How to Have a Healthy and Green Halloween

Written by Tela Kayne

Green Your Halloween

Lead-laden Face Paints, Phthalate-riddled Masks & Paraffin Candles are the Scariest Parts of Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner. As you gear up for a fun and spooky holiday, here are several ways your family can celebrate this haunting night in a healthier and more eco-friendly way:

  • Swap a Costume: If you walk into any big box store, you’re sure to notice the abundance of Halloween costumes and accessories that line the aisles, most of which are purchased to be used for a single day and then discarded. Instead of buying a brand new costume, consider swapping with a neighbor or friend. According to, swapping half of children’s costume would reduce annual landfill waste by 6,250 tons!
  • Hand Out Organic and Fair Trade Candy: Purchasing candy that is laden with high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and artificial flavors is not only unhealthy but also bad for the environment. Did you know artificial food dyes are byproducts of petroleum? Not to mention dyes Yellow #40, Red # 40, and Blue #2 have been linked to health risks. Blech! Consider buying fair trade organic sweets like Equal Exchange Dark Chocolate minis or shop for healthier, Halloween themed novelty candy. You can also use this holiday as an opportunity to educate through reverse trick-or-treating and supporting Fair Trade.
  • Use Natural Elements for Autumn Decor: Sure ghosts and goblins with lighted eyes and spooky sounds are fun. However, it comes at a price – the environment. Instead of purchasing battery powered, synthetic Halloween decor, consider more eco-friendly, natural decorations like autumn colored leaves that are in abundance this time of year or locally grown pumpkins from your nearest farmer’s market. Better yet, grow your own pumpkins! After Halloween, cut up your used pumpkin and turn it into compost. You’re sure to be the most environmentally-friendly house on the block.
  • Use Eco-friendly Candles: Traditional paraffin candles off-gas toxic compounds. Consider buying fragrance-free candles made from soy or bee wax.
  • Avoid Synthetic Masks and Teeth: Instead of store-bought masks likely made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a toxic plastic made with hormone-disrupting chemicals, consider a more realistic approach with non-toxic makeup.
  • Non-Toxic Halloween Makeup: Did you know that most face paints contain toxic chemicals like lead and hormone-disrupting fragrances? Environmental Working Group through their Campaign For Safe Cosmetics found that 10 out of 10 children’s face paints tested positive for lead (even those claiming to be hypo-allergenic). Now that’s scary! Natural organic makeup is a safer choice.
  • Green Your Halloween Party: Add a little green to your orange and black celebration by using reusable or compostable plates and cutlery. Or if you must use the paper stuff, make sure it’s made from recycled materials and recycle it when the party is over.

What other ways can you green your Halloween? Please share by leaving a comment below.

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