With the candy wrappers, costumes, and cobwebby decorations, there is a lot of plastic that can come out of this spooky holiday. We’ve been brainstorming and have come up with some interesting alternatives to celebrate Halloween in style without using any plastic!
Go plastic-free with the Halloween handouts
Why not try something different and skip the candy this year? There are so many interesting idea’s for plastic-free and candy-free Halloween hand-outs that kids will love. We’ve got a few for you here that are easy to pick up or quick and fun to make yourself.
Halloween themed crayons are a great alternative! One can surely find pumpkin, spider, and Frankenstein crayons online but this can also be a fun DIY project to do with little ones. Use those crayon end pieces that are kicking around the bottom of the crayon box and put them into a cupcake tin. Melt them in the oven, then once cooled, remove your creations from the tin and hand them out on Halloween! It might also be helpful to have a little paper note that explains that it is not candy so no one takes a bite out of them. This idea was shared by the Macaroni Kid.
A reusable bamboo straw! Throw a curve-ball this Halloween and give those kiddies a gift that keeps on giving while also passing on some knowledge!
It is well known that 500 million straws are used every DAY in the U.S. alone,so giving out reusable straws could be a great way to give a unique handout that can be continuously enjoyed while also raising awareness of ways to have a positive impact on our planet. Find bamboo straws here.
This little friendship bracelet kit is #plasticfree, #zerowaste, and an amazing non-candy alternative!
Simply pre-cut some bracelet cords of all different Halloween themed colors and tie them together. Then print out instructions on how to actually make the the bracelet itself, remove the safety pin, and roll the cords around the instructions. This is so much more fun than a candy that is eaten in a couple of seconds and forgotten. This idea gives kids a game for later and a gift for always. Idea from @zerowastefail on Instagram.
How about picking up a box of cool or unique pencils or coloring pencils? Open up a box and hand out one to each trick-or-treater!
These pencils here are made from re-purposed newspapers and are a great little gift that kids can use throughout the year.
These recycled newspaper pencils can be found at Life Without Plastic here.
A toothbrush is exactly what those little critters will need after a night filled with candies and chocolate!
You don’t have to be a dentist to care about their dental well-being and to hand out toothbrushes. This is another way to offer a mindful treat that helps raise awareness of more sustainable and plastic-free alternatives to everyday essentials.
This toothbrush is made for kids and has a compostable bamboo handle with plant-based bristles.
Find it at life Without Plastic here.
Cool coin collections can start with you! Another non-candy and zero-waste treat idea is to give out a really cool coin like the half dollar pieces or celebration coins. These can be found at the Royal Canadian Mint, the United States Mint, and easily enough on Ebay too.
Candies without plastic
Candies are of course what kids have come to expect, and we understand that candy is still the bulk of what will be given out, so we have some ideas for plastic-free ways to offer up sweet treats. When looking for plastic-free candies, try to find treats wrapped in recyclable materials like paper boxes or foil. If you pick them up at a bulk store in your own jars, you can even avoid the larger packaging too! Some ideas for plastic-free candies are Smarties, Dots, mini packages of natural Glee Gum, Coco Camino chocolates, Hershey kisses, and those chocolates that come in pumpkin styled foil.
Skip the plastic pumpkin
Okay, these plastic pumpkins are cute, but there are other ways to collect candy without buying plastic. Why not use plastic-free alternatives like our organic cotton reusable bag, or any heavy duty reusable bag, for that matter?
Natural wooden or wicker baskets can also be a great option – they don’t have to be reserved only for Easter egg hunts, and of course, there’s always the good ol’ fashion pillow case for those not looking to buy new.
Choose edible and compostable decorations
Typical Halloween decorations often mean gross synthetic spiderwebs, black plastic spider rings, and just a heck of a lot of plastic in general. Why not go a bit more natural and choose not only plastic-free but compostable decorations.
Pick up some beautiful gourds, sunflowers, wheat, or even a cool bail of hay to decorate. Get out your carving tools, roll up your sleeves, and carve out a few pumpkins! Another great idea is to get creative with some homemade snacks that contribute to the whole theme and are decorations in themselves.
Be creative with your costume and avoid buying new
Anyone else noticing that Halloween costumes are becoming more expensive, but being made with more cheaper and synthetic materials? We have some ideas to save money, reduce plastic, and look phenomenal!
1. Borrow from family and friends
So many of us have a box of old costumes that don’t see the sunlight and are just begging to be used. How about a Halloween costume share with your family and friends where everyone brings their old costumes and you can each do a swap? But it doesn’t have to be a full-blown swap party; you could just call up a few friends and see if they have any costumes to share. This way you’re reusing items without buying new, and giving old costumes a new life!
2. Buy second hand
Get creative and head to your favourite thrift shop to get the pieces to your DIY costume! There are always gems to be found in those stores and this is a resourceful way to reuse old items without buying new – it’s also usually way less expensive than buying a costume new. Tight on time? Thrift stores now often have ready-to-go used costumes too, so you’re all set.
3. Choose a meaningful costume
As we’ve touched on in this post, any action we take can be an opportunity to act on our values, and choosing a costume can be a great way to make a statement. For example, one could create a costume from plastic waste (that you’ve given a cleaning) and be the Great Pacific garbage patch. Another great idea could be to go as Rob Greenfield or do your own Trash Me challenge where you fill clear plastic bags with the cleaned garbage you created that month to represent your monthly waste! Costumes like these are great ice-breakers. They can provide a meaningful learning experience and an opportunity to get people thinking and talking about the importance of taking action on plastic!
Stay Spooky & Stay Safe this Halloween Everyone!