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Eco Friendly Halloween Treats for Trick or Treaters


Last Updated on September 26, 2023

Halloween treats are often highly processed and wrapped in plastic. Yuck. Even if you choose to give non-candy gifts, it will likely be cheaply made plastic trinkets, which is just as bad.

So what’s a zero waster to do? These Halloween treat ideas will allow you to hand out Halloween treats the neighborhood kids love, but don’t contribute a ton of waste. You, the children, and the planet will love these Halloween trick or treat ideas that cover everything from eco friendly candy to canned drinks and temporary tattoos. But there’s a reason this is called eco-friendly treats and not ‘Zero Waste Treats for Trick or Treaters.’

Photo of Halloween trick or treat ideas with overlay text reading "eco-friendly Halloween treats for trick or treaters"

halloween trick or treat ideas

Truly zero waste Halloween treat ideas includes ones made from scratch like cookies or cupcakes. But unless you personally know everyone coming to your door, or you’re handing treats out at a party or church group full of people you know… you’re going to have to choose packaged snacks for safety.

From what I’ve heard, most trick or treaters have to throw out non-packaged snacks ASAP. Being defiant and making non-packaged snacks will just lead to food waste.

So, I’ve rounded up several eco friendly Halloween treats for trick or treaters that have reduced packaging!

I’m trying to offer a variety of options with these Halloween treat ideas. A lot of the lists I’ve seen include $5 chocolate bars, and while I would love to be on the receiving end of a $5 chocolate bar, I’m not sure how practical that is if you have 100 kids show up at your door on Halloween.

So, I will be including some higher and lower end options, eco friendly candy options, and non-candy options. Hopefully, you’ll be able to find a good mix.

Or you could always do what my husband and I do… we don’t have children and just go out to dinner. By the time we get back home, we’ve missed the Trick or Treater rush.

halloween treat ideas

I will also say, we didn’t live in a super family oriented neighborhood. We also lived on a busy street, so it wasn’t ideal Trick or Treat territory.

However, this is the first year that we’re living in a family friendly neighborhood, so I think we might have trick or treaters on a scale that we’ve never seen before!

And, I’m pretty excited!!

I will probably be picking my candy up from Rainbow Grocery. If you’re in the Bay Area, they have individually foil wrapped candies available for purchase from the bulk bins.

The foil surrounding foil candies is aluminum foil and it is recyclable!

But, once the candy leaves your house, you really don’t have control over how it’s disposed of — so we just have to hope they recycle that foil the right way. Check out this post for more information on how to recycle aluminum foil and other metals.

Bulk bin of eco friendly candy

eco-friendly, zero waste halloween treats:

I have done my best to research what does and doesn’t come in plastic, but I’m going purely off of assumption. Some, of the links will be affiliate links — for more information please see my disclosure policy.

eco friendly candy

Boxes of Candy – I have seen several companies sell small boxes of their candy. Imagine that! Around 30 ish cents per serving.

It would be pretty sweet if all candy companies did this instead of plastic wrappers. I’ve found Junior Mints, Milk Duds, and a pack of chocolate wrapped in foil. The pack wrapped in foil says it might be packed with an ice pack due to weather.

Alter Eco – Alter Eco makes fair trade chocolates with compostable wrappers. They sell bulk packages in a 60 count without any plastic, but they are a little spendy at .91 cents each.

Fair Trade Chocolate Bars – I believe this chocolate is wrapped in paper. But, I really couldn’t tell. I also don’t know how they ship it or whether it’s in plastic or not, but it’s a pretty good deal for individually wrapped fair trade chocolate at around 0.25 cents a bar.

Foil Wrapped Chocolates – I think this is the same candy as the ones photographed above at Rainbow Grocery. They’re individually wrapped chocolate balls in foil, and even though they’re not fair trade, this is what they have to say about the company who makes them:

‘Thompsons chocolate ingredient supplier has a Sustainable Origins program focusing on People, Planet, and Profit. You can visit to learn more.”

non candy food items

Simply Gum – Simply Gum is vegan, and it looks like it only comes in a cardboard box. I’m not sure how the set is packaged. I’d hope they’d be loose or come in a larger box. However, it’s pretty pricey at 2.34 per serving.

Fruit – I still like the idea of handing out fruit like Cuties or oranges that are obviously “sealed” so to speak. I think it’s so cute when people draw little jack-o-lanterns on the peel!

Canned Drinks – Aluminum is one of the most recyclable metals, so why not hand out soda or another type of canned beverage? I would probably hand out canned tea or lemonade.

non food treats

Halloween Erasers – These probably come in a giant plastic bag, but they’re inexpensive at .09 cents a piece, and I remember LOVING these erasers as a kid! My hope here would be that it’s something useful and isn’t just creating more waste in the long run.

Temporary Tattoos – I’ve done a bit of research into the inks for temporary tattoos and I believe they’re totally safe to be washed down the drain. It appears a lot of them use vegetable based dyes.

The information wasn’t overwhelmingly clear. You’ll also have the plastic backing paper left with this, but I still think it’s less waste than a sticker. And, I think kids would be really into it. They also only cost around .09 cents each.

Pencils – Yeah it’s boring, but at least kids could use them! I’ve opted for the non-themed ones because those typically break and the patterns on them are thin layers of plastic. Plus, this massive box of pencils comes out to around .09 cents each.


what are good eco friendly halloween treats for kids you do know?

As mentioned above, a home baked good is about as zero waste as it gets when it comes to Halloween Trick or Treat ideas.

However, if you’re short on time or simply don’t like to bake you can also give bulk candies a try! Gummies, sour candies, candy corn, and the like can often be found in bulk bins and handed out in paper bags that can be recycled.

what are some other treats to hand out that aren’t food?

Many non-food treats can be cost-prohibitive. But you could give out mini Pop-Its (just be sure it’s truly made out of silicone), natural rubber bouncy balls, stamps, or crayons if your budget allows it!

Those are all of the eco friendly Halloween treats that I can think of! Let me know if there’s anything that you’d add in the comments down below.

Also don’t forget to check out my other Halloween posts like throwing a zero waste Halloween party and six eco-friendly, zero waste costumes you probably already have in your closet.

I’m planning on throwing a Halloween party this year, and I’m super excited to keep you up-to-date! To make sure you don’t miss anything, be sure to follow me on Instagram.

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  1. We always trick or treated a lady out in the country, who apparently never had any other visitors. She would give us all a dollar. Haha. On our way home from trick or treating, my mom and dad always took us to a vending machine to buy a beverage of our choice!

  2. Aluminum cans (and tin cans) are lined with plastic that leaches endocrine disruptors into the food, so it’s not a good choice. Also, they are disposables.

  3. If you own a Polaroid (or similar insta-print) camera, you could offer to take a fun picture of each kid or group of kids that comes to your door, then hand the printed photo to them to keep! (I feel like that should assuage any concerns parents would have about random people taking pictures of their kids…?) Hopefully they’d keep the pic & hang it on their fridge or stick it in a photo book =)

  4. A friend of mine writes a funny little Halloween poem every year, prints out 100 copies on a half sheet of colored paper and wraps each around a pencil like a scroll, tying it with string. It’s a lot of prep work but he gets his kids involved in the assembly. Trick or treaters seem to like it. If you’re like me and not creative enough to make up a poem, you could always write a fun riddle or kid appropriate joke.

  5. Someone already suggested money, but that is my favorite idea! Even a quarter would likely be sufficient, and if you could get a couple people on your block to do it, kids would go home with a good chunk of change! I also think crayons are a good idea. Yes, they are made from fossil fuels and "colour pigments" that aren’t specified, but most young children use them regardless. Since you can buy packs that are specific colours now, it might be fun to just bundle a black, green, orange, purple, and yellow crayon together and tie with twine. Any leftovers could be donated to a local childcare facility.

  6. Second hand kids books! Some used book stores sell them cheaply- it’s something that even kids with food allergies can have, won’t be thrown away, and (especially if it’s a story we liked ourselves as a kid) it fosters a love of reading!

  7. Second hand kids books! Some used book stores sell them cheaply- it’s something that even kids with food allergies can have, won’t be thrown away, and (especially if it’s a story we liked ourselves as a kid) it fosters a love of reading!

  8. I offer a bowl of apples with a scary looking sign that says “poison apples” lol, most kids take one and eat it straight away, probably needing a break from all the sugar

  9. So, I live in a small town, and never get many trick or treaters anyway, so I just leave out a bowl for the kids that do come by, so that I can take my own kid out. I WILL know most of the kids who might come, so as long as I put my name and contact on it, and maybe an ingredient list, I can hand out home made goodies. But I’m perplexed about how to package them! I obviously don’t want to put them in a baggie… and paper bags seems like overkill. I guess I could cut out a small square of fabric and tie it with a ribbon… any other ideas about how to package individual cookies for give away? I have the same problem post birthday party, since cookies are usually the take-away I give out.

  10. I love that this article suggests alternatives to giving out candy. Honestly, it is not just the impact on children’s health that it can affect so many popular chocolate companies still use palm oil! In 2019!
    There is a really good article similar to this one that really goes into depth about the individual issues of consumeristic Halloween tradition. I’ll link it (I hope that’s allowed)