Inhabitots Green Halloween, Eco halloween, green halloween, sustainable design, kids green design, eco design contest, green halloween contest

Calling all creative, eco-minded Inhabitots!

Halloween is one of our favorite holidays, and there are lots of ways to tread lightly on the earth this Hallows Eve with a little ingenuity and crafty resourcefulness. Clever home-made costumes and yummy organic treats are always more fun and memorable than store-bought goodies, not to mention being better for the environment as well! This Halloween we want to pick your collective brains. We want to hear about your brilliant eco ideas – everything from witty home-made toddler and kids costumes to special recipes for organic pumpkin cookies. Inhabitots will be giving away a bunch of fabulous prizes from Oeuf and Nubius Organics to the most creative Green Halloween ideas, so sign up for Inhabitots and enter our contest today! >

Inhabitots Green Halloween, Eco halloween, green halloween, sustainable design, kids green design, eco design contest, green halloween contest

Entering this competition is easy. Simply signup with Inhabitots (if you aren’t already a registered email reader), and then comment at the bottom of this post with your brilliant green Halloween idea. Then if you can, please send us a photo of your creative costume or treat idea.

We are judging this competition on CREATIVITY of submission, so sending photos in to us will SIGNIFICANTLY increase your chances of winning. The best ideas will be showcased in our Flickr gallery on our site. Put ‘Inhabitots Green Halloween’ as the subject of the email, make sure you include your name (and the email address you have registered at Inhabitots), and please keep your images reasonable in size (less than 300K please). Remember you need to be a registered Inhabitots newsletter reader to enter, so if you haven’t already signed up with us, register here today >


Of all the entries we are receiving, we aren’t getting very many photos. This means you will SIGNIFICANTLY improve your chances of winning if you send a photo in to us. We really want your photos of cute costumes and treats, so please send them today! These prizes are really good, so put more than 20 seconds into this contest. You will be rewarded!

DEADLINE FOR ENTRY: Midnight on October 31st

WINNERS ANNOUNCED: Monday November 3rd


speesees organic jackets, nubius organics, bear jacket, lamb jacket, critter kids jacketsSpeesees organic critter jackets from Nubius Organics

Oeuf Angel Wing Sweater, Oeuf eco friendly kids clothesOeuf Angel Sweater

Oeuf Animal Tails and Snouts, Oeuf fair trade knitsOeuf Animal Tails & Snouts


One first prize winner will get their choice of eco cutey clothing item from Oeuf or Nubius Organics: Oeuf’s Angel Sweater, Oeuf’s animal tail & snout, or Speese’s Organic Little Lamb Jacket. These charming eco-friendly & fair trade kids clothes items offer fun Halloween costume potential, but can also get tons of regular use for years instead of just for 24 hours on Halloween as part of a costume.

The first prize winner will also win their choice of an eco-friendly Inhabitots Tshirt or onesie (see below).

One second place winner will receive your choice of green Halloween item from Oeuf or Nubius Organics (see above), and their choice of Inhabitots Tshirt or onesie (see below).

Will receive a Chico Green Halloween bag stuffed with your choice of Inhabitots baby tee or onesie

Inhabitots baby tee, Inhabitots baby onesieInhabitots Baby Owl Tee & Roots Onesie


1. Only registered Inhabitots readers are eligible for prizes
2. you can submit as many entries as you like
3. you can submit up to 5 photos of a single entry to editor at inhabitots dot com
4. PHOTOS MUST BE SIZED TO 600 pixels wide, 72 dpi, and under 200K – for publication on the web. We will not download gigantic photographs
5. store-bought costumes and treats do not count – a little bit of creativity is required here – whether or not that is tweaking an outfit your child already owns or finding a new use for something in your house

Oeuf Animal TailsOeuf Animal Tails

Petey + Inhabitots Owl TeeGood luck from Inhabitots!

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  1. Kamber says:

    All of those items are sooo cute. I’ve been wanting a halloween chico bag. I love halloween! That’s why I got married on Halloween.

  2. Here\’s my tip: Go to for everything you need to know about making your Halloween a whole lot greener. They have costume ideas, a list of items that can be handed out instead of candy, DIY ideas, and even maps of select cities that are participating, and where you can find Green Halloween houses.

  3. Wenona says:

    I am making all my own Halloween decorations, yogurt cups have been painted and strung together as a garland, empty soup and veggie cans had holes punched in them and were painted to become luminaries, laundry soap bottles were painted and turned into Jack o Lanterns and Black Cats, and glass pasta sauce jars are becoming creepy candle holders and creative candy containers. So far I\’ve only purchased two things: a strand of orange LED lights and a can of orange spray paint to deocrate my recycled creations. The kids Halloween costumes are all hand me downs from another family member or creative creations from our closets.

  4. Carrie Sublett says:

    I fashioned a spider costume for my niece out of a few pairs of old trouser socks and a sweatshirt she has. All it took was a few minutes and a creative idea.

    I also am using LED tea lights for my jack-o-lantern this year. I use them in fixtures throughout my garden. They are so much better than normal wax tea lights.

    I think the important thing to remember about being green is that it is not difficult, nor expensive. It just takes you to look around yourself and become resourceful.

  5. Heather says:

    I sent you photos! I made a candy costume out of placemats, iridescent tissue paper, ribbon, and a stocking cap.

  6. Heather says:

    I made this Frankenstein sandwich using stuff I had in the kitchen – a very fun Halloween food!

  7. Heather says:

    This idea literally came to me in a dream, so I got up and made it

    Apple spider: Cut a small apple 3/4″ from the top (that’s the spider’s body). Use an apple corer to cut the rest of the apple (the bottom half) – those are the legs. Arrange on a plate with legs around body, and add raisin eyes. Healthy and fun! And don’t forget to compost the core!

  8. Elizabeth M. says:

    Your halloween goodies are just wonderful! As for my green tip, a simple thing is to have the kids carry reusable halloween bags instead of plastic bags. Even pillowcases are a green alternative to the plastic.

  9. Heidi H. says:

    How cute! Here’s a great tip – use sugar pumpkins for jack o lanterns, that way you can actually use all those pumpkin innards that get cleaned out in the jack o lantern making process. Just think of all you get 1) a fun family activity, 2) a spooky door step inhabitant and 3) yummy pumpkin soup or bread!

  10. Abigail Doan says:

    Every year I try to order gourd and pumpkins seeds from Native Seed Search to share with family and friends. This Tuscon-based non-profit does a great job of promoting seed-saving and heirloom species. Not as “sugary” as candy, but a sweet enterprise and a great way to promote inter-generational activities.

    Abigail, Senior Editor @ Inhabitots


  11. RAJEEV says:


  12. Danielle says:

    I’m not so good at the sewing machine so we get awesome costumes at the second hand store every year. We buy all our pumpkins and gourds locally. And when the seasons over we make and can our pumpkins that we did not carve and those that we do carve are composted. we make sure to roast all the yummy seeds and dry the gourds out to turn into bird houses.

  13. Rich says:

    Although we have not totally decided and I really hope to come up with something less confusing to people giving away treats, my son\\\’s favorite costume consists of a milk carton as a shield, a broom as a javelin, gardening gloves just because, and a viking helmet…how\\\’s that for recycling?

  14. Kellie says:

    I try to make Halloween costumes out of old clothes and what-nots lying around the house. This year it was a spider made of old socks and a black shirt. It looks great.

    We also try to reuse our pumpkins as much as possible. Even if it is just for composting!!!

    Love the prizes!

  15. i always go to a 2an hand store and get my childerns costumes and well i take the seed’s from the pumpkin and well rost them and i love to try and win this thanks

  16. Kate says:

    I bought this ChicoBag so that my son can use it year after year – but also to support Green Halloween, which receives 10% of every bag sold!

    Did you know the bag’s graphics were designed by kids ?!

    It’s really so cute.

    Glad you’re featuring the bag in this contest. Goodluck to eveyrone!

  17. Desmond Williams says:

    Dried fruit serves as a great alterna-treat. Somewhat scary looking but surprisingly sweet, kids will love it. And Trader Joe’s has exotic choices such as dried, odd-tasting Dragon Fruit (dark purple with strange little black seeds all over that my son says tastes “just like dragons”) and Mangosteen (purple on the outside white on the inside). More familiar choices such as pineapple, peaches or apples can be decorated with food coloring.

  18. Ginny says:

    Just a basic idea but reusing costumes you have already had, getting pieces from thrift stores, craigslist, freecycle, etc.

  19. I will admit we bought a new costume for our little one this year (it’s his first Halloween) However we plan on keeping it so our future kids can also where it, once we are done with it I will free-cycle it so another child can enjoy a Halloween in it. However a few things green my family has been doing since I was a baby (30 years now) and I want to keep this tradition up with my son is use your pillow case as a candy bag; don’t carve the pumpkins use food grade ink to draw on the pumpkins instead and afterward you can make pumpkin preserve or pies or anything else you may want; buy local pumpkins (we are going to make sure ours is organic); use reusable decorations that you supplement with a few home made ones made from junk you would trow away or recycle. Last year we made some tombstones from wood left over from construction on our house and we stored them so we can reuse them this year.

  20. Margot says:

    My way of being GREEN on Halloween is to do a Costume swap every year! It is such a waste, literally, to buy your little one a new costume every year. So instead, my friends and I have a costume swap. This way you never have to buy a new costume. Someone always has a costume in your child’s size and you not only save money, but the environment as well!!

  21. Huyen says:

    My husband is a huge zombie/horror movie fan and has been bugging me forever to turn our toddler daughter into the zombie nurse from Dawn of the Dead. So this year, before she has a chance to rebel or decide to be something cuter, I am giving in. (We\’re using the hand-me-down pumpkin costume for the events that toddler zombies may be deemed unacceptable.) I got a white blouse and cut out a red felt cross and attached it to the front, pulled out a pair of white hand-me-down sneakers, and we plan on letting her eat red jam, spaghetti sauce, popsicle or whatever to get a lovely stain on her face. I still have to find a white skirt that fits her as well as creating a nurses cap (probably origami). My husband has already taught her to respond correctly to \"What do zombies eat?\" she growls out \"brains!\" (just fyi, both of them are vegan- how green can you get?!)

  22. Beth Shea says:

    A friend of mine gave me a great idea: have the Halloween fairy pick up your child’s stash of candy collected while trick or treating, and replace it with a longed for toy or certificate for a cherished outing (pizza dinner, roller skating, movie, trip to the zoo…) Of course, get your child to agree to the trade off beforehand, but this is a clever way to dissuade them from chomping down on all that candy. Go even greener by having them opt for the gift/outing in lieu of trick or treating.

  23. sylvia says:

    Halloween is a great way to reuse, recycle and reduce! Costumes that are free or hand me downs or from thrift stores and then given to others after we are done with them. Another thing that we take the pumpkins after Halloween and put them in our back yard for the animal to eat. Fun contest and great new ideas!

  24. Huyen says:

    Loved the great ideas on this site- I\’m going to add them to what we already do. Forgot to mention we found a local eco-friendly pumpkin/berry patch and drove our hybrid to pick our own pumpkin this year. Got a great \"blue\" pumpkin with a scar to use with the zombie theme this year. Last year we tossed the pumpkin out back hoping for the seeds to sprout so we wouldn\’t have to buy, but the sqirrels and birds got to everything. This year, we\’ll compost/feed our wildlife with what we have left but also bury a few seeds in the back to see if they\’ll take (our neighbor told us her sister\’s family got 5 pumpkins this year after tossing the leftover pumpkins in their backyard last year!)

  25. Danika says:

    This is the first year I’ve purchased a costume for my daughter, so to get the most mileage out of it this year, she’s going to as many halloween activities in that costume as we can dig up over the next two weeks. It is definitely a heirloom-able/pass-on-able costume, so we plan for it to have a long life.

    Since she’s 2, and neither she nor I need a big bag of snickers and milky ways in our house for the next month, we’re going to parade around the neighborhood in costume and see all the other kids, but we’ll only knock on a couple of doors (she currently wants to do 3 trick or treats). Instead, we’re going to decorate spooky apples (peanut butter glue, raisin/chocolate chip eyes, frosting mouth) and have a halloween dance party for her and a few friends. Monster Mash anyone?

  26. We are having an eco-educational fall carnival for my kids school this Saturday. I will be sure to post pictures after the event. Instead of the typical “carnival” games, we have all homemade games with an environmental twist. For example, the kids pull a beanbag out of a bucket that has an item on it and then they have to toss it onto the appropriate square- compost, trash or recycle. We nixed the plastic prizes that end up in the garbage and have unique prizes like bamboo puzzles and kinetic energy powered flashlights. This way the kids get only one prize but it is one they will keep. Also, we used brown paper bags that we cut for tickets and we have wooden signs with fun facts throughout the event and if the kids can answer a few questions about what they learned from the signs they get an organic lollipop. I’ll post again with a recap and pictures.

  27. Cate says:

    Alternative treats: dried fruits and nuts, organic candy (no HFCS!), and of course: homemade play-dough. We’ll still go “trick-or-treating” a bit, but then it will be up to mom and dad to (*sigh*) “dispose of” the halloween candy.

  28. Suzanne B says:

    My suggestion is to get costumes that they will use afterwards. Nothing sadder than a costume made of thin plastic that is going to get ruined by other toys, and normal child antics that will just get trashed.

    I also share candy with the mechanics at work, my kids do not need that much candy in their young tummies.

    I am making Candle votives out of small gourds and pumpkins for my Halloween Party.

    It is all about being thrifty and eco-friendly!

  29. Green tip: Don’t throw out pumpkins when Halloween is over! Put them in a compost pile and make your soil richer

  30. tuesday says:

    We love dressing up so for holidays the kids get dress up costumes then they can pick through what they have for Halloween!

  31. sarah b says:

    instead of using plastic bags for trick or treating I went and got some old fabric and sewed together a pumpkin bag. I even went to the store and got some reflective ribbon to sew onto the handles so that when the kids are older and running from house to house, cars will be more likely to see them. Makes me happy to know they are a bit safter!

  32. Maggie Smith says:

    This is my first year as a mom and I wanted my son’s first Halloween to be special. He is bald so I thought we would make a perfect Charlie Brown. I made his costume out of an old potato sack that would have otherwise been thrown away. My husband, the skeptic, loves it! I love being eco-friendly and frugal! Its the only way to do things these days!!

    I am subscribed under

  33. Jessica says:

    A great tip is to use old pillowcases as trick or treat bags. You can even let your little ones decorate them as they wish. And you can use them year after year.

  34. jenny eaton says:

    please enter me in the halloween contest. these clothes are too cute!

  35. Naomi says:

    Every day is Halloween! Repurposing household items as costumes is the best!

  36. megan says:

    I registered. Also my green tip is to use either a pillow case or another form of reusable bag to carry your Halloween candy in.

  37. Angelina Lucas says:

    Great and healthy concept. All the dresses are cute. Thanks for the giveaway and the efforts in creating the ecofriendly awareness.

    Angelina Lucas

  38. Make your own trick or treat bag out of old pillowcases you can decorate yourself

  39. sandra kao says:

    use “green” candles to light the entrance to your home instead of lighting with electricity

  40. Sherry Thomas says:

    This stuff is so cute I want to win so bad.

  41. wow how cool is every thing and well i love to try and win this for my little one she realy could use this thanks

  42. Make your own makeup using cornstarch, flour ,corn syruop and food coloring

  43. We made my 18 month old a homemade costume from the classic tale, The Little Red Hen. Your children’s storybook collection will give you great ideas for costumes. I gathered all the materials from around the house and we didn’t use any gas to go out and buy anything! It took some creative thinking and breaking out of the old sewing kit and surprisingly it didn’t take very long and came out adorable. I made the beak out of recycled cardboard and colored it orange with a colored pencil. I made the hen body from a reusable red cloth bag and I collected feathers from my hens to make the tail feathers. The base of the outfit came right out of my daughter’s wardrobe. Just like the Little Red Hen’s boots, we even had a pair of red rubber boots from my husband’s childhood.
    For snacks on Halloween we are skipping the candy and are going to pop organic corn kernels the old fashioned way, in the pot! We will also take apple slices and dip them in yogurt. You can even make fair trade hot chocolate!
    For those who are going trick or treating, just take your reusable grocery cloth sacks to collect candy and try to stay in walking distance of your home so there will be no need to use the car.
    Have a green ole’ time and be safe!

  44. Awesome. I am a grandmother and I would love the angel sweater for my wonderful granddaughter. She is an ANGEL….is that not what all grandmother think!


  45. katrina says:

    My green idea contribution is to go trick-or-treating in your own neighborhood rather than driving out to another. It’s really shocking how many people are taxi-ing their kids across town when there’s trick-or-treating in every neighborhood. Our low income area is especially subject to exodus on Halloween night largely because of the mis-perception that it’s unsafe, but a large group of costumed kids and adults is hardly a crime target.

  46. Gina Stratos says:

    We buy used costumes as much as we can, trick or treat in our neighborhood and use our market totes to collect the candy

  47. tree says:

    i submitted pictures already, but wanted to say a little something about the costume.
    i created the gnome costume for my son, it was inspired by one we saw in the familyfun magazine.

    The toadstool was created using recycled fabrics, and a old broken hula hoop. (plus a little duct tape!) We used some of my son’s old baby clothes for the bottom half of the gnome, and he wore his own shirt for the top half. The belt was borrowed from his father. i made the beard out of dyed wool roving and the hat was recycled from a Harry Potter birthday party last year. We always either make our costumes from things around the house, or get them used from the goodwill (my favorite store!)

  48. candycane says:

    We go to the library about two months before halloween and I find books on easy and cheap costumes. I let my three girls choose which one they want to be and then we start collecting things to recycle for their costume for about a month. They have been doing great with eyeing things to recycle for themselves! Boxes, styrofoam, bubblewrap, tissue paper, and anything to make it look “cooler”.

  49. rebecca says:

    HI Jill,
    I have sent in pics of my son and can’t find the Flickr gallery on the site – or does it go up after the competition? – I want to send the http to my pals!

  50. katia says:

    This halloween my daughter, Lucia, 2 1/2 years old will be a snowflake fairy. I bought the dress for $5 at a second-hand kid’s clothing shop (Chloe’s Closet in SF), obviously someone’s flower girl dress from a wedding, which I altered to fit her. The tutu and wings are borrowed from her cousins, and the wand and crown were handmade by me using recycled cardboard, gift-wrapping paper and ribbons that I had around the house. Total cost for costume: $5. Total ‘new’ resources used: 0. Total time spent on hand-making the crown and wand: Way too much. I need to get a life! 🙂 I think the results are worth it though. Lucia loves her costume!

    The photos of my little snowflake fairy have been sent via email.

  51. rebecca says:

    Oh my goodness, I have just seen the gallery and the pics are too cute for words – I love the homemade gnome!!! So adventerous and looks so good. – well done tree.

  52. SANDY says:

    My going green ideas are easy- if you do not have an old tote bag make a huge candy bag out of an old pillowcase- let the kids decorate it and have fun and sew handles on it or you can cut ahandle out from the side.

    We don’t even go to the thrift store anymore- open up closets and create- an old prom dress of mine- yep I mean old turned into a huge success with a little pinning- no sewing or gluing- just pins makes it look like a cinderella skirt .

    Need blood or makeup- for a costume- hey mom look at what you have and you probably can make blood out of your blush and lipstick mixed- if you buy healthy makeup then its safe for the kids too.
    Take old sheets and make mummy costumes..or old clothes and make a hobo

    a funny costume one year one of my girls went as a carol burnette character- you know the the mop pushing- she wore an old dress of mine with an odd apreon, put on a bonnet and carried a mop and wore rubber gloves- easy peasy
    the other thing we have done is buy solar lights we use year round but for safety after carving out our pumpkins and saving seeds and guts for pies we put them inside the pumpkin at night- alot safer too- no candles bumping over.

    This year I am not handing out candy—oops I am handing out packs of seeds to plant with a tree poster and plant chart and toothbrushes with organic toothbrush- ok ..maybe not the talk of the town but kids loved what I handed out ast year and was not candy – handed out crayons and recycled coloring books wrapped together. and some got mini toys from wendys and mcdonalds..I eat too much candy and figure the kids like toys and treats too. Yep I am cheap in a way but figure its all too much these people spending mucho bucks on a costume for a few hours then may never wear again….I mean look at people talking about expensive wedding dresses- this is just as bad with some people.
    Sorry but hubs does not allow me to post pics of the kids and I respect that wish.

  53. Magen says:

    This year my husband decided to make my son’s halloween costume. My son wanted to be Thomas the train and we thought, wow he can make that out of old boxes and leftover supplies around the house. The costume is made out of 2 boxes, an oatmeal containr for the funnel, and the rest is cut out cardboard from other boxes. If you let me know how to submit a photo, I will and it’s great!

  54. Kari Wilcher says:

    My children dressed up as their favorite animal, the snail. I used an old brown bed sheet for the shell. I cut it into a long strip, stuffed it with batting, and coiled it and then sewed it to a brown shirt. We made pipe cleaner antennae and attached them to brown skull caps. I emailed pictures to the editor. Enjoy!

  55. Caryn B says:

    We bought organic treats as an alternative to candy

  56. Jenna says:

    Purchasing costumes from a second hand store is a great way to “be green” and then once done with them, bring them back for someone else to enjoy. Very cute giveaway!

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