4 Easy Ways to Celebrate Easter Plastic-Free This Year
By Abbie Gatewood
The snow has melted. Yellow daffodils are in full bloom. Days are getting warmer and spring is in the air, which means that Easter is right around the corner. It’s the time of year for pastels, brightly colored eggs, and chocolate bunnies.
But what does this mean for our environment? Unfortunately, Easter weekend creates an excess of unnecessary waste in the United States.
The good news is that you can enjoy the holiday, create lasting memories for your family, and still reduce your carbon footprint this Easter. These are a few tips to have a plastic-free Easter:
1 – Plan Ahead
One of the easiest ways to ensure that Easter is both fun for your family AND good for the environment is to make a plan. With a little thought, you can eliminate the use of plastic and hatch an amazing Easter plan.
A simple place to begin is with your Easter decorations. These are usually put up weeks ahead of the actual day, and stores begin stocking the aisles with loads of plastic eggs, bunnies, and grass.
Instead of choosing plastic, opt for decor that is made of biodegradable material, such as wood. This will prove to be sturdier and you will use it year after year.
Rather than plastic table cloths, use fabric table runners for your big meal. Also plan on using real dishes and silverware for the occasion.
Another way to make your space inviting for Easter is to use real flowers and potted plants. This looks beautiful and will fill your home with the fragrance of spring. When Easter is over, your plants will live on in pots, or you can transplant them into your flower bed.
When you hit the grocery store to pick up items for Easter, there are some basic ways to cut out the use of plastic.
For starters, bring cloth bags to put your groceries in at the end of your trip. Are you grabbing produce? Skip the plastic bags there too by placing produce directly in your cart. Just make sure to give it a good wash when you get home!
Another easy way to reduce the use of plastic at the store is to look at the packaging of your products. Is there an option to purchase the item fresh without packaging? Are there paper or cardboard packaged options for the item you want? If so, go with the more eco-friendly option.
2 – Plastic-Free Traditions
Traditions around Easter vary from family to family. Two things that most Easter celebrations do have in common, though, are kids and food! By building plastic-free traditions, you pass down mindful practices for generations to come.
A timeless tradition for families on Easter is dying Easter eggs.
When purchasing eggs to dye, look locally. Choose organic eggs with non-plastic packaging.
To make your Easter celebrations even more earth-friendly try making your own dye! Here’s a recipe:
- One half cup boiling water
- One teaspoon of white vinegar
- About 20 drops of food coloring
Making your own dye cuts out all the packaging involved with store-bought dye. The wasteful packaging usually includes individually wrapped dye tablets for each color as well as plastic cups for dying the eggs.
Salt dough is something else to add to your Easter itinerary. Make salt dough by combining the following:
- Two cups all-purpose flour
- One cup of salt
- Slowly mix in one cup cold water
Using cookie cutters or molding the dough by hand, turn it into egg or bunny shapes. Next, poke a hole in your salt dough shape so that you can string ribbon or yarn through.
Once you got the shape right, bake at 250℉ for about 2 hours. Take the Easter ornaments out of the oven and let them cool completely. Now it’s time for the fun part! Paint them, sting them, and hang them around the house or on trees outside.
Make sure to include painting wooden Easter decor to your crafting list. This is something that kids (and adults!) love to do, and you can reuse your wooden art each year as you decorate for Easter.
If you’re anything like me, your mouth is already watering just thinking about that Easter meal!
There’s no need to skimp on the decadence. In fact, making your own main dishes and sides are more eco-friendly than buying pre-packaged items.
For fresher meats and less waste, buy your meats from a butcher. Bring your own container for your cuts, or ask for paper wrapping instead of plastic.
Chocolate eggs are a must-have at Easter time. Did you know you can buy egg-shaped molds and make your own? It is as simple as melting chocolate baking chips, filling the molds, and placing them in the freezer to harden up. By making your own chocolate eggs you cut back on waste from wrappers of store-bought chocolate eggs.
While cooking and after finishing your Easter meal, compost the scraps and whatever else you can. This keeps landfills free of these materials, where they release methane and take up space.
3 – Eco-Friendly Easter Bunny
You’ve got planning ahead with the decor, meal, and traditions covered, but that pesky Easter Bunny (he means well!) seems to bring plastic, plastic, and more plastic. Here’s what you can do about it.
The options for Easter baskets are endless. Choose straw or wicker instead of plastic buckets – they look better than plastic ones and you get to reuse them every year.
You can even choose a fabric to line the basket that fits your child’s (or partner’s) personality, and then have their name embroidered on the basket. Steer clear of cartoon characters or childish themes or children will be less willing to use the same basket as they get older.
Next up: filling the basket. Instead of gobs of plastic eggs filled with plastic-wrapped candy, here is a list of gift ideas for the Easter Bunny to leave:
- Reusable water bottle
- Homemade candy, chocolate, or snacks
- Wooden Puzzle
- Hair Ties/Accessories
- Art Supplies
This is also a great opportunity to support eco-friendly organizations, such as Ocean Blue Project. A reusable water bottle, hat, or T-shirt would be a great gift from the Easter Bunny, and for every 5 dollars you spend, Ocean Blue removes 5 pounds of plastic.
Just Say No to Plastic Eggs
As far as eggs go, there are some great options that do not include plastic.
Although you won’t find them marketed as widely as plastic eggs, many craft stores carry hollow wooden eggs that you can stuff with candy.
Paper mache eggs are another option. These are fun to make, and you can design them to open and close by using ribbon to tie them shut. They’re great to fill with candy for the big hunt, and you can use them year after year.
You can also paint pine cones or rocks to hide in place of plastic eggs. Although you cannot fill them with candy, they will make for an egg-cellent hunt and will not be left in landfills for years to come.
4 – Celebrate Easter Mindfully
Maybe you are planning to spend Easter gathering safely with your family this year. Or maybe you will be celebrating Easter on a smaller scale, but still want to include all of the foods and traditions that make Easter so special.
No matter how your celebration looks this year, I invite you to celebrate mindfully and plastic-free. Do your part in minimizing plastic waste this Easter by:
- Opting for homemade or eco-friendly decor
- Bringing reusable bags when grocery shopping for your Easter meal
- Being intentional about creating plastic-free traditions
- Leaving sustainable gifts from the Easter Bunny
- Saying “No” to plastic eggs
By doing your part in these areas, you will not only be reducing the use of plastic this year, but you are putting traditions in place that will reduce plastic on Easter for years to come.
Author Bio: Abbie is a freelance copywriter, educator, and parent. She enjoys writing for small businesses and all things related to family.