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12
Mar

How to Have a Green Easter Holiday

by Tiffany in Green Holidays

I don’t know about you but this time of year when I go to the store and see lots of plastic Easter grass, plastic eggs, and huge chocolate bunnies… it makes the environmentalist in me cringe? This is the big green mom conundrum… how to make holidays fun for our kids without leaving a large mark on our planet. Lucky for us though there are numerous ways to make Easter green without festooning our lovely planet with fake grass!

1. Give your children a decorative cloth bag with a set of child’s garden tools, seeds, or other gardening supplies instead of an Easter basket. You can put a few eggs in it with seeds and it can even contain “instructions” from the easter bunny asking your child to help plant spring flowers for bunnies and children everywhere to enjoy. Kids will LOVE getting a special assignment.

2. If you still want to go with a traditional basket, choose eco-friendly materials such as cotton, hemp, or jute. Or purchase hand-made, fair trade certified baskets that you can find other uses for after Easter (how about toy storage?). Thrift stores usually have baskets this time of year too (I know mine does)… used is better than new! Also, you can make your own Easter basket from materials around the house, such as hand-decorated bags, totes, wastebaskets, laundry baskets, etc.

3. Fill the Easter baskets with biodegradable, sustainable materials that can be composted, such as natural straw, hay, moss, or simply grass from outside. It is really easy to grow your wheat grass in the house, so start now to have some ready by Easter. You can also shred up the Sunday funnies or colorful scrap paper or shred some of those colorful catalogues and magazines that come in the mail. Kids won’t mind.

4. Make your own treats for the basket instead of buying the processed junk – make some raw cookies or brownie balls or dehydrate some fruit.

5. Re-use what you have. This is our secret weapon. We bought Easter stuff a few years ago fromEaster Egg Wreath yard sales and thrift stores mostly and we keep it all in a box in the garage. This includes everything from plastic and ceramic eggs, baskets, and Easter decor. We even have an Easter egg wreath made using leftover Easter eggs from years past and a Christmas wreath we got at a yard sale. We made it about 4 years ago now and it is still one of my kids favorite Easter decorations. If you already have plastic grass, use it as a base for a centerpiece or a creative springtime scene.

6. Decorate using scrap paper and junk mail – cut out bunny shapes and string them onto colorful yarn, or cut out Easter shapes into a chain. You can also use leftover felt  or fabric scraps to make cloth eggs or to make stuffed bunnies. Cloth scraps can be used to make a decorative banner with felt letters thats says “Happy Easter”.

7. For your Easter feast eat bunny food. Serve cut vegetables, fruit, and maybe some dandelion greens in a green smoothie.

8. Dye eggs using natural easter egg dyes -mix a tablespoon of white vinegar per cup of boiling water and add onion skins (yellow), red cabbage (light purple), shredded raw beets (deep red), spinach (light green), coffee grounds or tea (brown), etc.

9. Get your eggs from a local farmer or urban chicken-keeper. If the eggs are brown, you can use eco-friendly paints on them instead of dyes. Also try blowing the eggs first so they can be kept for future years. Wooden eggs or knitted eggs are another good option as are some new Eco-Eggs Easter Egg Coloring Kits that you can buy.

10. Fill your children’s Easter baskets with enduring sustainable toys (puzzles, cute games), a deck of cards, dominoes, bunny books, etc. Take your child’s personality into consideration rather than just giving the “usual” stuffed bunny and plastic trinkets. Then you can build a basket theme around your child’s interests.

All of these ideas will help reduce waste this Easter season while preserving the “fun”. What is your best green easter tip?

Friday, March 12th, 2010

16 Comments

  • Terri Dawson

    We purchase a Mystery Box from Archie McPhee and make it our family Easter present. The cool thing about this is we always have fun gifts left over for friends through out the year and the stuff is always a blast to look at.

  • http://wisdomofthemoon.blogspot.com/ Wendy

    For completely biodegradable Easter decorations, we grow an indoor garden with the grass you mentioned and forced branches to hang blown eggs from. After we’re done with it, we dump everything into the worm composting bin (but if you don’t do this, you could use it as mulch in the garden). And making edible ornaments (either decorated sugar cookies or stained glass ones like I did for Valentine’s day) to hang from the Easter tree (or even in the window) is always fun.

    http://wisdomofthemoon.blogspot.com/2008/02/easter-garden.html
    http://wisdomofthemoon.blogspot.com/2008/02/valentines-stainglass-cookie.html

  • Bridget

    Thx for the tips. We bought two buckets a few yrs ago (one for each boy) & a bag of plastic grass – the Easter bunny re-uses them every year. We’ve typically filled them with a book, & a couple small games/toys. I remember getting those store bought Easter baskets when I was a kid…they were awful! It always took us forever to get the stuff out b/c of all the tape, etc…plus everything was so cheap…not much there even though it looks cute at first glance.

  • http://www.estherlittlefield.com Esther (WellnessMom)

    Great ideas! This will be the first year we do anything with our daughter, so these are some great thoughts on how to keep things simple.

  • http://www.mommyreporter.com Mommy Reporter

    Love these tips!! I think having a ‘green’ Easter is a great idea… I am going to try and do that for my son… hopefully I can find some great stuff to reuse or upcycle… thanks again!!

  • http://www.mondorfment.blogger.com Honey

    We reuse everything. Grass has not been bought since I was about 10. Yep…the Easter Bunny is using the same grass for my kids he used on me. That grass is over 20 years old now…and still green!! We reused the plastic eggs & let the kids stuff them with stickers or chocolates we make out of molds which are even older than me! I highly recommend books and making your own treats for their baskets. Saves money (Lots o’money if you’re vegan!) and I know my kids get organic sweets low on the sweet. Oh, and I also ‘reuse’ the bunny gifts. They forget if it’s a few years old & now that we have 3 children well…she’s never had them & it’s brand new! ;) Normally all they need is a new ribbon to hold a tag. Oh…you can also use your pets bedding BEFORE it goes to the pet. :) You don’t want that suprise come Easter morn! ;) We did that one year for my oldest & gave him a farm themed basket. The cedar smell was heavenly too.

    Honey
    http://www.mondorfment.blogger.com

  • wenchie

    Easter’s very much not a commercial holiday over here (cadbury’s creme eggs aside), but the biggest fun we had as kids – and that my cousin’s kids still love – was painting a hardboiled egg and flinging it down a hill to see whose could get furthest before it smashed (it’s also the only time I’ve ever eaten a hardboiled egg. Somehow the mud made it tastier…).

    We’ve also made little “nests” from shredded wheat cereal broken up and mixed with melted chocolate and filled with mini chocolate eggs. That’s fun (if a bit messy) and they look pretty good no matter how badly put together.

  • http://www.curlybirds.blogspot.com/ Helen

    This year my husband is going to make our girls wooden art caddies as their easter baskets. I will fill them with little treats that I will make – felt toys and home-baked snacks.

    I just found your blog and have really enjoyed reading it. You have so many good ideas and I know I will be back.

  • http://www.ecochiccool.com ECC

    Good ideas thanks.. I think that giftbags that are going to be re-used are what we would use. I also think some candy is good, but love the idea of keeping the child/ persons interest , books etc are great ones, it’s a “basket” that I would love!

  • http://titus2woman.wordpress.com (((((HUGS))))) sandi

    LOVE THIS! I’m actually crocheting favors for a community Eater egg hunt~teacups, necklaces, dragon/knight finger puppets, crocheted food, etc. (((((HUGS))))) sandi

  • http://www.emrgnsee.com Jody

    geez…this blog has gotten me excited about easter…moss!!! c’mon…why have i never thought of that? so adorable…or grass…with lil wildflowers mixed in. soooo much better than green plastic shred mess everywhere.

    baskets from the thrift store…i’ve done that-you can find cute ones too. then just give them back to the thrift store if you can’t find a use for it post-bunny day.

    i think we are going to actually use natural dyes this year…i’ve always wanted to. hmmm, all the eggs we buy are local brown eggs…dyes won’t work?

    also, we’ve decided to have brunch at our house…easter egg hunt for all the kids and croquet and mimosas for us “big kids”. should be purdy cute.

    we were thinking about having hints in the eggs that lead to several more special gifts instead of candy and lil plastic nothings…like a scavenger hunt.

  • Beth

    These are great ideas for sustainability and encouraging family traditions!

    Growing up we we had the same set of plastic eggs that my mom would fill with pennies for the family Easter Egg hunt. And we had the same Easter basket every year. Part of the fun on Easter morning was seeing the Easter Basket returned (not sure where it was hidden all year long..)

    Wishing everyone a happy, healthy Easter season.

  • http://steepingtea.blogspot.com Katharyn

    Have the children pick non poisonous green things out of the garden (just grass is fine) and press them against your raw white egg shell, place that instead an onion skin, and the whole mess inside a cheese cloth, tie up and boil as you would otherwise to cook the egg. The hard boiled egg will come out varying shades of brown and red, with white imprints of the green foliage.

    I grew up with the same Easter basket until I moved out, and I’m pretty sure my mum still has it. I do not understand this consumerism driven “need” to buy a new basket every year. Why, did you break the old one?

    I stuff my baskets with raffia, and then put the raffia back in the craft room when all is said and done.

  • http://www.celebrategreen.net Lynn

    Love these ideas of course and do many or most of them. Other ideas for us center around activities, making “hunts” more fun. So for instance, after the kids have found their eggs, they choose one and hide it for parents. They LOVE seeing the parents hunt.

    I’m a grandma and we hide four eggs for each child. Each egg–real ones–has a child’s name on it and only he/she is allowed to collect the eggs with his/her name. We also set out little decorated boxes with each child’s name on them. Inside these little boxes are an organic lollipop, a few piece of glee gum, a “treasure” like a special stamp, piece of fool’s gold, charm etc., and a bill (depending on the year it could be $1 or $5). The kids also go hunting for the box.

  • Leah Avon

    I never thought about making dye with food. We can not wait to try it!

  • Bbone15

    I have never thought of being green year round because I believe everything is good in moderation. So therefore I pick and choose what I will be green about.  If everybody did this it would be easier for people to participate.  At work whenever possible I never printed materials it made my job a little more difficult but I got by.  I did my part to save the trees.  Because nothing is so beautiful as sitting in it’s shade.