Green Halloween® and Adorable DIY Costume Ideas October 16, 2012 13:25

Halloween is big on fun but, unfortunately, it‘s also big on unhealthy traditions and waste. Many moms worry about the impact of this holiday on the health of their kids and the planet. For good reason. Almost $6 billion a year is spent on costumes, candy, décor and other accessories, most of which are made from unhealthy, unsustainable materials, by people who may not be paid living wages or treated fairly. Most of the stuff – what isn‘t consumed - winds up in landfills. 

When many families make healthier and more sustainable choices for Halloween, big impacts can be made for the short and long term. Here are a few spooky statistics from Green Halloween® ( that might fuel your desire to change the way you celebrate Halloween:

·       One in three trick-or-treaters born today will develop diabetes

·      One-third of America‘s trick-or-treaters are overweight; 17% are considered obese

·       EPA considers that 60% of all herbicides, 90% of all fungicides and 30% of all insecticides found in non-organically grown food- including goodies - are carcinogenic

·      A 2004 study with 1,800 three year old children found that behavior measurably improved after a one week diet without preservatives and artificial colors and dramatically worsened on the weeks they were given preservatives and artificial colors (present in most Halloween candy)

·       The chocolate industry has engaged in the use of child slaves and other unethical treatments of growers

·       One test of multiple brands of face paints found detectible levels of lead in all of them (according to experts there are NO safe levels of lead)

One easy way to ‘green’ your Halloween (and save money!) is to create your own costumes from safe materials, or swap costumes with other families in your community. You can also check out the National Costume Swap Day™. Here are a few adorable and affordable costume ideas we love.


Baby Dobby


 Mouse in a Trap

Clark Kent

Baby Peacock

Baby Movie Popcorn

Baby Sushi


Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are mother and daughter founders of Green Halloween® and co-authors of Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family, available at