Easter is just around the corner and the kids are excited because the Easter Bunny is sure to bring surprises. But do you really want to go to the store and buy one of those plastic-wrapped Easter gifts filled with sugar-laden treats and neon-colored grass?
Is there any way to make Easter gifts a little greener and still enjoy all the treats? You bet there is! Below are four easy ways to get you started on greener, healthier, Easter gifts your kids will love!
Homemade Easter Dyes
Dump the toxic dyes in commercial Easter egg kits and save some money at the same time. Many common food items you already have make beautiful dyes. The colors are often more subtle than commercial dyes, but by leaving your eggs in the dye longer, the colors will intensify.
- For yellow, steep any of the following in hot water: ground turmeric, ground cumin, celery seed, green tea, orange or lemon peel, or carrot tops.
- Orange is a great color for eggs. Use yellow onion skins or paprika to get this color.
- Brown or tan can be achieved with coffee, black tea or black walnut shells
- For a delicious brown-gold, use dill seed. Chilli powder will give you a rich brown-orange hue.
- Pink is a favorite Easter color. Use fresh or canned beets, cranberry juice, raspberries or red grape juice.
- For red dye you’ll need lots of red onion skins or pomegranate juice.
- Create yellow-green with green apple peels.
- Steep spinach leaves for a pretty green.
- For a lovely blue, use red cabbage leaves or purple grape juice
- Blueberries create a wonderful indigo color.
- For a delicate lavender, use red zinger tea or diluted purple grape juice
- For a deep purple, use red wine.
Reuse and Recycle with this Green Easter Basket
Don’t spend money on a disposable Easter basket. Repurpose a plastic milk jug and make your own. Here’s how:
- Thoroughly clean and dry the jug.
- Make a paper template that’s 5 inches by 3 inches. Tape the template onto the surface of the milk jug opposite the handle. This will be your basket’s opening. Then carefully cut out the plastic following the template. Line the cut area with felt or plumber’s tape to protect against scratches.
- Decorate your jug using paint, cut-out paper, or anything you have on hand. You can even make the jug look like a rabbit face by using the opening as the mouth and cutting out paper ears and eyes. Use pipe cleaners for whiskers.
Eco-Friendly Basket Fill
Why settle for plastic grass when you can grow wheatgrass for your basket instead? If you don’t have time to wait for the grass to grow (about a week), pop some popcorn from scratch and make your filling edible!
Fill your basket with healthy alternatives like pretzels or raisins. Or you can purchase organic candy from your favorite store.
Family Fun Decoration Ideas
Put the finishing touches on your holiday décor by making garlands of construction paper bunnies and chicks connected with twine. Or re-purpose other recyclable items like toilet paper tubes, paper plates and bags into creative projects. Your imagination is the only limit!
And if you have spring bulbs blooming, cut a few and place them in a vase to decorate your table.
Emma is writing articles for The Complete Basketcase and every year she posts articles about Easter gifts and hampers.