Ah, Easter memories. I remember those brightly colored plastic dye sets. You know the ones. All that packaging, plastic parts, and chemical dyes. The cute little bunny labels and little plastic egg dipping spoons.
They are still available, of course. And for busy working mother types, this is tempting. Especially for the craft and creatively impaired such as myself. But they are essentially the opposite of what I believe in: made from chemicals, created and shipped from China (can you say carbon footprint), and packaged in and made from gobs of plastic.
So I was happy when my mother in law passed along a clipping from none other than Ladies Home Journal. Not exactly the site I’d go to for green advice, but they had this short article about how to dye eggs naturally with ingredients found in your kitchen. How cool is that?
Here are the directions:
“For all dyes, bring the dye mixture to a boil, remove from heat and cool and strain liquid into a medium bowl. Submerge 4 to 6 hard-cooked eggs in dye for up to 30 minutes, depending on how deep you want the color to be. Remove from dye and place on a cooling rack to dry and drain. Store in the fridge until ready to use.”
And the colors. I have most of this on hand except for the fresh beets!
“Orange: 2 tbsp paprika
Blue: 1 1/2 cups blueberries
Pink: 1 cup chopped fresh beets
Green: 1 cup blueberries and 2 tbsp turmeric”
From there you can let your children decorate them with markers, paint, or stickers for younger ones (although this will make them harder to compost at the end!).
No more plastic dye sets + happy kids engaged in green Easter craft = a happy, green parent!
image: Easter eggs by jmurawski on Flickr under Creative Commons