As I browse through retail stores in my area I am inundated with Easter paraphernalia. Plastic eggs, brightly colored candy, and even fuzzy bunny costumes for dogs. Yes, I really see things to dress up your dog like a rabbit. Instead of trying to find ways to get my dog to keep rabbit ears on her head, I am trying to figure out ways to have a more eco friendly Easter. With the commercialism of the holiday we sometimes forget what we are really celebrating. Whether you are Christian and celebrate the rebirth of Jesus or just choose to celebrate Easter to help ring in spring we should all take a step back and remember that MORE is not always better. Here are a few ways that I have come up with to have a more eco friendly Easter this year.
Eco Friendly Easter Ideas
1. Skip the plastic: Instead of plastic grass and brightly colored plastic baskets, choose a more natural look. There are a number of beautiful baskets made of twigs and wood that can be filled with shredded paper that has been dyed with natural inks. Many craft stores carry both of these items so this is one eco friendly Easter idea that should be pretty easy to do. Learn how to blow out an egg and decoupage natural eggs for a centerpiece. Or, learn to dye Easter eggs with natural dyes from beets, coffee or cabbage.
2. Buy organic and fair trade candies: Instead of indulging your kids in every candy known to man, pick a few things that you know they will really like. Spend a little extra to buy natural varieties that contain no artificial colors or flavors. You don’t have to give up ALL the classics. My kids (and husband!) get a box of Peeps in their basket every year. Yes, those brightly colored marshmallow treats in cute shapes are a HUGE hit in my family. Buy a few of the favorites and fill in the rest with organic varieties for a more eco friendly Easter!
3. Buy a second hand outfit: Easter is one of those holidays that requires getting dressed up and going to church. My kids will wear jeans to church on a regular Sunday but for Easter it is fancy dresses and a tie for the boy. Yes, he HATES that! There are many beautiful outfits to be found secondhand for a fancy event. Not only is buying second hand more eco friendly, it is a good way to save money. I hate spending a fortune on a fancy outfit my child will only wear once. So, save your wallet and have a more eco friendly Easter by buying your fancy threads second hand.
4. Have a smarter egg hunt: Many years ago I collected about 150 plastic Easter eggs and have been reusing them ever since. No sense throwing away perfectly good eggs, whether they are plastic or not. I have an egg hunt for my kids every year in the backyard and it has come to be one of our favorite Easter traditions. Instead of filling the eggs with candy and plastic toys, I fill them with money. You can put nickles, dimes and quarters in there or even a few with dollars depending on your financial situation. Then, when the kids have gathered all the money they get to go to the store and pick out one or two nice things. Instead of filling the eggs with plastic trinkets that will end up in the trash, they can pick out a book, game, or toy that they have really been wanting.
5. Reconsider your Easter feast: One of the most popular Easter dinner ideas includes ham. Unless you are buying from a local farmer or a store like Whole Foods that offers sustainably raised meats you may want to rethink your ham dinner. Buy organic or locally raised produce whenever possible and challenge yourself to bake from scratch. Pies, cakes and hot cross buns not only taste better when made from scratch but also have a much smaller carbon footprint than store bought items do.