Craft An Eco-Friendly Easter

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Easter is one of my favorite holidays, not only because of the religious aspect, but because it is a celebration of new life and reconnecting with the natural world awakening from its winter sleep.

Children dress in sweet Easter clothes and enjoy Easter egg hunts for chocolate and other sweet treats.  Bunnies, chicks and ducklings abound.  What’s not to love?

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 Easter baskets themselves are often made of un-recyclable plastic, and assembled in countries that have terrible records when it comes to human rights.

And there is just nothing natural about that.

But don’t hang the Easter bunny out to dry yet!

Here are a few ideas to make your Easter a little more eco-friendly.

Easter Baskets

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.

DSC_0402

Easter Grass

  • 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!

Easter Basket Fillers

Start with items that are really wanted or needed by your children and definitely will be used.  None of us need any more trinkety toys that will just end up in the donate pile.

How about an art themed Easter basket full of new art supplies and fun stickers and papers?  Think of items that your children will be needing for warmer weather anyway, like new sandals or flip flops, sunglasses and water bottles.  A few years ago, I filled my boys Easter baskets with summer beach toys, including a new swimsuit and goggles.

Easter Eggs

  • My family does not eat hard boiled eggs very well, so instead of cooking our eggs we blow the shells out and I scramble the eggs the next morning.
  • 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)
  • Bubbles
  • 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
  • Puzzles
  • 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
  • Stationary
  • Socks
  • Jewelry
  • Paper dolls
  • Chopsticks
  • 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!

What are your Easter traditions? Does your family do Easter baskets? What will you be filling your baskets with this year?

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Comments

  1. Thanks for all these great ideas!
    .-= Micha’s last blog: Stoffe / fabrics =-.

  2. Growing up I never understood the families that got new Easter baskets/plastic eggs each year. My family always used the same ones every year. I do like the ideas though, and hope I can remember them for the day I have kids of my own!

    • Our family used the same baskets year after year too. And even as a kid, I didn’t get the concept of plastic grass. You’ll be a great eco-mom someday!!!

  3. We have always used the same baskets every year. In fact I still have the one I used as a child.
    This year I found an easy and handy substitute for easter grass. My 10 months old would make a mess of all the litle strips of any type of “grass” So I just grabbed some grean tissue paper out of my tissue paper stash. It looks pretty, is reuseable, and is much less messy!

  4. Oh, I love these ideas. Especially the fabric and felt links – thanks for sharing!

  5. I already reuse baskets and eggs and like a previous commenter use tissue paper in the bottom. I bought a few items of high quality chocolate as the only sweets and some Easter/Spring books and called it good.
    .-= nopinkhere’s last blog: Overboard =-.

  6. Samantha says:

    I loved reading this, it was so inspiring to me. Here in England we dont really do the Easter basket thing, instead there are the mass produced chocolate eggs – heaps of plastic packaging with a small egg inside. I love your ideas, especially what to fill the baskets with, stuff I had never even thought of. Thank you.

  7. I usually fill my boys’ basket with home made play doh, stickers, new art supplies and a home made toy. We add some jelly beans and gummi worms because our eldest is allergic to chocolate. I love the idea of bubbles and summer gear (my oldest will be outgrowing playdoh soon).
    .-= jill’s last blog: This moment . . . =-.

  8. A lovely lady recently gave me a bag of craft materials that she no longer wanted and amongst the lace and beads were some little wooden eggs in all different colours. What a treasure! I plan to add these to my children’s easter nests from the Easter Bunny and then each year we can put them out on display leading up to easter. We usually make easter nests in our hats and use shredded paper or hay for the nest. I love this post Eren, you have given us some wonderful ideas.
    Happy Eco Easter!

    Kris
    mrsspot.blogspot.com

  9. These are great, thank you! I’ve been trying to think of how to do Easter better and this really helps. I’ve been toying with the idea of using green wool roving for the “grass” but since I haven’t gotten that yet, I’m totally going to do the shredded paper idea. Great links on the baskets too. Thanks!
    .-= Lina’s last blog: Let the Sunshine In =-.

  10. We use our baskets year after year as well. I still have my Easter basket from when I was a child :) This year I did get very practical with the items in the basket…..my 3 year old is getting a “garden” theme basket. He is getting a watering can, seeds for our garden and books about compost and vegetables :) Our 5 month old daughter is moving into the world of solid foods so she is getting supplies for that. As for our plastic eggs (which we save from year to year)…I am filling them with Annie’s snack bunnies and Annie’s fruit bunnies (a little better than candy :)). I am so excited that everything will be useful this year. I love the Easter grass ideas :) Thank you!!!
    .-= RaisingZ’s last blog: Say It With a Song Sundays :) =-.

  11. Wow, Eren, that gift idea list is a keeper! Thanks for this great post. I’m totally going to try my hand at Maya’s basket.

  12. I LOVE this POST! Based on your inspiration, I just shredded an outdated road map to use for Easter basket filler – the soft colors of road maps are the perfect pallet for Spring and Easter! The filling coordinates great with the road map eggs I mod podged earlier this week:
    http://www.camilledawn.com/2010/04/road-map-easter-eggs.html

    Thank you for so many ideas and so much detail! I’ve bookmarked and will refer to this link again!

  13. Moving Home? At Smart Storage Boxes we offer a wide selection of smart moving boxes, packs, bubble wraps, foam protectors, loose fills,tissue papers with tapes and markers to meet your requirements. For details log on to http://www.smartstorageboxes.co.uk

  14. A great Easter tradition for grown-ups is to host a seedling swap. It’s a secret santa-type swap where people pick from a pot luck of seedlings that each person brings to the event. The last person gets to choose from any of the seedlings.
    Bill Brikiatis´s latest post: 7 Eco-friendly Ideas for the Garden

  15. Love this post – so many great ideas! I just linked to it on my website. I just came across your site and really love it!

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  19. Easter is one of the most important holidays of the year. We could celebrate this in a more meaningful way by making use of eco-friendly materials to help save our natural resources. Doing this would decrease amount of waste that is being dumped in landfills.

  20. its easter says:

    This blog is content amazing information about Easter gift which is very useful for me. It very important information about Easter festival.
    Thank you very much for this great information.
    Easter Gift Basket Ideas

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