ShutterstockJust drop the candy bowl and back off real slow like …

No pressure or anything, but the little monsters in your neighborhood are now in full freakout mode over what they’re going to be for Halloween, and rest assured that they’re scouting the streets, making predictions on who will be handing out the best goodies on the Big Night.

Don’t Panic. Here’s the key to surviving Halloween without ending up with a hurricane of t.p. and shaving cream in the front yard: Give the little ghouls something that will send them merrily on their way, but don’t load them up with more sugar; that only encourages fiendish behavior. (Don’t take our word for it. Ask the researchers at Harvard who recently found that, among Boston teenagers, “heavy” consumers of sugary soft drinks were significantly more likely to engage in violent behavior with peers and carry weapons.)

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Happily, this is all old hat for Umbra Fisk, Grist’s eco-advice columnist. In years past, she’s dispensed all manner of wisdom about candy alternatives. Among them: good ol’ fashioned apples, polished rocks, and whistles. (And if you’re going to go the chocolate route, she has some thoughts for you there, too.)

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Umbra has also cooked up some fantastic eco-costume ideas over the years. (Our faves: “high albedo” and “Al Gore being bitten by a polar bear.”)

And for those who are looking to green every aspect of their holiday, there’s this handy how-to guide.

Good luck, and remember, don’t let them see your fear …

This year marks the 10th anniversary of our Ask Umbra advice column, and to celebrate, we’re pulling a favorite gem of eco-advice out of the archives each week.

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Send your green-living questions to Umbra.

For even more green goodness, you can follow Umbra on Twitter (@AskUmbra) or become a fan on Facebook.