Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tricks and treats

Alternatives to candy giveaways for Halloween seem far and few between. For weeks, we've been teased by rows of tiny candys, wrapped individually, then secured in a big plastic bag. And, tomorrow, families around the country will divvy up these treats by the gallon to children and teenagers who just don't need it, between their dental health and the growing obesity rate among kids.

Most stories I've seen on non-candy Halloween treats focus on buying little trinkets. You know, the junky plastic items that get ground into your carpet, ripped to shreds, imbedded in your car seats and sofa cushions, or, worse, eaten.

Of course, the fast-food industry is quick to jump in with gift certificates you can buy. Just what we need, another trip to McDonald's.

For years, I've been the odd woman out in the neighborhood. I've bought microwave popcorn and Play-dough. Not entirely better, but at least it's not chocolate-covered.

So are there more green options out there? Yes.
  • Scavenge all the toys from fast food kids meals that are still in package and pass them out to trick-or-treaters.
  • Give cash. OK, if you have a large neighborhood like mine, change. You could even toss in random foreign coins you'd somehow acquired.
  • Pencils, pens or crayons. Pick up fun varieties in the clearance from the back-to-school sales.
  • Boxes of dried fruit or raisins.
  • Packets of hot chocolate.
  • Leftover favors from past birthday parties.
  • Stuffed animals. One writer shared how her family shared stuffed animals one Halloween.
  • If you're going for individually wrapped items, consider fruit bars, pretzels or crackers.

Or, if you're like me, you can simply remove the temptation for the whole family. I plan to "recycle" my child's bounty and pass it out to others in the neighborhood.


Cathy said...

I like the hot chocolate and stuffed animal idea--pencils is just so boring, I've always just given candy.

Robbie said...

I agree. I probably wouldn't be all "woo hoo!" about getting a pencil!

Joy said...

Great ideas! I considered passing out peanuts in their shells this year but then was worried that some little trick or treaters might have nut allergies. I've also heard that stick-on tattoos could be great fun for kids! Thanks for joining us for Thrifty Green Thursday this week!