Tricks & Treats for Halloween

Eco-friendly Holiday Tips

Halloween should offer up some good thrills, not actually anything to worry about. For a safe and eco-friendly holiday, try these tips:


  • Set a spooky mood with soy or beeswax candles, not those made from petroleum-based paraffin. For scented candles, look for those with fragrances derived from essential oils, rather than synthetic chemicals.
  • Invest creativity in costumes instead of cash. Dig into the back of the closet (family’s or friends’) or hit the thrift store to find wacky clothes and accessories. It’s much more fun and economical than buying plastic costumes. Families can make their own party decorations, too.
  • Avoid masks made of vinyl. Latex ones are safer, unless the wearer is allergic to that material.
  • Whether going glamorous or ghoulish, use natural makeup to avoid chemical exposure (see and
  • Hand out fair trade or organic chocolates, organic hard candy, fruit snacks or other eco-friendly edibles to visiting trick-or-treaters.
  • Worried about rotting those little teeth? Fun, nonfood alternative treats include nontoxic crayons, coloring books, stickers or even small change.
  • Whether for dressing up or handing out, avoid costume jewelry, especially glossy, fake painted pearls and toys from vending machines, which may contain lead. To be sure, use a lead check kit, available at
  • Look up recipes for pumpkin pie, soup, or curry, so nature’s decorations don’t go to waste after Halloween. (Not much of a chef? Just compost that jack-o-lantern.)
  • Remember to carry a reusable shopping bag to carry youngsters’ trick-or-treating haul.

Source: Adapted from

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