I’ve given quite a lot of consideration in terms of some of the best trick or treat ideas for a green Halloween. There are many of you who are keen on making sure Halloween does not become an occasion of wastefulness in your household or neighborhood and I’m here to tell you that it is still possible to achieve this all the way down to the ‘Trick or Treat” part of the evening.
What Is Tradition?
Traditionally, Halloween was not about having the best newfangled decorations, or holding the best party, or even who gives the best treats in the street. In some folklore it is about the end of harvest time and the beginning of winter, at a time when the boundaries between this world and other worlds became thin and other beings such as the dead and fairies etc, could cross over into our world. It was a time when people dressed up in costumes to ward of evil and to serve up offerings to gods for protection.
We Are Losing Our Heritage And Our Planet
In this day and age, where commerce and modern technology abound, the authenticity of Halloween is becoming lost and so is the health of our planet as they mass produce cheap toys and gadgets specifically for Halloween, that are often thrown away after a day or two. The offerings, costumes and decorations, were originally found from what a person had, or could grow themselves, or create. Not the plastic, latex, foam and rubber items you can buy today. You can help bring back the authenticity of Halloween by creating your celebrations around sustainable practices, including the most enjoyable time of the evening, trick or treating, by taking a look at some of these suggestions. I have also written articles on keeping Halloween as green as possible in your costumes, decorations, party planning, food and games as part of a series, if you would care to have a look at those to maximise your efforts to maintain your sustainable living standards.
So Here We Are At Last – The Halloween Trick Or Treat Climax
What steps can you take to ensure you are upholding your beliefs?
- If you look around, you can find organic and Earth friendly candies such as these lollipops, that are labelled as planet friendly. Although I don’t recommend individually wrapped, if these are environmentally friendly, then the wrappers should be too. You can click on the image and do a search for lollipops and you will find where I found these. This particular package contains at least 125 lollipops to give away and such yummy flavors too.
- If you are concerned about disgruntled children not understanding why they are not getting a sugary processed treat, put up a sign and tell them in advance that you don’t give out the standard treats, but if they still want to come and knock on your door, you will be providing treats in some other form. If you make it something of a curiosity, they may be interested enough by what you have for them that you can provide an education about greener living in what trick or treats you offer them.
- Use fruit or healthy organic snacks
- Put on a show for them
- Show them a magic trick
- Catch some creepy looking bugs or a large spider in bug catchers and have them on display on a table full of other creepy decorations. You can make your own or buy some.
- Offer to take photos on an Instamatic camera for them as a group and give it to them as their treat. This way you don’t have parents being concerned about you keeping hold of photos of their children.
- Give them something you have hand-made instead
- Provide something for them to do at your house. For Example, make one of those blind boxes with things inside for them to touch, make sure it feels icky but not dangerous. Have them guess how many somethings are in a jar and give a prize to the winner. Make it fun and you won’t have any trouble.
- Make these cute owls from recycled paper bags and colored paper, feathers and some cupcake cases. If you like, they could double as masks. A glue stick or sticky tape will knock it together in no time.
- You can also give practical treats such as funky erasers, interesting pencils, pens and crayons
- Get them to choose from pom-pom or pipe-cleaner creatures you have made, or give them take home packs with simple instructions for them to make their own
- Try melting down old crayons, candles or earth friendly soaps and putting them into little molds or ice trays that are specifically designed for Halloween and give those as your treats.
- Print out and give away a variety of scary character photographs from old movies
- Have old scary movies running non-stop on a screen that people can sit down and watch. I’ve seen it done at Christmas where people provide the screen and home theater and the chairs, and people can watch as they wander around the neighborhood.
- Paint Halloween designs on some pet rocks or shells, and have the children pick their own to take home, or they could decorate their own to take home
- Collect some smooth rocks, or buy some, and get the children to make their own picture. It’s a pretty popular style of art these days.
- Rocks can be painted as pet rocks too, or as scary faces. You could try painting them and writing messages on them.
- Give out shards or small crystals instead and call it treasure.
- Try giving out marbles, but be sure to tell them they are not candy so they don’t try to eat them. The kids of the neighborhood can use them to complete against each other at a later date, or swap to add to their own collections. You can find marbles in the section called Toys Made in USA by clicking on the below image and searching.
- Collect interesting bits and bobs from nature and use them to give out instead of treats. Give them funny names like Ghoul Stools or Skeleton Bones or Witches Hats (you could use those shells that look cone shaped for these).
- Find a bunch of rocks and spray them with black or brown paint and glitter and call them meteorites or space rocks.
- Make simple birds, insects and spiders from seed pods and leaves and twigs.
- Make worms from biodegradable packaging and color them, perhaps get the children to make their own by threading a few onto a piece of wire and putting sticky googly eyes on them or using a marker.
- Make some edible play dough and the children can make their own scary characters, or use clay so they can take it home to dry.
- For some Halloween stye protection, break up some garlic into cloves and hand it out to children to ward off the vampires, or thread string through a clove of garlic and make a pendant for each child for the same reason. If you have herbs in your garden, use sprigs of them to give out and make up some special power that they have. Again string a piece on to a necklace and tell children they are protective wards.
- Make or buy some Kinetic Sand and have enough for a few children to work at the same time and create their own Golum from it. (A Golum is said to have been raised from the Earth to kill anyone who threatens the family members of the person who called it from the Earth)
- Novelty Band-Aids (Plasters if you live in the UK), temporary tattoos, and stickers are usually a favourite of children.
- If you want to make your own temporary tattoos for use as make up, you can make them at home yourself by forming a paste made from henna powder and other ingredients, but you will need to paint it onto skin for around 10 hours prior to needing it and test a patch of skin just to be sure you will be fine with using it. Fruits and vegetables can be used to make your own paints. Recipes abound on the internet.
- Give out necklaces strung with popcorn, leaves or seed pods. Try having children quickly make their own if you are spending the time at a table.
- Here’s an idea. If you like tarot cards, dress up like a gypsy, witch or warlock and let each child pull a card out from either a real tarot deck or one you’ve created and pretend to tell their fortune.
- Freeze grapes, pineapple pieces, blueberries and other types of berries, orange and mandarin slices, watermelon and cantaloupe if available. Give these out as candies instead. Believe it or not, frozen peas are a yummy snack too.
- Give fresh fruit slices out and allow them to dip the fruit in chocolate fountain, or chocolate dip them yourself and let them set.
- Make meringue ghosts
- Use dates and other dried fruits to give out. They may not be ideal but they will still be better than the highly processed candy bought in stores. If you use seeds and nuts, be aware there may be children with allergies.
- Buy only organic lollies or make sure any you buy do not include palm oil in their processing or ingredients.
- Popcorn is biodegradable and you can make up new batches as you run out quite quickly.
- Offer to tell them a short scary story and create a setting on your porch or verandah, some cushions, use eerie lighting and shadows to set the scene. You may wish to relate the history of Halloween, or talk about the most famous creatures, monsters, witches, etc
- Find an old lab coat, some crazy glasses and a wacky wig, probably all available at a thrift store, and dress up as a mad scientist. Instead of giving treats, you can find simple experiments to do for the kids, or have them join in on them. There would be a lot of free resources online if you do a Google search, or you can buy a book such as the one below.
- If you are a Dad, or have a Dad, that loves making cool things, this next book will get you going. Be the mad scientist Dad that your kids will love to show off as their friends come to your door on Halloween.
- Scare them as they walk up and knock on your door or are walking up your path.
- Hire someone to provide the tables and activities for sand art.
The Stage Is Set
After looking through this article about the best trick or treat ideas for a green Halloween, and my other articles, the stage is all set for you to blaze the way into a sustainable future. People will follow, it usually just takes someone to start. Setting things in motion is the most difficult part, being the first to act is tricky, but once you do your bit for the environment, many others will light the same flame. Hopefully it won’t take them too long. The sooner everyone takes a small baby step in the right direction, the faster we halt the progress of non-sustainable practices.
Thank you for reading. If you have tried any of these suggestions, I urge you to tell us of your experiences this Halloween by writing them into my comments section.
Hope you have a wonderful Halloween.