Healthy Halloween: Green Your Trick-or-Treating

zombie pumpkin 1011mld106876 xl Healthy Halloween: Green Your Trick or Treating

Zombie pumpkins from

So far this month, we’ve talked about costume swapping, greening your Halloween decorations, and have even had a few readers tell us they’re using some of our Harry Potter party tips to plan an eco-friendly Halloween party.

Now let’s talk about the big night.  Millions of children (and some adults!) partake in Halloween celebrations every year. And you know what that means – millions of opportunities to choose greener ways of celebrating. Whether you choose eco-friendly (and healthy) candies and treats, greener costumes, energy-free transportation, or spooky party activities, you’ll be helping to make the planet a better place.

Greener candy collection

Maybe you haven’t gotten your candy yet because.. well, you would have eaten it all by now. (I know, me too!) Or maybe you’re holding out and looking for a healthier option.

Traditional candy, while fun and yummy, usually involves way too much sugar, excessive piles of wrapper waste, and not-so-green plastic carriers. Let’s talk about some of the best ways to reduce this hyperactivity-inducing habit to something a little more sustainable:

  • Trick or treat with a reusable treat bag instead of a plastic one. Old pillowcases or sewn up T-shirts are two possible solutions. Decorate with washable paints to add a frightful touch that can be rinsed away later. Halloween themed Chico bags are also a fun option that can be used again.
  • Skip the candy altogether and choose healthier treats like organic dried fruit, granola bars, seed packets, stickers, hair barrettes, or soy crayons.
  • If conventional candy is a must-have for your trick-or-treaters, choose organic, Fair Trade chocolate and candies made with natural ingredients like fruit juice sweeteners, natural colors, and organic nuts.

Eco-friendly Halloween costumes and face paints

Getting your children all dressed up is part of the fun, but there are all kinds of eco-hazards with conventional costumes. Check out these tips to help you put together a green look, even if your child isn’t a goblin:

  • Decorate your child’s face with non-toxic face paints and makeup made without things like mercury, parabens, synthetic fragrances, phthalates, or coal tar dyes. Mineral, cruelty-free makeup is your best bet.
  • Avoid conventional hair dyes and go for those made with henna and other biodegradable, plant-based ingredients.
  • Make your costume out of secondhand clothing and other materials rather than consuming new resources. You’ll save money, too!
  • Skip plastics, especially PVC (polyvinylchloride), which is eco-toxic and not healthy for your kids, either.

 pumpkin garland Healthy Halloween: Green Your Trick or Treating


The Greening Your Halloween Blog Carnival is encouraging bloggers to write about the big or small ways they are making an effort to make their halloween more eco-friendly. Costume swaps, making your own costumes, using reusable bags, reusing decorations, and rethinking candy are all ways that families can start to make a change. Want to participate? Write your post, share your tips and ideas and get Green!

PinExt Healthy Halloween: Green Your Trick or Treating
  • Denny Hagel

    The most fun we have at Halloween is visiting garage sales and thrift stores looking for items for costumes! Even if you don’t have an idea heading out  it is fun to find one thing, could be a hat or glasses or jewelry and then build your idea from that! One year we came across a stethoscope and the result was a mad scientist!! Great fun!Thanks Amity, I always look forward to your posts! :)

  • Amity Hook-Sopko

    How fun, Denny!  I always look forward to your comments :)  We’re hitting thrift stores this weekend for just the right shirts for our home made pirate costumes.  

  • Hughie Bagnell

    Halloween is certainly a fun time! Great tips on ‘greener ways of celebrating’ … have always used old pillow cases for the treats! …Thanks, Hughie

  • Anonymous

    After being green you can be healthy! This year I am supporting America’s Toothfairy and bringing awareness to good oral care and that fact that mouth pain is the number one chronic illness in children.  Instead of giving out candy I am going to be giving out info sheets and a healthy treat. I may not be the most popular, but I am trying to do my part!

  • Amity Hook-Sopko

    Thanks for sharing America’s Toothfairy, Katie.  I just tweeted about it :)  
    I wouldn’t worry too much about what people think – you’re making a difference, and that’s what is important.  So glad you stopped by!

  • Lori Thayer

    Great tips Amity. I feel guilty if I don’t have candy for the trick or treaters but they get so much anyway. I’ll be sure to look for a better option.

  • pamela wright

    I love your idea of giving organic treats such as dried fruit and granola bars instead of candy on Halloween!!

  • Pat Moon

    Amty, great tips for those little trick or treaters.  Thanks for the article!

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