What better way to welcome the spring season than Easter! This year, Easter will be celebrated on April 4th with colored eggs, Easter baskets, and lots of candy. However, a lot of these products are produced in environmentally unfriendly ways, and many of them are made to be disposable, rather than reusable.
Last year, about 77% of Americans celebrated Easter. This means a lot of plastic eggs. It’s hard to get an accurate count on the number of plastic eggs sold each year, but there is evidence that it is a very high number. Bleyer Industries, now bankrupt, was once the only American manufacture of plastic eggs. At its height in the early 2000s, it was making 250 million eggs a year. Given that Easter spending has increased every year for the last few decades, it is very likely that even more plastic eggs are currently being sold.
The vast majority of these cheap plastic eggs are disposable. Many Americans will stuff eggs with plastic toys and individually wrapped candy, adding to the waste. Most Easter baskets are made of non-recyclable plastic or thin pieces of wood. Plus, there is fake grass and paper shred that will be used to stuff the baskets with.
None of this means we need to skip out on the fun festivities altogether. Here are a few “egg”celent Easter ideas which will help you celebrate this holiday while respecting our planet.
If you plan on dying eggs, try to purchase fresh eggs from a local farm or check to see what your grocery store offers. If you boil eggs, be sure to not miss out on the yummy boiled egg. Or, if you’d like your dye creation to last longer, try poking a hole on the top and bottom of the egg to blow out the insides. Instead of purchasing a dye kit from the store, consider using natural dyes like coffee, lemon, and oranges. More info here.
If you already have an Easter basket, plan on storing it and reusing it for future years. Instead of buying a plastic basket at your local store, think of ways to improvise. Children are mostly interested in what is in the basket, so go with something green like wooden or wicker baskets.
Instead of fake grass, consider using a towel, t-shirt, or small blanket. Shredded brown paper bags and magazines also work as well as Spanish moss and raffia.
Did you know there are plastic eggs made from recycled plastic materials? Remember to save your eggs after the hunt and use them again next year.
Get creative with your fillers. Use organic and reduced packaging candy and chocolate. If you fill eggs with puzzle pieces, the kiddos can have a fun time collecting them to complete a piece of art. Other ideas include bubbles, lip balms, hair ties, seeds, dried fruit, and sidewalk chalk.
Written by Emily Su, Class of 2022