Easter brings thoughts of spring and rebirth, so there's no reason not to celebrate it with the Earth's best interest at heart. Since for many families, Easter wouldn't be the day without the basket, here's how to transform this traditional hit, into a gift that truly is worth celebrating.
Instead of buying a new plastic or woven basket made in a country far away, this year, how about using your imagination? Choose an item that can hold the goodies, decorate if you like and you've got a unqiue, no-cost container. How fun would it be for your kids to go on the hunt with one of these?
- A purse
- A backpack
- A scarf tied to a hobo stick
- A decorated paper bag or shoe box (add a handle if you like)
- A fabric bag of any kind
- A pot (decorate by drawing on a strip of paper the height of the pot, then fasten with tape)
- A boot (Kids rain boots are especially cute. Tuck some fabric inside to keep goodies clean.)
- A paint can (again, add fabric inside if you like)
- Make our simple fabric basket. Instructions here.
If you're the traditional type and like the look of grass, instead of buying the plastic stuff, why not try:
- strips of fabric
- real grass, either wheat grass or grass from your yard
- shredded recycled paper
- green scarf
- strips of organic nori (seaweed availbalbe in paperlike sheets)
- green napkin, washcloth or dish towel
As for filling the basket, you're probably aware that Easter is the second biggest holiday for candy sales next to Halloween. Sweet treats are fine, but how about choosing high quality over quantity? And just one over handfuls? Fortunately, this year, there are many great Easter treats that are better for kids and the Earth. Here are just a few:
- Organic vegan bunny and eggs from Allison's Gourmet
- Organic jelly beans from Nuts Online
- Baking your own cookies? Pick up organic food colors from the Natural Candy Store which also carries loads of other sweet Easter treats like Easter eggs filled with organic candy
Once the candy is taken care of, you'll most likely want other items to fill the basket. Considering the economy, you might come up with activites you can do with your child that cost nothing, write them on slips of paper and add to the basket. We bet if you ask your children in advance, what special activities they might enjoy, you'll have enough for months of fun. Suggestions:
- Stay up late with you one night.
- Bake something special together.
- Make up a game.
- Make popcorn and enjoy a movie on TV.
- Sleep outside under the stars.
- Have a tea party
- Create a mural
- Create and enjoy an "art" day using only items you have on hand
If you do want to purchase some special items for the basket, instead of heading to the dollar store, consider whether spending $10 on plastic toys that will break quickly is better than spending the same amount on one quality item that your child might enjoy playing with long after the holiday has passed. If you're with us that the latter is worth investigating, here are a few ideas:
- Seed packets and a garden implement or two
- Felted egg kit from A Child's Dream Come True
- Fair trade egg shaker from Down to Earth Toys
- Wooden play eggs from A Toy Garden
- Paper mache nesting eggs from Magic Cabin
- Organic finger puppets from I Play Baby Wear
- Handmade decorative eggs from you or Etsy
- Seeded paper or cards that can be planted from Botanical Paper Works
More ideas for Easter baskets and festivities are available at www.CelebrateGreen.net/blog***************
Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are mother and daughter and co-authors of Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family, available at www.CelebrateGreen.net