Let’s just skip right past the obvious observation of Tax Day and move on to a more enjoyable day approaching – Easter! Rather than talk tax forms and tax credits, let’s talk about the incredible amount of waste that comes hop hop hoppin’ down the trail with the Easter Bunny. This is a holiday of cheap plastic goods – eggs, baskets, grass – that more often than not find their way into trash cans and local landfills.
Here are some ways to make the holiday an eco-friendly Easter:
Use paper grass – Skip the neon green plastic and choose a decorative paper grass including the unbleached natural kind. OR put that paper shredder to a festive use and turn newspapers and old tax returns into a crinkly basket filling.
Bag the candy – I don’t mean get rid of it (what an Easter transgression that would be!). Visit a candy store or a Super Target to take advantage of their bulk candy dispensers. Use a plastic bag tied with a festive ribbon or a paperboard box that is decorated with holiday stamps. There is still some packaging to dispose of but much less than if you used small, individually-wrapped candies.
Reuse your baskets & eggs – Along with the Christmas ornaments and Halloween yard decorations in your attic, make some space to store Easter baskets from year to year. Oftentimes, local resale stores will have some for sale. Or if you’re very ambitious, weave your own bamboo basket! Same goes for eggs! Well, you can’t weave them but here’s a great idea for knitting a wool egg cover to make them last from year to year. If you’re not adept with the needles, not to worry – you can still use the same plastic eggs from year to year. The kids will be too busy cracking them open for sweet treats to notice that they are the same from last year. Actually don’t they always look the same from year to year even if you buy them new?
Use natural dyes – Ignore the packets of egg dyes in the stores with a list of mystery ingredients and raid the produce aisle instead:
- Cranberry juice, beets & raspberries = red and pink
- Saffron or turmeric = yellow
- Red wine = purple (adults should probably be the ones to make purple eggs!)
- Cabbage leaves or blueberries = blue
- Grape juice, rosehip tea or coffee = brown
- Yellow onion skins = orange
Imprint natural designs with herb sprigs or rubber bands for a modern edgy egg!
Resist the urge to give random shiny plastic objects that will only get thrown away within a week as gifts! – Instead choose gifts that kids will use and use often. Try pencils, erasers, egg shaped chalk, homemade play dough, books, or bubbles. For older kids, consider promoting spring and inspire a love of gardening with a gift of a watering can filled with paper seed packets, gloves and simple gardening tools. Imagine how excited they will be to plant their own flowers or vegetables and watch a garden grow! For even older kids (or even an adult that misses getting an Easter surprise), consider a lightweight and trendy striped scarf!
Easter is the quintessential spring holiday so what better holiday is there to make a green statement! Use these tips or share some of your own ideas in our comments section.
For anyone whose mind is still on a blacker day, take a visit to Maggie Moo’s for a free “Crumb Cake Fundae”, Cinnabon for two free Classic Cinnabon bites or to a HydroMassage for a free massage on your 2011 tax day! Hopefully a tax day treat will make your outlook a little sunnier for the springtime.