I LOVE HALLOWEEN! I love dressing up and seeing all the cute kiddies come to my front door. I love pumpkin carving, pie, seeds.
However I hate how wasteful it is! Plastic, one use decorations every where.
I've always wanted to hand something out to the kiddies that wasn't a sugar bomb wrapped in plastic. I once made candied apples and friend warned my about the liabilities of handing out homemade treats.
Any suggestions for fun alternatives for handing out?
- Glider Airplanes
Maybe if they are paper based instead of plastic?
- Organic Juice Boxes
Still have to deal with the box after...
- Natural Fruit Leather
I like this option as it is something I could make at a pretty low risk of getting flack for health concerns.
- LocalHoney Sticks
These are readily available in my community but exspensive and STILL HAVE PLASTIC
Still has plastic... but no sugar?
- Apple Cider Packets
As much as it still has sugar and plastic I think it could be modified to reduce both.
Practical but maybe not affordable? Still love the idea
- Mini-Flashlights/ Glow Sticks
Again practical and better than a one time use plastic?
- Pumpkin Oranges
"Feeling crafty? Get some organic oranges and use a natural marker to draw some pumpkin faces on the peel. This is probably best for a group of friends or close-knit neighborhood where people trust an unwrapped offering."
I feel like I could get away with this in my community. But what to draw with?
Could make homemade bubble solution, wands, and place them in a reused container?
- Wikki Sticks
"A great inexpensive Halloween treat to give out that stimulates creativity. Wikki Sticks are made from yarn and natural wax and are a mess-free creative way for kids to draw and build pictures."
- Fancy Crayon Pens
- Mini Play Dough
You could even make the playdough and use up-cycled containers
What have you done to have a more 'sustainable' halloween?
This at least is a "reuse" idea. My mom used to play tennis, but the balls eventually loose their fuzz and bounce. One year at Halloween, she thought she'd offer a used tennis ball along with a chocolate. Most of the "street hockey" loving boys, asked if they could have a second ball instead of chocolate! They were a hit with many of the other kids as well. This only works if you know someone who plays tennis, but if there's a local club, you could ask there.
There are wooden gliders around still, but also, one year a friend found a package of printed coloured paper airplanes. You just had to follow the instructions on the paper. Something similar could be made on a printer even, although these ones were double sized paper, not 8 1/2 by 11 size.
Too late for this idea, but watch garage sales for cheap lego and make up little lego bags. It's still plastic, but I've met very few kids who don't like lego. (Actually, I've met few adults who don't like lego!) At least it's plastic that lasts. A big chunk of my son's collection came from English cousins, so it's 30 years old and still works just fine.
A lot depends on how many kids you expect and how much time you have. If most or all of the kids know you, you can get away with things that you can't do with strangers. If you have a mix, you can let the kids choose between homemade or store bought.
I have found that most kids like to get a quarter. It's very durable, and if nobody shows up for Halloween , you don't have to figure out what to do with quarters.
A couple of times when I was handing out candy , I also made some nice thick soup. It sat right beside the candy , so that I could grab the ladle and pretend that I was going to put soup on their candy. Some kids pulled the bag away, some laughed, and some just waited for the splash. Great fun.
I am very excited - this is the first year I will get to have trick or treaters. I am going to go the old fashioned route and buy candy, I'm afraid.
If I knew the kids - i would make candied apples or popcorn balls. But stick to packaged stuff for kids you don't know.
The trick would be to find something unplastic and unsweet that still is acceptable to children as a "treat".
I remember some people giving out little cardboard boxes of raisins. - no cardboard, rather sweet, but disappointing as a treat.
A friend of mine buys dollar store toys - (still plastic).
Potentially expensive, but what about used books? I can usually find children's books at garage sales or the local library book sale or a thrift store for 25c -$1. Separate them into a pile by age.
Whatever you do... don't give out toothbrushes in a little plastic bag with a business card for your local dentistry business. That did NOT go over well in my neighbourhood (both the commercialness with the adults, and the unfun-ness, for the kids). Actually - taping business cards of any sort to your candy (even large candy bars) is very tacky... (yes, this happened at one or two houses I went to as a kid- I think one was an insurance salesman and another was a car dealership salesperson).
We plan to give out organic fruit bars and (yes, plastic) toy dinosaurs. I would have treasured a toy dinosaur as a child (I'm still a dino fan) so I hope they will be kept for years and not discarded.
Not good, but maybe a little less bad....
My father, a retired dentist and dental professor, used to give out toothbrushes. I told him that did not make him popular with the kids, so he has allowed me to introduce the dinosaurs in lieu of toothbrushes. My husband and I will be celebrating at dad's house, because we have not trick or treaters on our country road.
We lived in a rural area when I was little. There's a real danger for kids if they go trick or treating with their dad and he knows everybody along the route. Talking to one guy about cattle and the next guy about pigs and then some relative about something different. We just wanted to get to town where the houses were close enough together so we could get a decent haul.
I still remember my relatives Earl and June serving us hot chocolate and yakking endlessly. I wanted to pour that stuff right down their throats so we could get back in the car. As soon as we left, another car pulled in and another group of kids were held hostage for a while.
As a child with no money, Halloween was the most important night of the year for me. After running from house to house and hitting a good houses twice, I had sacks of the stuff ready for when the trading floor opened at home. After dealing the other kids out of most of their candy, they would effectively become my slaves a few weeks after Halloween when they exhausted their own supply.
Unfortunately, there's been too much baseless and absurd fearmongering around Halloween to do things like fresh fruit, popcorn, or baked goods. The best you can do is find things with biodegradable packaging. Perhaps juices or sodas in glass bottles? I know I for one would be pretty pumped to receive a Babybel cheese wheel. Honestly, why would someone poison your child if you know exactly where they live...at any other time of the year when you go to someone's house and they offer you food, you eat it. The streets are technically safer on Halloween than any other time of year because there's so many people up and about. Like ?? Take down the address, license plate numbers, and treat contents of every house you go to if you're so concerned.
Love this topic. Im always looking for new and better ways to be more sustainable and eliminate nasty plastic use, myself.
I just had an idea from another poster who suggested little cardboard box raisins...i know how to make that more desirable for kids. Walmart and other major grocery stores sell packs of those same little cardboard boxed yogurt covered raisins! I know there is STILL sugar in those, not as much as maybe the heavily sugared standard Halloween candy. And still has a raisin in the center, its like eating fruit, right??? I was an absurdly huge sweet tooth in my younger years and i feel my younger self wouldnt be super disappointed at this option.
Al thought the down side would be, idk how expensive these are, might be costly for those who get hundreds of trick or treaters. We dont get a ton, so this is what im totally going to do!!!
Score! thanks for getting the thinking juices flowing
"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't; you're right"
I've read that the whole thing about someone once putting razor blades in kids' candy is an urban legend (source Matthew Legge, the author of Are we done fighting yet? who was on the Community forum here a month or so ago). He apparently did a lot of research about what is fact and what isn't. In spite of how widespread it is, it's urban legend. Well, I choose to believe it never happened.
Community Building 2.0: ask me about drL, the rotational-mob-grazing format for human interactions.
We have a local pizzeria that has a huge arcade/game room. Guests put $1, $5, $10, $20 bills in token machines and out comes the tokens to use on the game machines.
One year I was blindsided by trick-or-treaters because I had forgotten it was Halloween. We had some tokens left over from a recent arcade trip. I gave these to the little goblins, who usually shouted as they bounded off my porch, “Mom look! I got Gatti’s tokens!”
They are reusable, not sweet, and you can wash them if Covid concerned.
Im not expecting a lot of trick or treaters here in the UK where I live so I’m putting foil covered choc coins and choc pumpkins in little paper bags with an A4 print out of Halloween jokes! I guess it’s a bit like a lucky dip/Christmas cracker idea. I don’t really know if foil is better than plastic. I bought 26 orange and white striped paper bags with paper stickers for £3.20ish. Will be leaving them on the doorstep and letting little people help themselves and if some naughty devil takes them all ... ah well. They are normally v young here and with their parents.