As Hallowe’en draws closer and closer, we’re starting to think of ways to be a little more eco-friendly for this ghoulish holiday. Although staying green might not be the first thing that comes to mind between pumpkin carving, candy eating and costume buying, it’s easy to stay spooky while saving the planet, too.

Costume ideasJack-o'-Lantern

  • Make your own costume from odds and ends found at thrift stores. Getting clever is the key!
  • If you are going to buy, try to find one that can be used as a toy or even parts of it as day-to-day clothing
  • If you have more than one child, choose one that you know will be passed along to the next one in a few years
  • Skip the smells-like-a-shower-curtain plastic: cheap, store-bought costumes have both hidden, chemical-releasing dangers and planet impacts.
  • While we’re on it, skip the mask, too – choose natural make-ups to transform your mug into something truly gruesome¬†Halloween costume ideas for 2011

Candy ideas

  • Unwrapped candy can be dangerous, but try to find brands that include recyclable packaging, such as boxes of gummy fruit snacks or raisins. We love Let’s Do…Organic Super Sour Gummi Bears.
  • Think outside the sugar-filled box, and find organic, natural treats instead.
  • Many companies also donate a portion of their profits to eco-causes
  • Instead of mainstream chocolate, seek out Fair-Trade versions (like Alpsnack Fair Trade Espresso Chocolate & Hemp Nuts
  • Go candy-free and distribute small toys, instead

Trick or treating ideas

  • Use a reusable bag for candy. When we were young, we always used pillowcases, but kid-centric grocery bags are a great alternative, and a little more fun. Rich Diesslin’s quirky Zombie Tote Bags
  • Instead of spending money on plastic, disposable gear to decorate your house for just a few days, look around the house to find ways to make it creepy without spending the cash! Try toilet paper, cotton balls, ghoulish kitchen concoctions and other items to make your home truly spooky – with just a dose of creativity.
  • Try Reverse Trick or Treating (read more), which helps raise awareness while collecting goodies on Halloween
  • Keep the karma coming by bringing around a Unicef box

Pumpkin ideas

  • Although it’s a little late, growing your own pumpkins is a great way to have the essence of fall right in your backyard! If you don’t, support a local farmer
  • Make sure to compost your pumpkin after the fact; they’ll slowly decompose in your garden, enriching the soil with all its goodness!
  • Go candle-free: the paraffin in wax candles releases toxic chemicals like toluene and benzene through smoke and soot: choose organic soy candles, instead. Shabbat Eco-Candle tea lights are perfect!

See even more ideas at!


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