I have never been one to go all out for Easter. I have friends that treat it like it is Christmas all over again. I think that’s crazy. I have always just thrown some candy in the Easter baskets and bought a few goodies they’ll need for the upcoming Spring and summer seasons- like a summer outfit or two and some outdoor toys: balls, garden gloves, sandbox toys, etc. Simple stuff. This year I am putting forth the extra effort to make sure it is simple and sustainable.
Some Easter things I’ve always done in an eco-friendly manner.
The kids baskets get used year after year. Sometimes they even get pulled out and used for other purposes. My oldest son’s current basket (the toddler inherited his smaller basket) has been used at birthday parties and even at my wedding to hold napkins, silverware, etc. My daughter’s basket has been pulled out to be the door prize basket (it held all the little prizes) at birthday parties and my last baby shower.
We ditched that green, plastic Easter grass along time ago. Before even considering the eco-ramifications of the annoying stuff I just flat out got sick of finding it everywhere and trying to clean it up (the stuff never goes away).
If you like the fill factor of Easter grass but hate the icky plastic stuff you can opt for more eco-minded basket fillers. You can even make your own by shredding some of that paper in your recycling bin. Or you may consider natural fillers like raffia.
Then there’s the candy, I usually just get what’s available at the store. I try not to go overboard because they really don’t need too much of the stuff. You can always toss in healthier items like fruit, nuts, and natural fruit chews and roll ups (my kids may riot if I did that).
There is also the option of organic candy. Sweet Earth Chocolates has organic chocolate bunnies and eggs. So does Allison’s Gourmet. If you want organic jelly beans check out the Natural Candy Store or Sugar Coated Organics. One of my grocery stores occasionally has organic goodies. I haven’t checked yet in the Easter aisle, maybe they’ll have something good this year.
Now what else to add to their baskets that will be eco-friendly? Start out by giving them items that are really wanted and will definitely be used. Art supplies never go to waste in my house. The Stubby Pencil Studio has a great selection of eco-art supplies for kids as well as toys, party stuff and other green goodies your kids would probably love. I know I see a few things my kids will love.
There are many online stores that now cater to eco-kids items. Eco-Artware has adorable stuffed animals made from old sweaters- piglets, elephants, penguins (I love these), kangaroos, and rabbits (perfect for Easter).
How about those eggs? If you are making eggs that you’ll actually eat- cage free organic eggs are best… and natural coloring options.
I’m considering trying some natural coloring but it sounds complicated and not as easy for the kids to do and it’s all about them having fun. Many of the eggs we color never get eaten. I know it seems like a waste but sometimes you just have to let kids enjoy themselves and not suffer from so much eco-guilt.
I’m not going to stress and get all bent out of shape about it. I am keeping things simple (eco and simple go hand in hand) so we don’t use a lot of garbage or make a lot of garbage and that’s the most important part of having an eco-Easter or eco-anyday.
[This post was written by Wenona Napolitano.]