Green Trick-or-Treating

Trick-or-treating is a fun tradition, but let’s face it: It’s toxic to your kids and to Mother Earth. Millions of individual wrappers going into the landfills, and god knows what ingredients (dyes, sugars, chemicals) going into your babies’ tummies. Yuck! How can you be an eco-friendly and/or health-conscious participant?

1. Stock up on “responsible” candy. If you can’t bear not to pass out candy, try the Natural Candy Store. Yes, there are still a million wrappers, but at least you can choose the kinds of candy you want to give out. Gluten free? No problem. Made in the USA? You got it! Organic? Definitely! You can find all of these at this store, and more (though not ALL products fall under these categories – make sure you check the key).

Yummy Earth Organic Lollipops

2. Spread the UNICEF word. You can have your children ask for UNICEF donations instead of candy, which is a great way to help kids realize that they can make a difference! This year, they even have a fun box designing contest!

Trick or treat for Unicef

3. Give out coins instead of candy. If you feel confident that you won’t get TP’ed during the night by angry trick-or-treaters who wanted candy, then give out pennies and other coins. It’s a great way to get rid of all that pesky pocket change, and the kids can spend it, or donate it.

4. Make or buy reusable trick-or-treat bags. Google “eco-friendly trick-or-treating” and you will find a million ways to make trick-or-treat bags from pillowcases or canvas bags! Remember: think fabric or metal (avoid plastic if you can). And make sure it is not too “young looking” so your kids can use them year after year without feeling silly when they are older. Try a fun skeleton design here, or a candy corn bag here.

5. Buy chocolate that helps endangered species. All you chocolate connoisseurs already know how good the Endangered Species Chocolates are. Hand out the individually packaged chocolate squares and 10% of the net profits from your purchase will go toward helping endangered species.

6. Recycle those wrappers! Check out TerraCycle’s Candy Wrapper Brigade. You can send in your candy wrappers and get a penny for each one returned to a non-profit organization or school of your choice. With all those candy wrappers created by trick-or-treating, imagine the money you could raise!

What kinds of green tricks do you have up your sleeve, this Halloween?

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  1. There is also a movement called “reverse trick-or-treating” where kids offer fair trade chocolates to houses giving out treats.

  2. Great tip! Responsible candy is on my list this year for Halloween!

    • @Jamie: I think that is one of the simplest ways we can do better on Halloween – support those companies who are USA-based, organic, who care about their ingredients, etc.