Instead of filling your child's Easter basket with plastic eggs, sweets filled with artificial colors and flavors, and plastic Easter basket grass that's impossible to recycle, choose eco-friendly goodies this year. Mr. Easter Bunny can bring your child a fun bucketful of spring celebration that's eco-friendly -- not artificial -- and there will be nothing to toss in the trash once your child is done! Read on to learn my favorite seven ways to brighten your child's day with eco-friendly Easter basket.
For as long as I can remember I have been using the same sand bucket as a spring basket for my son. I originally picked a sand bucket because I knew it was something that he would use over and over again and I found it at a garage sale. It was a win-win. I suggest looking through your home for something that can be used as a basket or purchasing a basket made from recycled or renewable resources that you can use every year.
Instead of purchasing the non-recyclable fake plastic “grass” that lines store shelves this time of year, consider making your own. I save my son’s book order forms and any other colorful paper that is sent home from school and then shred it into basket “grass.” It’s colorful, completely recyclable and my son always thinks it is neat to see pieces of the books on the paper.
The main goody that I use to fill my son’s spring basket each year are books. I scour our local library’s used book sale, thrift stores and garage sales for books that I think will excite him. It’s amazing how many books I find that are in brand new condition! Then, I wrap each individual book in more paper from the recycling bin and stack them inside the bucket. This has always been one of his favorite parts of the basket — even more so than the candy.
As part of my son’s spring basket each year, I include a set of love coupons. Each coupon is designed with fun “free” activities that he can redeem them for with either myself or his father. Some of the coupons include a picnic dinner at the park, an evening swim in the pool, a night of brownie baking or reading time in the hammock with Dad. I create these on my home computer and then print them on 100% post-consumer recycled paper using water-based inks. After he redeems them, they find their place in his annual scrapbook. My son is always excited to see what “freebies” he will get this year and can’t wait to start spending them.
I am not a huge fan of filling an Easter basket to the brim with candy, especially considering most of the candies on the market are full of artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners. However, I do purchase a small quantity of organic lollipops, hard candies and fair-trade organic chocolates because an Easter basket just isn’t the same without something for your child’s sweet tooth.
Each year, I spend an evening creating a miniature plush toy to include in my son’s basket. I save pieces of clothing that are torn or worn out and then use the good pieces of the garment to create something new. It’s always fun to see what little creature I can come up with, a few year’s ago I used a pattern from Martha Stewart to create a fun sock dog. This year I’m in the process of making a stuffed fish using leftover pieces of eco felt. My son loves this gift the most and can’t wait to see what this year’s creature will be!