A holiday that celebrates rebirth and spring is the perfect occasion to “go green.” This Easter, instead of buying plastic toys to put on top of plastic baskets filled with plastic grass, make a commitment to embrace recycling and create eco-friendly baskets for the kids. Children of all ages will be excited to receive something that is not only earth friendly, but also more interesting that the average fare.
There are Many Choices for an Ecologically-friendly Easter Basket
Paper baskets are not only green, they are fun for kids and adults to make. Gather scraps of paper, sturdy cardboard and poster board and then find one of the many websites with free templates for design ideas. Paper mache is a wonderful way to shape up a basket. Paper baskets are great because it is easy to hand tailor them to the size needed.
The bottom of a plastic gallon milk container also makes a terrific start for an Easter basket. Other accessories to have on hand to turn these things into functional and beautiful baskets include paper fasteners, paints, glue, scissors, stickers, sequins, glitter, felt and any other available decorative art supplies.
Buying a basket is not a terribly un-green decision, as long as it’s a sturdy one that can be reused for many years. These are not as expensive as they sound. World Market carries a number of free-trade friendly containers of all sizes for reasonable prices. When Easter is over, they can be used to store toys, art supplies, clothing or even fruit.
Filling an Easter Basket with Environmentally-friendly Green Grass
Pass right by the dyed plastic grass in colors not found in nature and go for the real thing. It’s easy to grow grass with some vermiculite (super light soil found in most gardening centers), some rye or wheat seed and some leftover paper eggshell cartons.
Fill the cartons with the soil, sprinkle with the grass seed and mist everything with a spray bottle. Place in a sunny place and mist daily. A good covering of grass will be going strong within two weeks. The cartons are easy to cut and strategically place in the bottom of an Easter basket before filling it with goodies.
Another green way to make Easter grass is to tear up pretty scraps of paper. This is easiest with a paper shredder, but it’s also fun to do with a good pair of scissors. If paper needs to be a certain color, it can be painted or died before shredding. Scraps of material can be used for different textures. Leftover yarn is another green basket covering.
Earth-friendly Gifts for Recycled Easter Baskets
Anything that is homemade or made from recycled parts is good for the planet, so fill the baskets with goodies that are made from other things or that help children embrace earth-friendly habits.
Every Easter basket should have some sweet treats. Cookies and candies made at home are better for children and for the environment. Wrap them in napkins tied with raffia or twine. Make homemade play dough, silly putty, goo and bubbles. Fill it with a gardening kit, sock puppets or books the child will like.
Creating a green Easter basket doesn’t mean that every piece of it must be homemade. But it does mean that the basket-maker should put some real thought into it. Kids live what they learn and teaching them to live consciously, and not completely absorbed by a consumerist society, is part of what being green is all about.