Last updated on April 10th, 2023
Easter is a celebration of life and renewal, whether you observe the day as a religious holiday or with family traditions. It’s a time for living a better life, but somehow Easter has become an extremely wasteful holiday. From plastic eggs to baskets and grass meant to be tossed out, Easter is full of single-use items. But it doesn’t need to be. Check out these eco-friendly choices and sustainable swaps for your eco Easter.
Eco-Friendly Easter Baskets
Our kiddos use the same Easter baskets every year, and they’ve become a special part of the holiday. If you set out the same Christmas stockings year after year, why not extend the same tradition to Easter baskets?
If that doesn’t work for your holiday, fill a simple basket that can be reused throughout the year, or fill a pail that kids can play with even after Easter is over.
Pass on the Grass
We’ve never purchased plastic Easter grass. Honestly, it gets in the way of the good stuff in the basket, plus it’s messy and wasteful. Do yourself a favor and find a sustainable alternative to plastic grass. Read on for the variety of options we’ve used over the years.
You could purchase paper grass or make your own from junk mail or colored paper.
No Grass, More Goodies
Alternately, you could fill the basket with goodies and leave out the grass all together. This works well if you’re using a pail or a small basket. But for a bigger basket you might want some kind of filler to take up space.
Eco Friendly Grass Alternatives
Green wool roving is beautiful Easter basket filler. Gifts and treats nestle prettily into the festive fluff. After the holiday you can craft with it, use it as grass for a nature table, or save it for next Easter.
Another option is lining the basket with a green play silk or other green fabric to add a pop of color.
Eco Easter Eggs
Reuse Plastic Easter Eggs
If you already have plastic eggs, reuse them next Easter. Wash them with soap and water, allow them to dry, and store them for next year.
We bought plastic Easter eggs only once. We reuse our eggs each Easter, and our collection has grown over the years with eggs from grandparents and community egg hunts.
On that note, if you’re the one organizing a community egg hunt put out the word that you’re looking for gently used plastic egg donations. I wonder how many families have eggs in storage and would be happy to donate them rather than throw them away.
Decorate with Gently Used Eggs
When your family outgrows plastic Easter eggs you could use them to decorate. Set up an Easter egg tree outside or in, or use them to make a festive wreath.
Sustainable Easter Egg Alternatives
Not into plastic eggs at all? Right on, you have eco-friendly options.
Make felt eggs or purchase them from a craftsperson.
Another option is wooden eggs. Leave them with a natural finish or decorate them as a family.
Natural Egg Dye
Most egg dying kits come with petroleum-based food coloring. Look for kits with natural dyes, or make a project out of creating your own natural dye at home.
If possible, support your local economy and purchase eggs from farms close to home. Depending on the chicken breeds in your area, you might come across eggs in a variety of natural hues, so you can skip dying all together.
And don’t waste those eggs! Serve your hard boiled eggs for brunch or refrigerate them and eat them throughout the week.
If possible, plan to have brunch directly after the egg hunt so you can incorporate the hard boiled eggs into the offerings.
Skip single-use tableware like plastic flatware or a plastic tablecloth. Did you know that most paper plates are actually lined with a thin coat of plastic?
Plan to serve more plants and less meat at the meal, and cook with local and/or organic ingredients.
Easter Candy Swaps
Consider filling eggs with food other than candy, especially for very young children. We’ve had success with gluten-free bunny crackers and gluten-free bunny grahams.
But if you’re dying for the sweets you gave up for Lent (Yo, I gave up chocolate for 40 days and now you want me to give it up on Easter too? Are you out of your mind?), or if you can’t imagine an Easter celebration without candy, you have more sustainable choices.
Depending on what you’re looking for, you can find candy that fits into at least one of the following categories:
- Made with organic ingredients
- Made with fair trade ingredients
- Manufactured by a benefit corporation or a certified b corp
Please avoid novelty candy that comes with plastic parts like rings or push pops. They create unnecessary waste and are easy enough to leave out of the Easter basket.
Along the same lines, be aware of the amount of packaging is involved with the candy. A bag of jelly beans produces less waste than a bag of individually wrapped treats.
And if you’re ready to drop candy all together, read on for more eco-friendly ideas.
Easter Beyond Candy
Fill a basket with outside activities like bubbles, sidewalk chalk, or a jump rope.
Give natural crafting projects and art supplies for Easter gifts.
Make it a musical basket with egg shakers or other small instruments like:
- Hand-held percussion instruments
- Finger harps
- Penny whistles
Go for a gardening theme with seeds, small gardening tools, and gardening gloves.
Fill eggs with small age-appropriate items like finger puppets, small toys, or coins.
Travel-size games tuck nicely into Easter baskets.
You can’t go wrong with an Easter- or spring-themed book, even if it’s too big for the basket.
Choose What Works Best for Your Family
Hopefully you’ve found sustainable inspiration for your eco Easter here. You’re now stocked with ideas to cut down on waste from baskets to eggs to your brunch table. Choose the suggestions that work best for your holiday, and start new eco-friendly family traditions!
We’d love to hear about your sustainable Easter choices, especially if they’re family traditions! Tell us all about it below.