Ways to have a healthy, fun and eco-friendly Halloween
Alternatives to Halloween candy
Halloween treats don’t have to be filled with corn syrup, food coloring, chemicals and candy wrappers that end up in landfills. If you are handing out treats at the door, here are some affordable non-edible options that kids will like.
Buy stickers in bulk and hand them out instead of candy
Bulk ribbon hair ties are a perfect alternative for girls of all ages
Check out Amazon’s Warehouse Deals, which change all the time. You will find all kinds of interesting deals on bulk items for kids that you never would have thought of, like 1500 small temporary animal tattoos for around $25, or 100 pounds of LEGOs for under $40.
You can also buy in bulk things like regular or polyhedral dice, or glow stick bracelets that kids are sure to enjoy wearing right away, or glow in the dark bouncy balls or friendship bracelets or mini compasses.
Give money. While it’s true that small change does not buy anything these days, just imagine if everyone in the neighborhood gave out dimes instead of candy. Kids would gather after trick or treating to count their money rather than separate out candy and stuff their faces, showing them that math is exciting and useful! Giving money produces no trash, no junky sugar highs, no plastic. It really is the best alternative. Perhaps in the future, all kids will have a ceramic Halloween piggy bank that looks like a witch or a pumpkin or a ghost, and they will put all their Halloween money in it.
Plastic and other Halloween disposables clog up landfills, which is not a fact worth celebrating. Make sure you consider the trash you will generate when choosing your spooky decor. Likewise, costumes can be surprisingly toxic. Phthalates and dioxin in costumes, lead and cadmium in facepaints. It’s not worth it for one night’s romp on the Dark Side. Luckily, there are alternatives to trash and poison.
Avoid PVC and plastic in costumes. You don’t want to wrap your child in fabric or a mask that contains phthalates, lead, dioxin and VOCs. Choose a costume that is made of natural materials. Latex masks turn your wee one into his favorite animal or extra terrestrial without the toxic load. You could also opt for organic or mineral face paint instead of a mask, though always confirm that they are made from safe, non-toxic ingredients.
Get creative and make your own costume out of natural materials or choose one that contains no plastic or PVC parts. If you are crafty and want to work on a project with your child, here are some Halloween costume sewing patterns. You can choose your own materials, ensuring the costume is safe, all while creating a memorable Halloween with your child.
Opt for recycled bags instead of plastic, or opt for an old pillowcase that your child can decorate. Don’t use a paper bag, because it might fall apart if it gets wet. Either reuse Halloween decorations every year, or choose compostable decor. The ultimate is carving Jack O Lanterns out of a variety of different shaped pumpkins and squashes. Fill them with soy based candles instead of paraffin. Don’t forget to compost those pumpkins. You can also make roasted, seasoned pumpkin seeds to enjoy later.
If your child has food allergies, the best and safest option is to throw a Halloween party at your house. That way you can control ingredients and let your child have a fun and safe celebration.