Easter is just around the corner but we still have time to give you some great tips to make this holiday a little more eco-friendly. Unfortunately, Easter baskets have been traditionally filled with non-recyclable plastic eggs made in China, fake plastic Easter grass, and sugary candy made full of preservatives
The Art of Simple website has some ideas about how we can enjoy and at the same time make crafts using recycled materials and more.
If you have already purchased Easter baskets, plan on storing them and use them year after year.
If your child doesn’t have an Easter basket yet, consider the following options:
- Repurpose a basket you already have on hand with a coat of spray paint. Or, the thrift stores are full of baskets waiting for a new home. The baskets seen in the photos were baskets I found at Goodwill and prettied up a bit with leftover spray paint.
- Use something you already have as an Easter basket, like a beach pail or a galvanized bucket. If your daughter will have an Easter bonnet, turn it upside down and fill it with goodies. Plastic mesh storage containers with a ribbon tied as a handle will work. Lunch boxes and pillowcases also work well.
- Choose a theme for your Easter gifts; the container could be a new tackle box, a flower pot with gardening items, a purse, a backpack or a make-up bag.
Now that you have your basket, what should go in it?
Easter grass, of course! But not that icky plastic stuff that gets all over your house. We have some better ideas.
- Shredded newsprint, brown paper bags or magazines make great Easter grass and can be tossed into the compost bin later or reused as packing material.
- For a very natural look, you can line the basket with a pot and grow wheatgrass. But to do this, you’ll need 9-12 days for the grass to grow in, so you’d better get started. (See the tutorial on Simple Kids for more information on how to grow your own Easter Wheatgrass!)
- Spanish moss makes great Easter grass and we’ve even lined our baskets with pine needles before.
- Rafia is a good substitute for Easter grass as well and could be reused later.
- Or decide not to use grass at all and line your basket with a gift item like a new beach towel or a soft pastel colored blanket.
Now your basket is ready to be filled with goodies!
- If you already have plastic eggs, store them afterward like you do Christmas decorations, and reuse them next year.
- If you are dyeing eggs, consider using natural dyes from items you might already have in your refrigerator. Katie posted a great how-to for coloring eggs using all natural dyes. Check it out!
Treats and Sweets
There are a lot of options for filling Easter baskets with items other than candy. Think along the lines of things you would use for Christmas stocking stuffers. Here are some ideas to get you going:
- Homemade play dough (recipe here)
- Dried fruit, nuts, and natural fruit chews and roll ups.
- Make a CD with their favorite songs or of yourself reading a favorite book
- Coloring books
- Crayons or markers
- A Yo-Yo
- Squirt Guns
- Swim Goggles
- Homemade egg shaped sugar cookies
- Blow-up rafts and swim toys
- Bouncy Balls
- Silly putty
- A Frisbee
- Cards/ small games
- Kid sized garden tools and seeds
- Doll accessories
- A jump rope
- Books about spring
- New tooth brush/paste
- New flip flops
- Hair bows, bands, ribbons
- Paper dolls
- Sidewalk chalk
- Pastel colored shoe laces
- Spare change
- Oh, the list could go on and on…
Let’s be honest. What is an Easter basket without a little chocolate?
Part of the celebration is celebrating how sweet this time of year is. Look for Fair Trade Certified chocolate choices. Read why you should choose Fair Trade here. Fair Trade chocolates can be found in most chain stores now.
Being eco-friendly is easier than ever. Happy Eco-Easter Everyone!