How to Celebrate Halloween During a Pandemic
October 31 is right around the corner, and many stores have stocked their shelves early with candy in preparation for the upcoming holiday. This year’s Halloween festivities may be a little different from what you’re used to due to your city’s social distancing regulations to protect you and your community from COVID-19. While the traditional trick-or-treating activity may have to be on hold this year, there are still many ways you can celebrate Halloween at home with your family!
Carve a pumpkin (but don’t waste anything!)
A favorite family pastime during the fall season is carving pumpkins that are either purchased after pumpkin picking at a local family farm or stopping by a grocery store. It’s a great family activity and there are kits that make it easy to have kids involved!
Here are the tools you’ll need for this activity:
- A marker (to help you determine the design you will carve)
- A serrated knife (to help cut the top of the pumpkin)
- A large spoon or ice cream scoop for extracting the pulp, seeds, and extra pumpkin meat
- A large bowl to collect the pulp and seek
- A smaller paring knife (for defined patterns and shapes)
Once you’re done carving the pumpkin, don’t automatically throw away the pulp and seeds because you can still prepare some snacks or meals out of them! This blog post gave us inspiration for ways we can use up all of the parts of the pumpkin.
Prepare something delicious in the kitchen
There are so many fall recipes we can share with you, but if we did, this post would go on and on, so we’ll list and link out to a few of our favorites here by the length of prep time required:
- “Pumpkin” orange snacks (quickest) and save the peels to make some homemade cleaner
- Homemade apple cider
- Homemade fruit roll-up using your favorite fresh fruit (longest)
We would be remiss if we did not mention the importance of composting any food scraps that do not get used. Composting is essential to fighting climate change and enriches the soil. Healthy soil = healthy food = healthy people!
DIY a costume using items from your closet
People who celebrate Halloween tend to spend on average almost $90 on costumes, decorations, candy, and cards during this time of year, according to the National Retail Federation. While it can be fun to pick out new costumes every year, there is an incredible amount of plastic waste that is generated by these often single-use outfits.
Perhaps this year’s Halloween can set a new trend with costume choices since many will be sitting out from the regular October festivities. If you still plan on dressing up, you can exercise the creative gears and see what items are sitting in your closet and make something up!
Purchase sweets responsibly
It’s easy to get drawn to the big bags of candy that are lined up in the drug store aisles, but how much information do we know about these candy companies? What do we know about the ingredients and labor standards of these brands? Is the palm oil found in these candies produced in a responsible manner?
One thing we can all work at is looking critically at the brands we see every day and supporting the ones with sustainable practices (that means voting with our dollars by purchasing these products). There are many candy options out there, and we wanted to highlight this article that features some chocolate brands that are Fair Trade certified, which means that the workers are paid fairly and enjoy eco-friendly working conditions.
If you’ve exhausted all of these ideas, the last thing left on the list is to get together and enjoy some family-friendly spooky Halloween movies. Snack and sip on the creations you made in the kitchen, light your jack-o-lantern, and sit back and enjoy!