Easter can be a ton of fun for families, but with all of the excitement, the idea of having an eco-friendly Easter can be overlooked. There are many different ways to create an eco-friendly Easter basket though, and we’ve gathered some of the best ideas for you here. From baskets made out of recycled materials to non-candy treats and fair-trade candies, we’ve got you covered!
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How Can We Make Easter Eco-Friendly?
If you’re looking for some ways to make your Easter a little more sustainable, we’ve collected some of the best tips and tricks for you.
From the type of basket that you use (or don’t use) to the Easter grass, eggs, and treats, here are our top tips for having a more Earth-friendly Easter holiday.
Eco-Friendly Easter Baskets
Easter baskets don’t have to be made out of materials that are harmful to the environment. Instead, here are some ideas for Easter basket materials that will help you create an eco-friendly holiday!
Thrift Store Baskets
There’s really no need to buy a new basket. I see so many baskets at thrift stores, and I bet you’ll easily find some too. You’ll probably even find some baskets that you can reuse and repurpose in your house throughout the year. Plus, the money you spend at most thrift stores will go to a good cause.
If you can’t find one at a thrift store, check out an online marketplace like Mercari or head out to a few yard sales on a Saturday morning.
If you really want to buy a new basket, go for something made from recycled materials. You can also make your own Easter basket out of things around your house (like this DIY milk jug basket or a basket made from your Christmas cards).
Don’t Use A Basket At All
Easter baskets aren’t really necessary, so if you want to go all-out eco-friendly this holiday, skip the basket altogether. Just fill a bowl with Easter grass and other goodies for your loved ones to enjoy! If you’re heading out for an egg hunt, your kids can use a reusable shopping bag or tote to store all of their treasured Easter eggs.
What Can I Use Instead of Grass for Easter Baskets?
If you’re looking for an alternative to the classic green, plastic grass that we see in our Easter baskets every year, you’ll be happy to know that there are many other options. Here are some of our favorites:
Hay/straw: You can use hay or straw for your Easter basket. It’s an inexpensive and renewable material that will make the perfect addition to any Easter egg hunt, and it looks great in photos too!
Crinkled Kraft Paper: Kraft paper is another great option for Easter grass. It’s lightweight, non-toxic, recyclable, and affordable too! We really like this crinkle paper because it’s dye-free, unbleached, and compostable too.
Pine Needles: If you happen to live somewhere with lots of pine trees (a little shout out to my friends in Georgia!), pine needles are a great sustainable option for filling your Easter baskets too. They are natural, biodegradable, environmentally friendly, and quite easy to find if you just step outside for a moment.
Corn Husks: Corn husks make a great alternative to traditional Easter grass too. They are biodegradable, eco-friendly, and can even be composted when you’re finished with them.
Fabric: You can also use fabric as an alternative to Easter grass. Fabric is lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to find at your local craft store. And you probably have some laying around your house that isn’t in use. Try using old sheets or tablecloths, and cut them into long strips for Easter basket filling or use fabric remnants to create a fabric basket of your own.
Recycled Wrapping Paper: If you don’t want to use hay, straw, corn husks, fabric, or other biodegradable materials for your Easter grass this holiday, recyclable wrapping paper works great too!
Paper: Paper is another great option for filling Easter baskets. You can use origami paper, newspaper clippings, scrapbook paper – really anything goes here.
Real Grass: Real grass is an awesome option for Easter basket filler. You can grow real grass yourself by ordering wheatgrass seed online or getting it at a local nursery. Just make sure to give yourself 7-10 days, so it grows long enough before Easter morning. (Here’s a great tutorial.) We love this option because it also teaches kids a little bit of science (and patience too).
Don’t Use Easter Grass At All: If you’re looking for a completely Earth-friendly option, you can skip Easter grass altogether. I promise, all of the Easter eggs and goodies will still fit in your Easter basket… even without grass. Actually, they’ll probably fit better!
Eco-Friendly Easter Eggs
Use Real Eggs
If you like to dye boiled eggs at Easter time, the easiest way to create an eco-friendly Easter egg is by using all-natural dyes. Red onion skins, turmeric, cabbage, beets, and coffee will all produce rich colors for your eggs (and keep toxic dyes out!).
If you don’t have the time to make your own dyes, we really like the dye kit from Eco-Kids too. These dyes are made from all-natural fruit and vegetable extracts, so you can feel safe allowing your kids to eat the eggs after you dye them. This kit actually comes with grass seeds too, so you can grow your own grass instead of using plastic Easter grass.
Remember to choose organic pasture-raised eggs when possible. Your local farmer’s market probably has a great selection of eggs from happy chickens that roamed the fields and had plenty of access to grass, bugs, and sunshine. Now that’s something we can feel good about!
Reuse Last Year’s Plastic Eggs
Plastic eggs are a part of Easter traditions all around the world. Plastic eggs make great toys, are fun to decorate, and are beautiful when filled with Easter candy or treats. However, these plastic eggs are typically only used once before they’re disposed of. Instead of throwing them out, reuse them!
Check Your Local “Buy Nothing” Group for Used Easter Eggs
Reusing plastic eggs is a great way to help the environment. You can even try asking your neighbors or looking into your local “Buy Nothing” Facebook group for used Easter eggs before you buy anything new.
As an added bonus, reusing plastic eggs saves money too! Buying brand new plastic Easter eggs every year can be expensive year-after-year. Reusing plastic eggs from year to year is a great way to save money while still enjoying your Easter traditions.
Use wooden eggs
We absolutely love these hollow wooden eggs from Etsy. You can use them as-is, or take your time and paint a beautiful design on the egg. These look gorgeous when put into a traditional Easter grass basket, and they are hollow on the inside so you can slip your favorite little treats inside.
If you’re participating in a large Easter egg hunt and you need to buy traditional plastic eggs (and can’t find them used), Eco-Eggs are the way to go. These eggs are plant-derived (non-petroleum) and 100% compostable!
Reuse Everything Next Year
Whether you’re purchasing everything new or buying it used, find a place to store it all so you can reuse it next year. Reusing last year’s items will be much easier on your wallet and the environment, and your kids won’t care if they have the same Easter basket year-after-year. In fact, it will become a sweet tradition!
Fair Trade Eco-Friendly Treats for Your Easter Baskets
If you like to put food and candy treats in your kids Easter eggs, be sure to buy organic and fair trade items when possible. We like purchasing candy from Thrive Market because you can sort everything by value and specifically If you like to put food and candy treats in your kids Easter eggs, be sure to buy organic and fair trade items when possible. We like purchasing candy from Thrive Market because you can sort everything by value and specifically look for fair trade certified items. If you don’t already have a Thrive Market membership, you can get an additional percentage off of your first purchase too!
Here are some of our favorite fair trade Easter treats:
Unreal makes a few different kinds of candies, including delicious dark chocolate coconut bars (a personal fave!) and yummy peanut butter cups. They’re all individually-wrapped, so they’ll be great for a community or school egg hunt. And you can get a little custom variety pack of Unreal candy if you want to switch things up.
Unreal’s candy is all made with organic, fair trade ingredients that are sustainably-sourced, and they pay premiums to farmers to make sure they’re paid fairly for their work.
Warning: You may find yourself sneaking into the Easter candy a little more often!
Wholesome Organic Cinnamon Bears
These authentic cinnamon candies are made with natural cinnamon, and they taste delicious! Wholesome skips out on adding corn syrup and colors their bears with natural plant extracts that are safe and non-toxic.
They are not in individual packages though, so it’s best to use these if you’re doing a small egg hunt with just a few friends and family members.
Lily’s Sweets Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
If your kids love a good peanut butter cup, this pack of individually-wrapped candies from Lily’s Sweets will be right up their alley! They’ll love the taste, and you’ll love that they aren’t packed with a bunch of added sugar.
Plus, like the other treats on this list, Lily’s Sweets uses fair trade ingredients that you can feel good about. The brand also makes a dark chocolate version that you may love even more!
Ocho Organic Caramel Minis
If your kids love chocolate and caramel, these organic treats from Ocho will be a big hit. They come in individually-wrapped packages so you can fill small plastic eggs or Easter baskets. Each one is rich and buttery, and they’re all non-GMO and gluten-free!
As parents, we have the opportunity to teach our kids about fair trade. They’re learning from us every day, so be sure to tell them why you choose to only buy Fair Trade treats at Easter time. A great way to do that is by sending your child on a mission: ask them to go around and collect all of their Easter eggs, then have them check the treats inside each egg for a Fair Trade certified label. When you’re done, ask your child how it made them feel to know that they were supporting people around the world.
This works best if your kids are younger and still learning about fair trade. It can be a very effective way to spark discussions with children of all ages and really demonstrate the importance of choosing Fair Trade items.
What Can I Put In My Easter Basket Instead of Candy?
A lot of parents are looking for ways to make their kids Easter baskets a little more eco-friendly without a bunch of sugary sweets. So instead of filling your child’s basket with sugar-packed treats, consider swapping them out for some fun, eco-friendly items like:
- Non-Toxic Toys
- Sidewalk chalk
- Seeds for a family-friendly gardening activity
You can also check out our sustainable stocking stuffer guide for more Easter basket ideas!
Remember to utilize your local thrift stores and neighborhood buy, sell, trade pages to get things second-hand when you can. This will make Easter more economical and eco-friendly to boot.
Easter Egg FAQs
Are Plastic Easter Eggs Toxic?
Easter eggs are usually made of cheap plastic that typically contains BPA (read more about BPA), and some research has shown that they may sometimes contain hazardous levels of lead as well.
Can I Recycle Plastic Eggs At My Curbside?
Unfortunately, no. Plastic eggs are not recyclable in most curbside programs in the U.S.. But you should check with your local recycling center to be sure.
That being said, you can DONATE or reuse your plastic easter eggs, which is better for the environment than recycling them anyway!
And if you’re crafty, here are some simple DIY projects to do with leftover Easter eggs so you can use them all year long:
Are Easter Eggs Biodegradable?
Easter eggs are NOT biodegradable. They’re typically made of cheap plastic that takes a very long time to break down in landfills, if at all. So it’s best to reuse your Easter eggs or donate them so others can reuse them instead of throwing them away after just one use!