Low Waste Trick or Treat Gifts

In America, most households give candy to trick or treaters. While that’s fun, it is not the healthiest choice for children’s bodies or teeth, and food-based treats can feel alienating for children with various food allergies. Candies often lead to litter when kids don’t take care to dispose of the wrappers properly, and while candy seems harmless enough, most popular candy options have been linked to terrible environmental and social issues such as child labor, forced labor, and rainforest deforestation. So today we’ll be focusing on some fun but unconventional trick or treat gifts that are also gentle on the planet.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska: https://www.pexels.com/photo/jack-o-lantern-on-a-wooden-bench-5422739/

Craft options

You could make silly bookmarks for a crafty trinket or gift small sections of contact paper (along with instructions) for kids to press leaves and flowers onto to make their own bookmarks.

Another option would be to make small crafting kits (complete with instructions) for kids to take and do at home. Options for these creations are very versatile, but these monsters are always a hit.

Another fun option for kids would be to have a stack of halloween or fall themed coloring pages printed out. You could also buy a large package of crayons or colored pencils and let kids take a few along with some coloring pages to use later.

Photo by Ivan Samkov: https://www.pexels.com/photo/halloween-drawings-on-a-table-5428707/

Natural options

Gifts don’t need to be fancy. Something as simple as a packet of seeds or a bulb to plant can delight children. You could opt for seeds that children can plant inside, like basil seeds, or seeds to plant outside or scatter around town, such as native wildflower seeds for pollinators. The recipients can plant bulbs or scatter seeds after receiving them and watch the plants grow when spring comes again.

Offering mini pumpkins or gourds to trick or treaters would be a fun option. People could decorate their homes or porches with the decorative squash or adorn them with markers, paint, googly eyes or stickers. The options are endless.

Another natural option would be to offer single flowers to each child or person visiting. You could buy many inexpensive flowers from a local shop or cut your own if you have flowers growing outside your residence. The kids will delight in something so simple and sweet. They could smell the flower as well as feel it, press it or pull it apart.

Photo by Ron Lach : https://www.pexels.com/photo/girl-smelling-flower-10600836/

More conventional options

Another simple gift would be to give reusable straws to your visitors. Metal straws can be used countless times, or regifted or recycled for kids who don’t end up liking them.

If none of these options interest you, you can also pick up a package of halloween themed temporary tattoos. You can give one or many temporary tattoos to each child. They won’t go bad, so if you don’t give out all the favors to kids one year you can store them away for the following year. Or you can have fun with them yourself; I won’t judge.

Photo by Helena Lopes: https://www.pexels.com/photo/crop-children-with-small-cards-near-table-3859924/

Of course, it’s always okay to continue to hand out candy. If this is the option you choose, seek out candies that aren’t linked to forced labor practices (chocolate free options are easiest for this) and look for boxed candy varieties to limit plastic litter.

I hope you all have a fun, festive, and safe holiday.