Spring has finally arrived, and that means Easter is just around the corner. Holidays can be difficult to navigate, especially when you’re trying to be zero waste. There are family members who may not share your views, traditions you don’t want to break, and the craziness of organizing a big get-together. But there are plenty of ways to have a low waste Easter this year!
Low Waste Easter Eggs and Egg Hunts
Easter wouldn’t be the same without Easter eggs and the hunt for them.
Natural Egg Dyeing
My parents and I always dyed eggs for Easter, and it was one of my favorite holiday traditions. We either bought the egg dyeing kits or used food coloring, but there’s more natural ways to color your Easter eggs.
You can use spices and even kitchen scraps to color your eggs. Don’t think your low waste Easter will be boring shades of brown though! You can make shades of blue, bright yellows, and pink colored dyes as well. Good Housekeeping has a guide for these colors.
According to Deb’s comprehensive egg dyeing post on Just Short of Crazy, there are two easy ways to dye eggs: the hot method and the cold method. The hot method boils raw eggs in the dye mixture, while the cold method lets hard-boiled eggs soak in a bowl of the dye mixture. A longer soaking time gives you a more vibrant color. (Good Housekeeping’s guide uses the cold method.)
Easter Egg Hunts
On Easter morning, I would hunt for our real eggs inside my house, but in the afternoon all the grandkids would hunt outside for the same plastic Easter eggs my Grandma has used for about twenty years. Plastic eggs are great for Easter eggs hunts because they are reusable, can be filled with coins or candy, and can be used outdoors. Try to find some secondhand!
Obviously, hiding real eggs is the most sustainable solution, but sometimes it isn’t the most practical, especially for larger events. There are also hollow, wooden eggs that offer a better low waste Easter solution because no plastic is involved.
Now let’s look at the treats inside the eggs. Like I said, my Grandma would hide coins in some eggs but candy in others. To reduce waste, find some unwrapped candies in bulk bins or look for candy wrapped in foil. The foil can be balled up (in a large enough ball, not a single wrapper) and recycled. Aluminum can be recycled over and over and over without loss of quality!
Low Waste Easter Baskets
Gifts are where things start to get tricky, but have no fear! There are still ways to keep Easter baskets low waste.
As for the basket itself, use one you already own (and reuse it each year) or find one secondhand. Thrift shops always have a large supply of baskets, even if they aren’t bright Spring colors. Instead of using the plastic cellophane grass, line your basket with paper grass or tissue paper. Reuse your grass lining each year.
Be mindful of the gifts you place in the basket. Many parents hold to the “something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read” mantra for giving gifts. This ensures most gifts serve a real purpose instead of a ton of toys.
Here are some great low waste Easter basket gifts:
But instead of just sticking with physical gifts, why not gift an experience? Here’s a list of experiences kids would love:
Low Waste Easter Parties
Easter is also a time families get together. In light of the current health crisis, parties may be a lot smaller or be cancelled altogether, but you can still plan for next year.
If you’re hosting an Easter party, cook up some low waste meals. When shopping for groceries, look for local or package-free items. Compost your kitchen scraps (or use them for eggs dyes depending on ingredient).
Be prepared for leftovers and encourage guests to take some home. Either inform them to bring a container or lend them one of yours. Use real plates and napkins instead of disposables.
For decorations, find secondhand items that can be reused year after year. Bring springtime indoors with plants and flowers to add color to your space. If the weather is nice enough, move the party outdoors and play yard games.
If you are attending a party, bring your own container for leftovers. Encourage the host to use real dishware (offer to help clean up and wash dishes to sway them). At mealtime, take only what you know you can eat in one sitting to reduce food waste. If you bring a hostess gift, bring a consumable like homemade cookies, a dish to pass, or a potted plant.
I hope these tips will help you have a low waste Easter you can feel good about. Remember that these gift-giving and party tips can apply to other times of the year too!
How are you celebrating Easter this year?