By Valerie Yoder:
Easter is a time to celebrate rebirth and renewal, to shake off the winter and awaken with a new sense of appreciation for the surrounding springtime beauty. In that spirit, my family and I have been seeking ways to have fun on Easter while remaining healthy as well as kind to Earth. Here are a few ideas we are mulling over for our Easter celebration this year:
Eco Egg Dyes
Natural Dyes, Fun and Easy To Make
Place your eggs in a saucepan, cover by at least an inch or two of water, and add a teaspoon of vinegar. Add 2-3 tablespoons of the vegetable or spice you are using and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer for a minute, then remove from the heat, cover, and let sit for 12 minutes. Rinse with cool water, or keep the eggs in the dying liquid and refrigerate overnight for more saturated colors.
Use onion skins or turmeric to make yellow dyes,chopped purple cabbage for blue/purple, beets for magenta, or liquid chlorophyll for green. You can also use berries, tea, wine, and coffee as well as tie-dye eggs by wrapping them with rubber bands before dying.
Plastic eggs are made of non-recyclable materials and often break after one year’s use. These basswood eggs are made from Tilia, a tree that is common and fast-growing. At $3.60 an egg, they are a bit of an initial investment, but after a few years of foregoing plastic eggs, they will pay for themselves. And as an added bonus, you can paint and decorate them with your kids.
Green Your Easter Basket
Instead of filling your child’s basket with toxic, plastic Easter basket grass, try making a sprouted wheat grass basket. Or use natural shredded tissue paper that can be composted after use. Choose baskets that can be repurposed throughout the year, such as sand pails or bamboo baskets that can later be used to hold fruit. Nix highly processed jelly beans and sugar-coated marshmallow peeps, and fill your child’s basket with these healthy, green options instead:
- seed packets
- homemade organic fruit leather
- organic jelly beans
- beeswax crayons
- healthy peanut butter oatmeal balls
- beeswax lip balm
- a new toothbrush & toothpaste
- eco-friendly bubbles
- a new bath toy or wooden toy
- a little stuffed animal or doll
Start a cleanse
Springtime has sprung, and by Easter most of us are itching to freshen up, enliven our spirits, and get outdoors. With that in mind, the idea of eating a huge, heavy Easter dinner seems a bit redundant after a long winter. Why not lighten it up a bit and use Easter as an excuse to clean out winter’s cobwebs? Prepare a healthy dinner of steamed veggies, hearty greens, brown rice, fermented sauerkraut or kimchee, and miso soup in preparation for the start of a cleanse. For a week, eat only those foods along with fresh juices, lemon water, and herbal teas. You’ll feel great!
Stage a Nature Scavenger Hunt
I came across this ingenious idea on a blog called I Am Momma: Hear Me Roar and instantly fell in love with it. Find nature bits and tape them (or her printout template) to the top of an empty egg carton, one for each child. They go on a hunt to find similar nature bits, which they store inside the egg carton. My family enjoys going on hikes on holidays, so I’ve been thinking of staging a little nature hunt for us in case we decide to go on a stroll through the woods.