I’m guessing there are at least one or two of you out there who still haven’t put together your child’s Easter goodies. Don’t fret — you still have time. Here are some ideas for Easter baskets that are inexpensive, environmentally friendly and perfect for last-minute planning.
Eco-friendly, last minute Easter baskets
If you don’t already, please reuse your child’s Easter basket from year to year. Just like a Christmas stocking, your child will appreciate the familiarity of his basket and look forward to seeing it filled on Easter morning.
If you’re in need of a basket this year, consider a few options:
- ask a friend or neighbor if they have an extra basket lying around that isn’t being used; you can offer to return it, but they’ll probably just let you keep it
- go “shopping” in your closets and attics for a basket you already own that’s collecting dust; even if it’s not in Easter colors, the goodies you put inside will make up for a dull looking basket
- think outside the basket — a galvanized metal flower pot, a straw hat, a decorated milk jug or coffee can would all make for great Easter baskets
- pop into a thrift store; I can’t tell you how many baskets I’ve seen in thrift stores and they’re almost always less than $1
- if you purchase a basket new, spend a few extra dollars for a quality basket; the longer it lasts, the more use your children (and maybe their children) will get out of it
Personally, I can’t stand traditional plastic Easter grass. But opinions aside, it makes a mess, it’s harmful to landfills and it’s a choking hazard to small children and pets. Consider something different this year.
Shredded paper. To make it colorful, shred the comics section of the newspaper, colorful advertising circulars or colored-on pages of your child’s coloring book.
Clothing or cloth. If one of your gifts is a new t-shirt, beach towel or something made of cloth, use it to line the bottom of the basket.
Candy. Ok, so not the healthiest option, but a big bag of jelly beans would create a nice lining at the bottom of a basket.
Nothing. This is my favorite. Let’s be honest, do kids really care about what lines their basket? Forget the filler altogether and just fill it with the good stuff.
When this time of year comes around, I can’t help but notice the over-abundance of cheapo plastic toys that line the shelves. And parents fall into the trap (I’ve been guilty of this too) of thinking more is better. Fill that basket up with as much candy and junk as it will fit! Instead, purchase just a few quality items (and yes, candy too) for your child’s basket. Again, the items will last longer and can be passed on to another child when they’re no longer of interest to yours.
As for candy, think about packaging when you purchase. I love a bag of mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups as much as the next person, but there is a lot of extra packaging waste as compared with a giant bag of jelly beans or Whoppers eggs.
Eggs: Plastic vs. Real
This is a tough one. To be honest, I’m not sure which one has a bigger environmental impact, but I have my guess. On the one hand, plastic eggs can be reused year after year, unless your dog chews one up or you inadvertently step on one (speaking from experience here). On the other hand, real eggs can be eaten (if they have only been out of the refrigerator for less than 2 hours) and they’re biodegradable. From a practical standpoint, both types of eggs require work. Real ones take time to decorate, plastic ones take time (and more money!) to fill them. If you plan to use plastic, here are a few economical ideas other than candy to fill them:
- pennies — a big hit with younger kids
- make coupons for getting out of a chore for a day or a special day with mom or dad
- stickers — chances are your child already has oodles of stickers; grab a few from her collection to fill some of the eggs
- dandelions or other treasures from nature (again, works well for younger kids)
Photo by daBinsi.