Have you ever thought about building a green Easter basket – that is, one which is more environmentally friendly than the throw-away plastic junk that, unfortunately, too many people create?
Easter is one of my favourite times of the year. While we are still in the early days of spring here in Nova Scotia – and sometimes there is even snow on the ground – there are still signs of warmer weather approaching. Windows are flung open to let in fresh air during the day and children clamour to get their shoes off and run around barefoot. Easter is a time of renewal and rebirth – quite an appropriate time to celebrate the death and rebirth of Jesus.
It is also an ideal time renew our commitment to earth-friendly, green, sustainable practices. And the plastic baskets and bonnets we only wore to the Easter sunrise service are just not very green or sustainable!
Green Tips for Easter Baskets
Take a look around your home. Do you have anything that could double as an Easter basket? For example, a child’s bucket can be used to hide eggs, candy and other Easter treats. That is what I’m doing this year – I bought toy buckets for each child, which I know they’ll enjoy using all summer.
A decorative storage box is another option. It will cost a little more than a cheap bucket, but if it can become attractive toy storage, then it is certainly not money wasted.
If you don’t have anything around the home, shop wisely. Look for containers that can be repurposed after Easter. Again a child’s bucket, storage box or even pretty bowl work well.
Second hand is another option. Visit flea markets and second hand shops to find original ideas for Easter baskets. You are going to want to watch for items that have a purpose after Easter.
Of course, if last year’s Easter basket is still around use it. Then set it in storage for next year.
Consider making your own Easter basket using natural materials.
If you usually purchase colorful plastic ‘grass’ to fill Easter baskets, consider making a simple change. With a home shredder, you can easily turn old art projects into recycled filler. Or you could shred old magazines or catalogs – and of course, recycle them when you’re finished.
Instead of using chemicals to dye Easter eggs, reduce the amount of pollutants and use natural egg dye. You can dye eggs with all sorts of items right in your home. For example:
* Pink can be created by boiling beets or cranberries.
* Red can be created by boiling red onion skins.
* Purple can be created by using grape juice.
* Brown can be created with coffee.
* Blue can be created with blueberries.
* You might also consider using carrot juice, turmeric or spinach juice.
Cut back on the amount of candy and trinkets in your child’s Easter basket. They certainly don’t need pounds of candy to have a good holiday. And consider also using candy that is naturally sweetened. Skip the Peeps, or at least cut back, and give your child Earth Balls, sun drops and other naturally sweetened candy – no high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors. You can also buy organic lollipops and candy.
Better yet, make your own!
Finally, skip the pets.
This is very important. Don’t buy any chicks, bunnies or other cute animals for Easter. Pets should only be added to your family after a lot of discussion and preparation, not as an Easter morning surprise.
Instead, if you do buy gifts at all, buy your child something they can use – like books!
Having a green Easter is simple. Plan ahead, cut back and use what you have. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to make this Easter an environmentally friendly one.