In just a few days, neighborhoods all over the Birmingham area will be swarming with costume-clad trick-or-treaters, most of whom will be filled with anticipation over what sugar laden treats you’ll toss in their bag. In a society where Americans are expected to spend an estimated $2.5 billion in Halloween candy sales alone this year, there’s no denying we love a holiday that encourages (and excuses) our overindulgence.
While consuming too many Snickers bars may temporarily wreak havoc on the tummies of children (and adults alike), the scarier reality is the overall affect caused to the environment by candy production. It may be hard to believe, but even bite-sized candy bars can have a big impact on growing environmental concerns such as climate change, deforestation, and animal extinction. The truth is that a significant portion of Halloween candy is made using palm oil, which when harvested is often destructive to rainforest habitats.
The good news is that many candy companies have agreed to drop unsustainably sourced palm oil from their ingredients and now offer candy and chocolate that helps support a healthier, more sustainable world.
This year, before trick-or-treaters come knocking at your door be prepared to dole out quality made candy that not only taste better and supports an altogether healthier lifestyle, but also makes a difference for the environment.
We recommend trying one of these four eco-friendly treats — we’re confident that doing so will earn you major kudos from neighborhood Halloween visitors, and make you feel like an environmental superstar.
- Endangered Species Chocolate “Bug Bites” are .35 ounce organic chocolate pieces that are ideal for passing out to little trick-or-treaters. The company donates 10% of net profits to partner organizations that support species conservation, habitat preservation and humanitarian efforts.
- Yummy Earth makes a great variety of sweet treats with organic ingredients including gummy bears, lollipops, sour beans and fruit snacks.
- Indie Candy, Birmingham’s premier natural candy & chocolate maker offers a fantastic assortment of some of the area’s best all natural and allergen free sweet treats.
- Justin’s peanut butter cups are sure to win your household the 2014 neighborhood accolades for best Halloween treats. The majority of ingredients are organic and sourced as locally and sustainable as possible. Look here to see several locations around town where Justin’s candy is available for purchase.
For a complete list of mainstream candy suppliers that are members of the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and to see which of their products are palm oil free, go here.