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Zero Waste Halloween Candy


Zero Waste Halloween Candy

Does zero waste Halloween candy exist? Well, almost. Not quite. To be truly zero waste, the candy would have to come completely package free, and a lot of places advise against handing out package free treats. Or, they'd have to be made from scratch. But unless you know the kids you're giving these treats to, making things from scratch isn't an option. That said, there are some ways around it. In this post, I'm sharing with you fun, easy ways to get some zero waste Halloween candy. You just got to get a little creative! But trust me when I say, there are plenty of low waste candy options. 

Please note that this post made me indulge in my sweet tooth and I don't regret a single decision. I went to the bulk food store to see how much candy I could get in bulk and kind of wound up spending a lot of money on chocolate covered goodies. No regrets though! 😋 I've got a cute little candy dish set up on my dining room table now full of package free treats. My folks keep picking at it and love it. We live in an apartment so we don't get any trick or treaters, still - it's zero waste Halloween candy for us! If you do have to worry about trick or treaters, no worries, I've got you covered. Here's how to get zero waste Halloween candy to give out.

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Zero Waste Halloween Candy


Zero Waste Halloween Candy

If you're wondering what to hand out to all the trick or treaters this year, I've got you covered. Here are 7 zero waste Halloween candy options to choose from. You can mix and match depending on your budget and what you prefer. I hope this guide inspires you and gives you some zero waste tips and ideas! And remember - Happy Halloween! 🎃

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Bulk candy + sweets 

Zero Waste Halloween Candy

When I was a kid and went trick or treating, I loved getting homemade goody bags. The goody bags were orange paper with little black Jack o' Lanterns printed on the front and inside would be an assortment of treats. Sometimes it would be straight up package free pretzels too.

You can still do something similar to that, if you don't mind taking the time to package your treats. Hit up your local bulk food store and go to the candy section. Depending on the bulk food store, you can get everything from bulk chocolate treats to jelly beans to Swedish fish.

Zero Waste Halloween Candy

My bulk food store has jelly beans, chocolate covered almonds, chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate covered raisins, chocolate coconut chews and various yogurt covered goodies too.

I may or may not have purchased a slew of these chocolaty goodies for the sake of this blog post. Best. blogging. expense. ever.

You could also try hitting up an actual candy store - they usually have candy in bulk bins at the plenty. Or just candy lying out in the open to grab at. Just ask if it's okay to fill some up in your reusable mason jars or cloth produce bags first before doing so.

Zero Waste Halloween Candy

I went to a candy store not too long ago and there was a whole section devoted to salt water taffy (pictured above). You would not believe the crazy flavors I saw. Chili pepper was one of them! I'll stick with fruity and sweet flavors, thanks. 😂

Still, I like the idea of getting salt water taffy in bulk because it's packaged in waxed paper which is compostable. Plus you can get a lot for pretty cheap!

Get a mix of whatever package free treats you can find and just package them in paper bags. I've seen plenty of people give out pretzels in paper bags, so I don't see the harm in doing this. You can even get cool Halloween themed paper bags perfect for stuffing goodies into with cute patterns on them.

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Candy in boxes

Zero Waste Halloween Candy

Another option? Get candy packaged in cardboard boxes. Lots of well-known candy brands sell mini cardboard boxes that are reasonably priced.

Some candy that comes in cardboard boxes are Dots, Nerds, Junior Mints, Jujubes, Mike and Ike, Lemonheads, and Milk Duds. I'm sure there are a few more.

I wish every candy company did that. It would make purchasing Halloween candy so much better. Cardboard is easy to recycle or compost, after all.

You could buy a big cardboard box with fun sized mini candy boxes inside (Junior Mints and Nerds does this - it's by far the easiest route to go with no plastic waste).

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Alter Eco

Zero Waste Halloween Candy

Okay, I'm kind of in love with Alter Eco. Why? Because they have compostable wrappers. How cool is that??

The wrappers are made from eucalyptus and birch trees with non-toxic ink. Um, heck yes? Why aren't more candy brands doing this?

Plus, they're organic, fair trade, non-GMO and gluten free. It truly cannot get any better, my friends.

I've seen my local health food store sell these bad boys - but individually, not in big boxes. If I wanted to give these to trick or treaters (and not just nom on them for myself), I'd definitely go with buying a big box.

Alter Eco sells a 60 piece box of truffles with absolutely no plastic packaging in sight. They are on the pricier side (food for thought), but I think it's worth it.

There are several different flavors to choose from too, like dark chocolate, mint creme, salted caramel, sea salt, silk velvet, or super dark. You can also choose a medley of flavors so it's a nice mix. I personally love the silk velvet - it literally melts in your mouth!

You can leave a bowl out of these goodies and maybe leave a sign saying to take one (and mention the wrappers are compostable).

Unfortunately you're not in control of what happens to the wrappers once they're out of your hands, but it's good to make people aware.

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Foil wrapped chocolate

Zero Waste Halloween Candy

Chocolate wrapped in foil is another great option because foil can be recycled. Foil is just aluminum foil, after all!

Once again, you don't have control over how these are recycled once these leave your house. You can just hope for the best! A good tip is to encourage your trick or treaters to recycle the foil as you hand out the candies.

You can find these foil wrapped candies at the bulk bins, or a candy shop.

You can also buy fair trade chocolate, if you prefer something more ethical. Most conventional foil wrapped chocolate isn't made with organic, fair trade ingredients that's for sure.

Here are some fair trade organic dark chocolate minis - they're mini chocolate bars and look to be wrapped in paper, plus come in a cardboard box. Pretty low waste if you ask me.

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Simply Gum + Glee Gum

Zero Waste Halloween Candy

Not sure if you knew this, but conventional chewing gum actually has plastic in it - and a bunch of other nasty additivies. No thank you. 🤢

Personally, Simply Gum is my absolute favorite gum brand. It's completely compostable, all-natural, and plastic free.

It comes in a cardboard box too, so there's no plastic in sight. Simply Gum also comes with little paper wrappers built in to the box, making it easy to spit out your gum and compost it once you're done.

There are lots of flavors to choose from, but I always go for the mint. I'd like to try the spearmint and maple flavors though...

Some of the flavors consist of mint, spearmint, ginger, maple, fennel, cinnamon, and coffee.

Glee Gum is another option that's plastic free and all-natural. You can also compost the gum once you're finished chewing it. You might want to mention that to trick or treaters as you're handing it out, otherwise they probably won't know.

I really like Glee Gum because it comes in a simple cardboard box. It's otherwise completely package free - the gum is inside the box and naked. The gum pieces are these cute colorful little squares.

There's lots of Glee Gum flavors to choose from, such as bubblegum, peppermint, berry, tangerine, cinnamon, spearmint, and various sugar free options.

I really liked the peppermint, berry and tangerine flavors, personally.

If you're getting either one of these gums for Halloween, I suggest you get the packs of gum. Simply Gum offers a 6 pack whereas Glee Gum offers a 12 pack (for cheaper too - just something to consider).

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Canned drinks

Zero Waste Halloween Candy

Everyone loves a nice, cold can of soda, right? Consider handing out some canned drinks to your trick or treaters.

Aluminum is one of the most recyclable metals, so it just makes sense to hand these out. Plus, unlike glass, trick or treaters are much less likely to hurt themselves if they drop it.

Soda is a good option, but you can also hand out canned lemonade or sweet tea. Make sure you get it packaged in a cardboard box versus the ones with plastic soda can rings.

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Fruit


Zero Waste Halloween Candy

I know, I know. Not the most exciting thing to hand out. Still, hear me out.

A box of raisins or mandarins are really cute Halloween treats. You could even draw a jack o' lantern face onto the mandarins if you're feeling into it. Too cute.

Got an over abundant apple or pear tree? Hand some fruit out to the trick or treaters! You'll be preventing food waste and giving them a healthy snack at the same time.


Additional (non-edible) options

Don't want to give out anything edible? Are there a lot of kids with allergies on your block? Whatever the reason, there are non-edible treats you can give as well.

Consider giving things like pencils, Halloween erasers, small Halloween coloring books or temporary tattoos. These are all pretty low waste, budget friendly, and semi-useful items.

Don't get the Halloween themed pencils though - they're typically made from lesser quality and wrapped with plastic.

You can even offer some used books that are kid oriented! Look through your stuff and see if you have any children's books worth giving away and handing out. You can let the kids choose which they want.

Maybe even cuter is to hand out some mini pumpkins! These make great all-natural decorations, and I feel like kids would really get a kick out of receiving one, especially on Halloween.

Zero Waste Halloween Candy

Will you be handing out some zero waste Halloween candy this year?

For more zero waste holiday inspo, check out my Zero Waste Halloween guide, or How to Have a Zero Waste Thanksgiving.

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1 comment

  1. Candy in recyclable packaging sounds great in theory! BUT, if it is handed out to people (kids with parents) who do not recycle or are not zero waste, it is a waste. Then, we are just contributing to the landfill. So, what is better? 1) we hand out things in cardboard boxes as noted in the post; 2) we hand out candy wrapped in foil or 3) we don't participate at all?

    Fortunately, I rarely if ever, get trick or treaters. My preference is to not participate at all. If we are thinking about OUR participation in zero waste and not other people's, we are NOT zero waste no matter what we hand out.

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