Spring into a Green Easter
I cannot even believe it’s almost Easter. When it was less than two weeks away, my husband and I decided to play hosts for Easter this year. Since the weather has been so beautiful, we figured it would give the kids the opportunity to play outside during the day, since we have the most kid-friendly yard in the family.
This takes me to my first recommendation for greening your Easter— spending as much time as possible outside that day. It’s been so nice outside lately, and I’m hopeful that Easter will be a beautiful day, too. My plan is to get the men and children outside while I do the cooking inside. If you can keep your guests outside, then less energy will be wasted on things like televisions, unnecessary lights (because notoriously someone always leaves lights on in an empty room). In addition, the fresh air is great for everyone. I found a great article on StorkNet by Dr. Laura Markham, a parenting expert, in which she recommends fresh air for better sleep for children. After an overwhelming day like Easter, I’m sure kids can use all the help they can get for a restful night’s sleep.
No holiday would be complete in my house without some arts and crafts. The most popular Easter craft is coloring hardboiled eggs. I searched all over the internet trying to find a natural way to dye eggs and still involve my kids in the process. Many of the recipes called for boiling the eggs in the dyed water, which would not be very fun for children. Williams-Sonoma gave some really helpful directions for naturally dyeing Easter eggs in their blog, “The Blender,” with items you may already have in the kitchen, like onions, red cabbage and white vinegar, among others. Family Fun Magazine also offered instructions on how to decorate eggs using melted crayons. Of course, while crayons are non-toxic, I think I would be more inclined to use natural crayons like the natural soy ones from Clementine Art.
We’ve also started making other crafts to get ready for Easter. My favorite is the Milk Jug Easter basket we made for the whole family! We simply took an empty milk jug and cut a mouth in it, covered it with cotton balls, added ears made from pink and white felt, eyes from construction paper and a nose from a pink pipe cleaner. Right now, the Easter Bunny Basket is sitting on our fireplace anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Easter Bunny. Some other crafts that I thought would be cute to do with children included: Egg Garden Centerpieces, Sock Bunnies, Easter Bunny Candy Holder, and if you need to make something to give to your kids’ friends, I like the Jelly Bean Chicks.
The final thing I do to add some green to our Easter is skip the candy in the Easter Basket—or at least minimize it. While studies say that sugar does not make children more hyperactive, I don’t believe the data. My husband can come home from work and immediately knows if my son has had sugar by the way he’s acting. My daughter is not affected by sugar. If you are planning to give your children candy in their Easter Baskets this year, then I would recommend looking into the many organic alternatives available—Indie Candy, Kate’s Caring Gifts and Sugar-Coated Organics. Like I said, I’m trying to minimize candy, so instead, this year I found some great second-hand toys that my kids are sure to love—thanks to sites like Ebay and Yardsellr as well as local buy/sell groups on Facebook. Remember, kids don’t care if an item is new—they just care if it’s new-to-them. I save a lot of green by buying used rather than new—and by “green ” I mean money and the planet.
So this Easter, try to use less energy and re-use more things. We’ll be reusing the same Easter baskets we’ve used in previous years, as well as the Easter grass that I save from year-to-year. In addition we’ll be using items we already have to decorate our home for Easter. Hopefully you’ve gotten some good ideas for making your family’s Easter more eco-friendly.