If your kids are expecting a visit from the Easter Bunny, now’s a good time to alert the rabbit to the fact that your household would appreciate a little less waste than usual.
The Easter Basket
Sure, we call it a basket, but it’s just as common nowadays to see a plastic bucket or toy stand in as a container for the Easter eggs. If your kids are in need of a new basket, get ’em a real live basket made of wicker (not plastic!). Not only are these made from natural materials, but they last forever (truly, I still have mine from when I was a child), and will decompose if they become unusable. Look for one with a natural finish instead of a shiny, varnished one.
For goodness, gracious sake. Whatever you do, do not buy plastic grass. Green crinkle cut paper would be a great substitute. You can use raffia. Or tissue paper. Or, in a pinch, the tax papers you just ran through your paper shredder. But don’t use plastic grass!
As with plastic grass, may I also insist on no plastic Easter eggs? If, in a misguided moment prior to the greening of your household, you purchased plastic eggs and have saved them, certainly you’ll want to pull them out again. But if you don’t have them, look for alternative options, such as these little boxes.
If you plan to color edible eggs, check out this post about natural dyes (and a recipe for chocolate) over at Spoonfed.
No matter how much fun it seems, let me take a minute to urge you to skip live animals as an addition to your Easter baskets.
Colorful chicks and little bunnies may seem like a great surprise, but it turns out that following Easter, reality sets in and a good portion of those animals end up at the local humane society. If you plan to add chicks or bunnies to your household, it will probably be better for everyone if you focus on that at a different time.
Instead of a chocolate bunny encased in plastic and then a plastic-coated box, try to find a chocolate bunny wrapped in foil.
Instead of fun-sized candy wrapped in plastic, splurge on a single fair trade chocolate bar. (It seems like the higher end, more expensive chocolates are also those that come in more environmentally-friendly packaging.)
Take a glass jar or paper bag to the bulk food aisle and pick up jelly beans.
If your Easter Bunny is, like mine, trying to avoid both plastic and high fructose corn syrup,
good luck! she’ll need to put forth some serious effort and wear magnifying glasses to read the fine print ingredients.
Or, ask the Easter Bunny to get busy and whip up some homemade versions of Easter basket candy:
Note that these are not healthy, necessarily, but there’s much less waste with homemade. And the recipes that call for corn syrup? I’d simply swap it out for honey, but note that I’m kind of crazy that way in the kitchen.
Skip the plastic tchochkes this year. Think about alternative gifts that will actually be used. Why not give a pair of kid-sized gloves and garden seeds? Or some books (authors love to convince people to buy books as gifts, have you noticed that)? Or a puzzle?
What tactics do you plan to use to make your Easter celebration more sustainable?