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Celebrate a green Easter holiday

With Easter holidays being a celebration time of life and renewal, it is ironic that Easter customs bring so much harm to the earth and its wildlife. Statistics for the United Kingdom are that every year over 8,000 tons of Easter Egg packaging waste ends up landfills. United States Easter waste numbers were unavailable.

Junky Easters of big-box store plastic eggs, grass, baskets, candy wrappings, decorations and disposable Easter party goods from China are a lesson for children in how to not be environmentally responsible. Make a conscious change this year for the family to have an eco-friendly Easter together and appreciate and protect the green earth.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Use easy natural egg dyes--to color real preferably organic, free-range, locally grown eggs. Read how to make the various colors at websites like care2 and Better Homes and Gardens. Make a tie-dye look with rubber bands. There are so many choices of foods that make good dyes already in the house like coffee, turmeric, beet and cabbage juice, berries, greens, paprika, apple skins. Think foods that stain clothes. For deeper colors, soak the eggs overnight in the dye in the refrigerator.
  • Use food-grade dyes--that are all-natural from the health food store or section of the grocery store if making dyes is not acceptable. Order natural dyes online from Nova Natural.
  • Grow real grass--from inexpensive rye or wheat grass seeds starting a couple weeks before Easter. This can be done in less time if wheat berries are soaked in water overnight to hasten germination. Put a jar or bowl inside a basket or line it with a plastic bag if no container will fit. Fill the basket with organic potting soil, scatter the seeds on top, put the basket in a dark place and keep it watered well until the seeds sprout. Move the basket to sunlight and keep it moist. Plant the grass outside after Easter.
  • Make shredded green grass--from anything with green print in old magazines, green tissue paper, green cloth or yarn.
  • Dress up old baskets--from the attic, closet or thrift shops by covering them with glued on silk flowers removed from stems and leaves. Weave a basket out of grapevines or natural long grasses.
  • Fill Easter baskets healthier--by adding dried fruits and nuts. Choose Fair Trade, organic and even gluten-free and vegan chocolate available online at sites like Theo and Dagoba.
  • Use only organic flowers preferably grown on a LocalHarvest family farm. Organic flowers can be ordered online at sites like Organic Bouquet and California Organic Flowers. Find local organic growers at Local Harvest by zipcode. Organic Bouquet says growing flowers organically reduces toxic chemical use and keeps pesticides out of water, maintains alive soil and natural predators, is safer for farm workers, is best for the environment, and promotes long-term farmland sustainability.
  • Make Easter decorations--like the Recycled Easter Bunny Candy Holder or skewered peeps in a pot. Get Easter crafting ideas and supplies at Sunday School Easter Crafts, Printable Crafts, and Family Crafts. Buy supplies to make an Easter egg tree like a kit to blow the eggs and hangers to glue on blown eggs at Nova Natural.
  • Serve healthy food--and create family traditions by exploring unique foods like the traditional South American Easter Salad or Savory Spring Crepes. Watch the video for some healthy Easter meal ideas.
  • Recycle for Easter Seals--at the Easter Seals website or call 800.420.0235. Pack recycling items like cell phones, laptops, iPods, iPads/tablets/readers, GPS devices, video games and consoles, digital cameras, DVDs, calculators and laser and inkjet cartridges in a box. Get a free UPS label on the website, and generate funds to help support children and adults with disabilities and their families.

Spend time outdoors with family and friends away from television and video games appreciating the green rebirth time of year. Help protect the bunny trails for Peter Cottontail and his friends.

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