Has spring sprung in your neck of the woods? At this time of year, we’re all craving a little extra color in our lives and luckily, Easter is a particularly good “green” holiday. This is a great opportunity to reduce, reuse, and recycle our way right down the Bunny Trail. In the spirit of new life, renewal, and the freshness of warm weather to come, this is a great holiday to get in to the green spirit.
Cut back on unnecessary packaging this Easter. The extra plastic wrap on gift baskets, is unnecessary. While it’s common to fill gift baskets full of goodies and then wrap them with plastic, your kids are more interested in what’s inside the basket and won’t miss the plastic if you skip it.
Plastic Easter eggs may be convenient, but painting real eggs, organic, hormone and cage free whenever possible is a great traditional and authentic way to incorporate the egg theme into your holiday and reduce the plastic. Kids love to use real eggs and the symbolism is much stronger when they make the connection to a real egg rather than a fake one. For vegan alternatives, there are also felt Easter eggs and knit Easter eggs that are a good alternative to plastic.
Skip the Easter grass for your baskets as well. Just fill the baskets with no grass or reuse shredded paper cuttings from newspapers (the comics sections are color and fun to use) or from your home office for a much more eco friendly option.
Why not use the same baskets every year? The best case scenario is that you have baskets you can use in a variety of ways throughout the year, but even if you only have baskets specifically used for the Easter season, this is an item worth keeping and reusing from year to year. The same goes for any plastic Easter eggs and a variety of other Easter decorations. Find a good storage system and save those decorations for annual use. When you do buy a new basket or decoration, make sure that it’s built to last so that you can use it in the coming years.
Don’t forget to recycle as much of your Easter leftover crafts and knickknacks as possible. Keep the recycling in mind when you choose items in the first place. Try to skip items that are one use only and instead focus on goodies that your little ones will enjoy for years to come.
Other Eco Choices
You can make your own dyes to color your Easter eggs and bring your kids into the entire process. It’s not complicated and making your own dyes truly puts the craftiness into craft time. Any ingredient that will stain your hands or your clothes will work wonderfully on eggs. Beats and turmeric are great examples of natural color that you can use for dye. Spinach, blueberries, and even cabbage also work very well. For cabbage, boil red cabbage leaves in water with a tablespoon of vinegar and you’ll get a surprisingly effective blue hue. When using a homemade dye, let the eggs soak for longer than you would with a store bought dye. If you are buying store bought, reach for food grade dyes which you can find in the health section of your regular grocery store or at health food stores.
While we’re keeping the environment in mind, it’s a good time to keep healthy bodies in mind as well. When choosing chocolate, go for quality over quantity and focus on organic or fair trade chocolate. Aim for less candy this year and more healthful treats like dried fruit and homemade baked treats.
Easter is a terrific holiday to enjoy with your family. Put the focus in the right place and keep the spring symbolism in mind and you’ll find that your children remember a lot more than just the candy with a fun educational holiday that they can really sink their teeth into. Happy Easter!
Jennie Lyon is a green lifestyle writer and the owner of Sweet Greens, the award-winning green lifestyle blog. She posts on simple, fun ways families can go green together – starting with her own. When she isn’t blogging, you will find her paddleboarding, sailing, beach-combing, camping, or spending time with her amazing husband and 13-year old son.