Green Halloween Candy & Treats for a Sustainable October

Pre-wrapped halloween candy in a bowl.

Years ago, it was the norm to go trick or treating and get an unwrapped candy apple or homemade piece of candy. Nowadays, single-wrapped candies are the norm, and unwrapped candy goods are often shunned in the name of children’s safety. While you as a parent are likely checking your children’s candy for anything amiss (and taking your tax off the top), you do have to wonder what happens to all of those little plastic candy wrappers after the season is over.

Unfortunately, all of those little tiny wrappers are often too small to be recycled and have to go in the trash. While candy producers like Mars Wrigley and Ferrara are committed to having sustainable packaging by 2025 (and Hershey’s by 2030), you still wonder if there’s more you can do now. If you’re upset by the amount of single-use plastic waste this contributes to landfills like we are, you can instead shop for more green-friendly candy wrapped treats. Here are a few to consider:

Aluminum wrappers

Fully aluminum wrappers are definitely a step up from plastic because at the very least they can be recycled. Still, many wrappers are likely to not make it into the recycle bin. But, if you’re downing a whole bag at home, aluminum wrapped treats like Lindt eggs, Hershey’s kisses, and gold coins (Geld) can be a great green-conscious wrapper decision you can make for yourself.

Boxes instead of bags

Candies that come in boxes instead of bags are actually recyclable, so that means Junior Mints, Mike & Ikes, Milk Duds, Dots, Boston Beans, Nerds, and other tiny box candies can actually have their wrapping recycled. 

Wax Paper & Wax Coated

Candies in wax paper are less detrimental overall to the environment because wax paper actually breaks down over time. Tootsie Rolls and salt-water taffy are great examples of wax paper covered candies. You can also opt for wax coated candies like Nik-L-Nips, though many of these come in single-use plastic bags that may defeat the purpose, so do your due diligence when shopping for them.

Candy Alternatives

Hopefully these ideas won’t get your house egged, but you can consider giving out these alternatives instead of candy:

  • Soda cans (mini packs are perfect for this!)
  • Non-plastic toys (got a stash of beanie babies you’ve been meaning to give away?)
  • Fruit (OK, handing out apples might get you egged, but they’re a great alternative to candy)

How are you handling candy wrapper waste at your home? Let us know in the comments.

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