How to have a green Halloween

Halloween has only just begun and I’m already thinking about what to do when it ends. What to do with the pumpkin? What to do with the candy? What to do with the costumes?

I got some earth-friendly input from lifestyle and wellness experts Erica Reid (wife of Antonio “L.A.” Reid) and Latham Thomas. The two joined forces with Healthy Child Healthy World –  a California non-profit that empowers parents to protect their children from harmful chemicals — to offer a few tips on how to keep Halloween (and its aftermath) clean and green.

Compost Your Pumpkin: Cut the pumpkin into smallish pieces to aid the decomposition process and let the worms do their job. If you’re not into composting, try pumpkin recipes such as pumpkin pie or pumpkin ravioli.

Know what’s in those snacks: Kids will want to dive right into their Halloween goodies, but make sure you are aware of what they are eating. Many commercial snacks contain artificial colors, dyes, sweeteners, preservatives, hydrogenated oils and GMOs. Learn more at

Use wrappers from Halloween goodies to make items like this candy wrapper clutch purse.

Use wrappers from Halloween goodies to make items like this candy wrapper clutch purse.

Craft your wrappers: Turn all those candy and snack wrappers into craft projects such as picture frames, purses, belts, jewelry and more.

Costume swap: Host a Halloween Costume Swap for your children and their friends. This will save everyone time, money and hassles.

Plan ahead: The day after Halloween means major discounts on decor, costumes and candy but consider limiting your purchases. Next year use items from nature for your decor such as pumpkins, gourds, leaves and beeswax candles instead of plastic cats, paper skeletons and electric lights. Choose costumes made from natural fabrics, host a swap (see above) or decide to make next year’s getups with items on hand.

What are some other ways to keep Halloween green?

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– Nedra Rhone, for the Atlanta Bargain Hunter blog

6 comments Add your comment

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Reality check

October 31st, 2012
2:35 pm

Know what’s in those snacks – SERIOUSLY???

Some perspective

October 31st, 2012
2:46 pm

Know what’s in those snacks – Are you kidding me? If you are going to take that approach, don’t let them go trick-or-treating at all. Everything everyone gives out is crap. If you give our healthy snacks they get tossed and if you give out homemade you risk having the cops show up to see what poisons/razorblades/glass, etc. you have put in the candy.

But costumes made with natural fibers?? Again, are you from Mars? Thanks to the nanny-state scum in the government, most every kids costume is soaked in cancer-causing fire-retardent chemicals or made with something unnatural that it will never decompose in nature. I certainly like the idea of the swap so maybe costurmes will get multiple uses, but if you want natural fabrics, make the costumes yourself (but don’t let the government busybodies know) and be careful, your kids could burst into flames at any moment.

And I really don’t think that a pumpkin that has been sitting around for days, carved, and exposed to air and every other creature that has been exploring your porch is exactly something you want to make pie out of – although the composting idea is a good one. Better yet, save the seeds and plant your own pumpkins for next year so that you can avoid all of the carbon impact that goes along with a store-bought pumpkin (I’m surprised that you didn’t list something as basic as this – growing a garden,etc. is a tremendously “green” thing to do and you can grow the pumpkins, the gourds, and even plenty of vegetables potentially for your thanksgiving meal next month).

Nedra Rhone

October 31st, 2012
3:06 pm

@some perspective Thanks for the input! But why all the snark? Your own great idea — planting pumpkin seeds — got lost in all of that yuck. Or were you just being sarcastic again? ;-)

mystery poster

November 1st, 2012
9:15 am

How about not driving your kids around, stopping and idling in front of each house? How about a nice walk around the neighborhood on a beautiful evening?

Nedra Rhone

November 1st, 2012
9:59 am

@mystery poster Agreed! Very strange…I’ve never seen that but I would think it takes the fun out of trick-or-treating.