A Natural Easter: Your Guide to an Eco-Friendly Holiday

Are you looking for clean, safe and environmentally responsible ways to celebrate Easter? Then consider some of these ideas as you make your holiday plans:

Buy the greenest eggs you can. No, not pre-colored eggs, but the most sustainable, eco-friendly and cruelty-free eggs you can find. The ideal egg would come from a local farmer who delivers in the area, sells from the farm or supplies a farmer’s market, co-op or grocery store close to your home. Other good choices: all-natural, cage-free eggs or vegetarian, cage-free eggs, preferably packaged in recyclable cardboard — not plastic — cartons. The kinder your choice of eggs, the kinder you know the egg farmer was to the chickens and the environment.

Make your own Easter grass. Instead of spending money on a bag of those colorful plastic shreds that will only land in the garbage sooner or later, run colorful magazine pages, glossy ads or pretty wrapping paper through a home-office shredder. You’ll save a little money, keep some plastic out of the waste stream and end up with paper shreds that can be used later for packing material or compost.

Reuse a basket or make your own. Most of us who celebrate Easter probably have more than a few old Easter baskets stashed away in the basement, closet or garage, so why buy new when you can reuse? Or, make your own basket using vintage fabric or an attractive large scrap from an old piece of clothing. It’s easy to make a pretty basket=bowl: simply cut a square of fabric, drape it over an upturned bowl covered with wax paper, coat the fabric with liquid laundry starch or a cornstarch-water mix, and let dry.

Buy your Easter goodies locally. The more treats and toys you can find at small, locally owned shops, the more you can keep dollars in your local economy and reduce the need for long-distance trucking or shipping. Of course, you can also make your own candies, cookies and sugar eggs … if you’re really ambitious. There are plenty of online recipe sites overflowing with Easter goodie recipes right about now; one that’s always especially topical and user-friendly is Recipezaar.

Use natural egg dyes. You’ll find a surprisingly large variety of natural dye sources in your own fridge and pantry: onion skins (yellow or red), beets, spinach, blueberries, coffee, tea, turmeric, paprika and more.

Hope you all have a wonderful, healthy and heart-warming Easter!

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