October 19th, 2010

How to Put a Little Green in Your Halloween

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Groovy Green Livin Green Halloween

It’s that time of year again-time for creepy decorations, ghoulish Jack-O-Lanterns and freaky costumes-Halloween.  This holiday easily makes it to the top of my favorite holiday list-I’ll take any excuse to stay local, hang with wonderful neighbors and dress up in something you have been dying to sport all year long but felt it was too “out there” for  suburban or even city attire (since having kids I have yet to wear a costume-suggestions anyone?).

Although the big day is rapidly approaching, there is plenty of time left to put a little green in your Halloween.

Don’t panic-I am by no means suggesting ridding ourselves of the traditional hoarding of treats-although that would help my personal caloric intake for the evening.  I just thought I would throw a few simple ideas out there to make this creative, community event healthier for the planet.

Groovy Green Livin Green Halloween


According to the group Green Halloween, if half the kids in the U.S. who celebrate Halloween swapped costumes, rather than buying new ones, the nation’s annual landfill waste would be reduced by 6,250 tons. That’s about the weight of 2,500 mid-size cars.

A National Costume Day Swap took place in early October in many communities across the country. If you missed the big swap event there is still time to green your Halloween with thredUP’s online kids costume swap.   thredUp organizes costume swaps with kids across the country for only $5 plus shipping.

Another option is to make your own costume using treasures you find already in your possession.  If you are a  DIY kinda person-Inhabitat and Inhabitots are having Green Halloween Costume Contests.


Keep the treats coming-but why not add a worthy cause to your nightly quest for the most candy on the block?  Seems like a perfect opportunity to sit down with the little people in your life and talk charity.  It’s really not about how much you collect-just a great opportunity to teach about giving to others.  That’s what Halloween’s all about.

Here are some charities that have been trick-or-treating with kids for years:

Another option is to select a charity that means something to your family and make your own collection containers.


Out with the molded, plastic jack-o-lanterns (maybe you still have one?) for collecting candy.  Try using a cloth or canvas shopping bag, or even pillowcases as an eco-friendly alternative for collecting those treats.

Check out some of the great ideas for reusable bags suggested by Get Green Be Well. You can enter a Trick or Treat bag design contest for kids through ChicoBag and Green Halloween.


Photo used under Creative Commons from The Culinary Geek

Some of the candy will be traded and eaten by our very own little ghouls and gobblins-I am sure that I will help out too….but,  as in years past, there will just be too much to consume.

Here are some ideas for getting rid of the overload:

Donate it- There are lots of charities that will take your extra Halloween candy- there are ways to send to a soldier, children or the hungry. Cool Mom Picks and Fairly Odd Mother had a few great ideas  for donating Halloween candy.  While these are viable options for ridding ourselves of the candy,  I have mixed feelings about donating candy to children, the hungry and/or our soldiers. Any other ideas?

Test it–CandyExperiments.com is a great site with tons of ideas for creating a test kitchen with your Halloween candy.  Created by a mother of three who decided to teach her little ones a thing or two about the science and nutrition of candy rather than ingesting it all.  Can’t wait to test some of these out-especially the Pop Rocks experiment.

How do you put a little green in your Halloween?

photo credit: juhansonin via photopin cc

This post is part of the Green Halloween Blog Carnival. Head on over to the carnival for lots of great tips for putting a little green in your Halloween!

3 Responses to “How to Put a Little Green in Your Halloween”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lori Alper, Groovy Green Livin. Groovy Green Livin said: Put a little green in your Halloween. http://bit.ly/c4NxOh […]

  2. I love your thoughts on “recycling” used costumes, it is disturbing how much we all consume in the name of fun. 6,250 tons is too many costumes going to waste!

  3. […] to put a little green into our Halloween. There’s a way to make this Halloween eek-o-friendly by participating in a National Costume […]

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About Lori

Hi! I’m Lori, a recovering attorney, writer, and mom to three boys. Join me as I uncover and share the latest info on healthy living. Learn more.

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