If you are reading this post, you have likely already made a commitment to adopting a more sustainable lifestyle. You have likely recognized that there are elements of American Easter traditions that are not particularly sustainable and you’re looking to make a change. Kudos and thank you for that commitment that has brought you here to hunt out ways to make a more sustainable Easter celebration this year. Each of us on the journey toward a sustainable lifestyle is at a different place. We’ve been making changes at our own pace—hopefully a slow one that will allow us to maintain our efforts. With that said, you will see ideas and tricks below that range in the amount of commitment. Some may be more challenging than others. There may be tricks that require more or less creativity, more or less of a budget, etc. Consider this the buffet—you get to pick what is on your “Eco-Friendly Easter” plate this year.
Swaps for a More Eco-Friendly Easter Basket
Don’t buy a new basket.
If you already have an Easter basket from last year; the best option is to use what you already have, regardless of the material it’s made from.
Choose a reusable basket.
If you need to buy a basket, select one that is reusable. You want one that you can continue to fill each year. My daughter’s each have an easter basket from when they were born and I plan to continue filling those each year of their lives and handing them down to them. Another option is to choose a basket that you can use for Easter and then find another purpose for. Perhaps a cloth basket can be repurposed to store linens later. Or a wicker basket can later be used to serve bread or collect mail.
Swap Plastic Grass for a More Eco-Friendly Easter Grass Option!
I don’t use Easter grass at all. It sticks to everything and drives me bananas. But if you really want Easter grass, opt for something made from paper. You can purchase eco-friendly Easter grass. Or if you are a DIY-er, you could make your own shredded paper (from scrap paper, perhaps?). Maybe I over-fill my kids’ baskets or bought small ones, but I never have room for that stuff anyway.
Fill the basket with items your children need anyway.
As a conscious consumer, you don’t want to end up with a bunch of knick knacks and items that will just end up in the yard sale or donation pile next month. If you fill their baskets with things they need, you won’t be adding to excess. If you know you’re going to end up buying certain items, you can plan to buy them during your holidays and call them gifts. In my house, that typically means a bathing suit and sandals at Easter.
In our family, we put a bathing suit in our baskets to prepare for the upcoming warm season. Even with hand-me-down suits, we don’t always have enough for a busy summer season of water table, pool, or beach fun. The bathing suit takes up space in the basket and adds color, too! This year, I bought my girls’ swimsuits secondhand; they’ll never know or care.
Easter is a great time to look at your children’s shoes and see if they need anything for the coming warm weather. Sometimes this means adding a pair of sandals or water shoes to my girls’ baskets to round out their footwear.
If you want to round out their “needs” with some things they may want and enjoy, consider items that will get real use and/or can be donated once your children no longer use them.
If you have a little artist, Easter could be a great time to restock on glue sticks (or perhaps a more sustainable option with the glue sponge method), bee’s wax crayons, paper, etc. You can also include some homemade playdough. Add essential oils to make it smell wonderfully! Or you could buy some eco-dough.
Get your little one their own gardening tools, gloves, watering can, and seeds. Make seed bombs for your youngest and give older kids a seed bomb kit to make their own. Or if you aren’t a crafty family, just buy the seed bombs.
Bonus Tip: Desired Gift
We had talked about getting the girls tee ball equipment for Christmas. Instead, we opted to hold off on that gift and give it to them for Easter instead. In Pennsylvania, outdoor sporting equipment isn’t very practical in December; Easter weather would be more appropriate. We don’t always have gift on Easter, but we do this year, so we don’t need to much else.
Choose eco-friendly Easter snacks
Anything you buy, do your best to avoid individually-wrapped candy, as all those wrappers add up to a significant increase in waste. You can always buy bulk and portion them into reusable containers (or eggs). Opt for ethical and sustainable snack companies as much as possible. We’re going to include some Annie’s bunnies (cheddar, graham, fruit snacks, etc.) and will probably add some Harvest Snaps. You could try nuts or dried fruit. Project 7candies, Alter Eco chocolates, and Back to Nature cookies are all good options, as well.
Dressing for an Ethical, Environmental Easter
Browse your closet.
See what you already have that you can use for yourself and your family. Consider what the day will entail and what attire will allow for everyone to enjoy their day to the fullest. If you have something suitable, skip the shopping! Or perhaps try to build around key pieces that you already have.
Shop second hand.
Secondhand clothing is relatively easy to get your hands on these days thanks to ebay and Facebook Marketplace. You can put together great looks for the whole family from the comfort of your home. Or make hunting through thrift stores part of the fun with children who are old enough.
Buy Sustainable Clothing
If you can’t find something you own or thrifted, do you best to buy something that is made from sustainable fabric, sold by an ethical company, and provides opportunity for as much use as possible. In other words, pick something you can wear again.
Zero Waste & Eco-Friendly Easter Decorations
Décor is often a part of holidays in the US. While some may be shifting to a more minimalist lifestyle and reducing the amount of décor in their home, many still see decorations as part of the celebration. See the list of ideas and suggestions for zero-waste or eco-friendly Easter decorations below:
Thrift store finds.
Thrift stores offer their seasonal wares just like any place you might shop. You can find all kinds of cute items to rescue and bring to life in your home.
Yarn Scrap Easter Eggs
Upcycle the bits of your yarn that are too small for most projects and turn them into Easter eggs.
Naturally Dyed Blown Eggs or Hardboiled Eggs
Cut out the chemicals by choosing natural dye for your Easter eggs this year. The look is gorgeous and natural and you can feel good about the materials you’re using in the house. The kids can still have a wonderful time dipping their eggs into the natural dyes. If your family enjoys hard-boiled eggs (pickled eggs, deviled eggs, egg salad, etc.), you can boil them before you dye them and keep them refrigerated until Easter. If your family isn’t a big fan of hardboiled eggs, blown eggs may be a better way to go. You can even cook up the scrambled insides that are blown out of the eggs (if everyone is healthy). Blown eggs can be saved and reused as décor another year, too!
Bonus Tip: Take your dyed eggs to the next level by creating egg shell planters. You can use these as beautiful name cards or centerpieces.
Skip the cut flowers and out-of-season floral arrangements and opt for a more sustainable flower option: Potted flowering plants.
Easter Themed Mason Jars
Upcycle your jam, pickle, and salsa jars into beautiful decorations.
Upcycled Button Easter Egg Wall Art
Take all the old buttons you have in your button box (do people still have those?) and create an easter egg (or other shape, if you’re feeling fancy) wall art for your home.
Kids Eco-Friendly EastermCrafts
Don’t forget to let your kids join in on the crafting fun as a way to decorate Easter. Check out this list from Homsteading.com for 25 awesome ideas!
Creating a More Sustainable Easter Egg Hunt
One of my favorite traditions for Easter is the egg hunt. My amazing Babci (grandmother) put together the most amazing egg hunt when I was a kid and I don’t think she gave up doing some kind of egg hunt for at least thirty years of my life. So while some may advocate a shift away from an egg hunt, I can’t! But I do have some suggestions for making your egg hunt more eco-friendly.
- Use hard boiled eggs or blown eggs and dye them with natural dyes.
- Use eco-friendly eggs to reuse each year.
- If you already have plastic eggs, remember to use them until they can’t be used any longer. The most eco-friendly purchase is the one you don’t make!Bonus Tip: Once your plastic eggs are no longer closing, be sure to upcycle them! You can do awesome things like use them for this Easter-themed STEM activity from CraftGossip, make miniature succulent planters from A Kailo Chic Life, or make a wreath like this one from CreativeHomeMaking.
New Traditions for a More Eco-Friendly Easter Season
Another way to make your Easter more eco-friendly is to shift the focus from materialism and other less-sustainable practices in exchange for new, sustainable traditions. Here are just a few suggestions you could try:
Spend time being of service. Consider volunteering at a soup kitchen or adopting a mile and picking up litter. A site like Volunteer Match can help you find local and virtual opportunities to give of you time.
Spend time gardening. Planting seeds or flowers is a beautiful way of celebrating life and helps you appreciate nature. Certain flowers can help the bees and growing your own vegetables can decrease the carbon impact of buying vegetables at the grocery store.
Go on a Nature Hike, Nature Hunt, or Walk
Get outside to appreciate nature in a way that is age-appropriate and matches the abilities of those in your family or friend group.
Play board games.
Spend time bonding and enjoying each other’s company by playing games. You can use games you already have or check out the thrift store for a fun new option. Playing board games puts the focus on quality time. It also doesn’t require any electricity, so it’s a pretty sustainable way to spend time together.
Add a DIY element to your dessert. Instead of simply eating your dessert, turn it into an activity. Bake egg-shaped sugar cookies or cupcakes that can be decorated with icing and (bulk, eco-friendly) candy options. Or make egg-shaped dessert pizza that can be decorated with fruit.
Fly a Kite
If the weather is windy, it might be the perfect time to take out the kite. Better yet, build and eco-friendly one together like this one made from upcycled materials from Mother Earth News and see if your creation will take flight!
Read Scripture or Do Retellings of the Easter Story
Pick an age-appropriate way to engage with the story of Easter. You can simply read the bible or a children’s bible. You can also use story stones to help a child with their own re-telling of the story. Or go all out with a re-enactment!
Remember, you don’t need to make all of these changes to make your Easter celebration more sustainable. Choose options that seem easy to adopt this year. Then make a plan to make more sustainable swaps and adopt more sustainable habits for next year. No one needs to be perfect. If everyone makes one small change this Easter, we can make a HUGE impact. Just do your part. Let us know which new sustainable Easter practices you will be using this year or any additional ideas that you have in the comments. We’d love to know what changes our community is making!
Happy (Eco-Friendly) Easter!