a popular choice for filling soil beds. Peat also has traces of lime, which improves the pH levels of soil for optimum seed growing.

However, in recent years, there have been debates on whether peat is actually more damaging than initially believed, with many earth-cultivators opting for peat alternatives instead.

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Understanding Unblocktober and How You Can Help

As a society, we’re notorious for just throwing things away without giving them a second thought. Things that can be recycled go into the general waste, and things that can’t somehow always creep into the recycling bin. It can be tricky to understand the various plastic types, and even more so to cut down on plastic usage. That’s when things often end up in the wrong place, with much of it sadly going down our drains.

After decades of pouring things away without giving it a second thought, our sewage systems are beginning to take a toll. Even more worryingly, much of it is ends up in our water sources, harming our health and contributing to ocean pollution.

Take the plunge into murky waters to help clean up the planet when you get involved with Unblocktober 2021.

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