by Amanda Czepiel, Environmental Legal Editor, Business & Legal Resources

Trick-or-treating, dressing up, eating candy: who can resist the pleasures of Halloween? But this October holiday has a dark side: It is the second most trash-producing day of the year in the United States. (Christmas is the first.) It is easy to believe it, too, with all those candy wrappers and plastic, disposable costumes and decorations piling up. Here are some tips to avoid making your Halloween environmentally terrifying:

Create a neighborhood buzz about a green Halloween. If possible, make posters or spread the word about what environmentally friendly options exist for people to give out to trick-or-treaters.

Have a costume/decoration swap. Invite coworkers to bring their gently used costumes and decorations to work for a swap a few weeks before Halloween, or organize a swap with your child's scout troop or athletic team. and used clothing shops are also great places to find recycled costumes and decorations. You don't need new things for a creative costume!

Avoid the disposable trick-or-treat bags. Kids will need something to collect their treats and treasures as they go door to door. Try using old pillow cases (that the kids can decorate!) or old purses, or sew something together out of fabric scraps.

Rethink the "treats." For food items, select healthy treats with as little packaging as possible (of course, safety is a concern). For nonfood items, kids love colorful bandages, pencils, stickers, playing cards, temporary tattoos: get creative!

Save your decorations for next year. Halloween decorations never go out of style. Buy ones that can be reused, or use your children's homemade crafts, and you will have decorations for a long time!

For more tips, visit Remember, with some creative tricks, your Halloween can be an environmental treat!

Originally published on the BLR Green Team's blog, Creating a Sustainable Workplace. Reprinted with permission.