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5 Fun Ways to Fashion a Greener (and Healthier) Halloween

By Dayle Hayes, MS, RD

Halloween is a wonderful excuse to have fall fun with children. Use these simple ideas to reduce the mounds of paper and plastic trash from a typical celebration. They’ll also make this year’s Halloween friendlier to the environment and to your pocketbook.

1. Fashion a Halloween party of your own.
Skip all the treat-or-trick worries about children’s safety and managing those gigantic piles of candy. Plan a neighborhood party at your home or larger event in a community facility. Have fun with old-fashioned, yet trendy activities and games, such as carving pumpkins (or squash) or Pin-the-Tail on the scarecrow (or donkey, if you want to be traditional).

2. Fashion costumes from reused/recyclable stuff.
Start with the basics: a pair of tights and a turtleneck. Then, convert a large cardboard box into a computer, TV, or colorful toy block with a little paint. Use twigs, flowers, leaves, and a green sheet to dress up as Mother Nature. Make masks with paper mache and dig through your closets for costumes. Pick up extra costume pieces at garage sales or second hand stores.

3. Fashion decorations from nature.
Decorate with nature: leaves, sticks, wheat, gourds, sunflowers, and other fall items create a wonderful atmosphere (and they can be composted afterwards). Make a scarecrow using old clothes stuffed with other old clothes or newspaper (reused plastic grocery bags can help prevent soggy stuffing). You can always add straw to the edges for the authentic touch.

4. Fashion trash into Halloween décor.
Make luminaries out of used tin cans: use a large nail and a hammer to punch out designs, paint the outside, and add some sand to hold a small candle. Turn glass bottles into candle holders and plastic containers into Halloween creatures like cats, ghosts, and pumpkins. Old sheets hung from ceilings or trees make good ghosts (wash and use for cleaning up later).

5. Fashion seasonal foods into party treats.
Purchase seasonal ingredients from your farmer’s market. Use pumpkin or squash for soups, breads, and muffins. Enjoy fall greens like baby spinach, with dried cranberries and nuts for a delicious salad. Slice local apples and dip in fat-free caramel or peanut butter. Challenge guests to make edible creatures with apple slices, PB, raisins, grated cheese, and other items.

For more fun, easy tips on healthy living, go to

Dayle HayesDayle Hayes, MS, RD
Author, Speaker, and Nutrition Therapist

Dayle Hayes is a registered dietitian committed to innovative, delicious nutrition solutions for busy families. As a consultant to Billings Clinic, she specializes in positive nutrition tips, eating disorders, and sports nutrition. Dayle graduated from U. Mass-Boston and received a Masters of Science in Community Health Education from U. Mass-Amherst.
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