Green Halloween: how can I reduce the amount of sweet/candy wrapping?

Continuing in our Green Halloween series…

What with food safety issues and all the urban legends about razor blades & whatnot, nearly all trick-or-treat treats these days are shop-bought and individually wrapped – possibly the worst way to eat sweets or chocolate in terms of packaging waste, especially as it’s mostly plastic wrappers which can’t be recycled.

Do you do anything to minimise the amount of sweetie packaging you give out – or collect?

What are the most reusable or recyclable options?

One way of to reduce, of course, is to opt out of the whole trick or treating thing altogether – but are there any other alternatives?

And while we’ve covered this before in the long dim and distant past, any new reusing/upcycling ideas for the wrappers – transparent ones like in the picture or opaque ones used on mini chocolate bars etc?

(Photo by eisenbahner)

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9 Responses to “Green Halloween: how can I reduce the amount of sweet/candy wrapping?”

  1. roll the sweet wrappings into cigarette shaped cylinders until you have a bunch of them. With a dozen or so wrappings of the same colour, bind them tightly together around the middle with a length of cotton. Fan them out and you have a timely and colourful christmas decoration. It won’t be safe enough to go near heatsoures (so no flames or bulbs nearby) but should be colourful and sparkly.

  2. bookstorebabe says:

    I think they can be rolled to make beads-similar to the cheerios box beads a few posts back.
    Or, they’re nice and crinkly-stuff a kitty toy with them.
    As for using less-um….there was one year where I gave the kids handsfull of pennies from the penny jar, but that was only because I’d badly miscalculated the amount of candy I needed and ran short, with no time to get more. :) Tiny eyes widened at Money, they all had so much candy anyway. Older ones weren’t thrilled, but were polite.
    You could try having candy, and also a bowl with non food treats, like inexpensive wooden novelty pencils, and give the kids a choice (if you can be firm enough to not let them grab both) and see how that goes over?
    As a parent who had one in braces for a few years, I would’ve liked that. Since I had to pull out fully half of her treats, sigh. Don’t know how well it’d go over with the kids.

  3. Any rectangular candy wrappers can be used to make chains and sheets: and there are also some videos out there too. The cellophane type are harder to work with but it can be done.

    Reducing is tougher. Handmade sweets are frowned on for trick-or-treating around here, and even if you go to a party rather than door-to-door there’s usually a pinata or treat bags with individually wrapped candies.

  4. kacy says:

    Kinda like with the decorations, if you choose generic wrapping you can use the candy for other occasions. Whenever I get candy for other holidays and events like Easter, I will separate all of the holiday-specific candy from the bunch and eat only that. The candy in generic packaging is put aside for use during other holidays such as Halloween. Sometimes I don’t have to buy candy for Halloween treats or Christmas stockings. This is also good to remember when you are shopping after-holiday sales.

  5. sarasuperid says:

    I would pick candies with cardboard or wax paper wrapping, because those things can be recycled or composted.

    Salt water taffy is a rare treat and it is always wrapped in wax paper. No one else on the block will be giving out salt water taffy!

    There are a few candies that still come in tiny cardboard boxes: raisinettes, junior mints, etc. Nerds and sweet tarts come in paper and cardboard rappers too.

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  7. KRisTiki says:

    I stopped giving out candy years ago…kids get too much of it and they really light up (even the old ones) when they get….STICKERS.
    I keep my eye out for booklets of stickers for a $1 or $2 over the year. Get several booklets and then give each kid a sheet of stickers.

    At the end of halloween, whomever I have been trick or treating with (the kids) get all the leftover stickers to share with their friends…it’s a HUGE hit…did this in Australia and the US.

    PS garage sales are sometimes a good place to get stickers.

  8. mark says:

    Not sure about the swastika image of the sweets you have running at the top!!!! Not sure if anyone has noticed. You might want to take it down!

    • louisa says:

      Wow. I could claim it was a Hindu etc swastika but the truth is I just didn’t see it – just saw a spray of sweets on a table. Eep! Changed now! Thanks for mentioning it!

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