Lick a Better Lolly
You don’t want to be the only house on the block that doesn’t deliver the sweet treats. Satisfy your trick-or-treaters -- and your green goals -- with organic candy. Yummy Earth lollipops are made from real fruit and don’t contain any corn syrup or preservatives.
Choose Cleaner Chocolate
Skip the mass-produced chocolate, which is packed with fillers and produced in a manner that doesn’t respect cacao farmers or factory workers. Instead, treat your trick-or-treaters to the good stuff, like Dagoba’s organic chocolate. The company uses organic ingredients, works with cocoa cooperatives in Costa Rica to sponsor reforestation programs, and packages its chocolate using recycled materials. Plus, the mini tasting squares are the perfect size for a Halloween treat!
Create a Cool Costume With What You Have …
This year, break the store-bought costume habit and go for something that’s greener and easier on your wallet. Start with what you already have. Your old sheets can be quickly transformed into a ghost. And your old clothes can become anything you like: Break out that dated party dress and be a prom queen from the ’80s, or dust off your wedding gown and be a zombie bride. (Tip: when it doubt, add zombie to your costume!)
… Or Swap or Rent a Cool Costume!
You can also green your garb this Halloween by organizing a costume swap. Send out an invite to all of your friends and trade costumes between kids and adults. Keep your work to a minimum by making the gathering a potluck: Ask guests to bring their favorite snack and a costume. Swaps like these keep old costumes circulating -- and out of the garbage bin.
Go Natural With Decor
Halloween occurs in the heart of fall, so take advantage of the autumnal bounty and decorate your home with things that nature gives us: pumpkins, gourds, fruits, leaves, sticks and hay. Kids can join in the fun by gathering leaves and sprinkling them around the dining table or making collages and hanging them on the walls. Pumpkins can be transformed into spooky jack o’ lanterns, of course. Children who are too young to wield knives can adorn their pumpkins with paints or markers.
Get Creepy with Party Decorations
Create a creepy party atmosphere with candles. Look for eco-friendly soy or beeswax options -- and homemade creepers. Stuff an old sheet with newspaper and rags for a quick and spooky ghost, and fill an old suit to make a scarecrow.
Marisa Belger’s work has appeared in
Travel + Leisure Family, Natural Health, Prevention and TODAYShow.com, where she wrote a column about eco-friendly living. She was an editor at Lime.com and collaborated with author Josh Dorfman on his bestselling books,
The Lazy Environmentalist and
The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget. She is the managing editor of and frequent contributor to Green Goes Simple