Remembering back to childhood and thinking about all the Easter egg hunts over the years, one thing really stands out now, they were full of plastic! The plastic eggs with little plastic trinkets in them, the plastic grass in the plastic baskets. And the candies coveted so much by youngsters were all wrapped in plastic.
When the realization of this incredibly unnecessary use of plastic set in, the lightbulb went on and the glaring opportunity to take action and enjoy a plastic-free Easter this year became clear. So, we took a look at some of the biggest plastic offenders and did some "hunting" for plastic-free Easter alternatives.
The Easter Basket:
Plastic Easter baskets come in all shapes and colors but there are a number of other materials that will make less of an impact and do the job of holding the loot just as well. Aim for baskets that are made from natural materials like wicker, wood, bamboo, and even fabric baskets are all good alternatives.
The Easter Grass:
There are many reasons to skip the plastic Easter grass this year. One is that it lasts almost forever in a landfill. Two, the wayward strands are often found and used by birds as nesting materials where it can injure and even kill baby birds and possibly the parents, too. Three, it is extremely dangerous to household pets who may ingest it potentially causing blockages and cuts in the intestines. Just do a little checking online, you can find more sustainable versions made of recycled/shredded paper, raffia, wood fibers, or real straw.
If all your eggs are real and dyed with food-based coloring, this may not pertain to you. But, if the plastic version has been a part of the hunt in the past, why not try ones that are made of paper? There are a couple of versions available that break in half just like the plastic ones and you can decorate them any way you would like. Also, maybe wooden eggs? Sure they aren't edible but they can be used over and over again. There are also felt versions with buttons so you can still hide the "good stuff" in them. It just takes a little bit of planning but you can have just as much fun with these alternatives.
The Candies (or not):
Easter ranks second only to Halloween for the amount of candy that is consumed. If you choose to go the traditional route with the tasty treats, try to choose the kind you can buy in bulk and not the ones that are individually wrapped, especially if it's in plastic. And stay away from the plastic candy dispensers, the useful time of these last about as long as the candy itself and forever in the environment.
Going in another direction, you can choose things like coins, toy cars for the boys, hair accessories for the girls, and card games. Another great idea is to do a themed Easter basket and only put in things that are relevant. Try a Sports basket, or whatever your child's favorite hobby is. Maybe a Movie Night basket or Camping basket. How about a Coupon basket that your child can "redeem" throughout the year for things like "kid's choose dinner" or "no chores day." It is all in the creativity.
So, the real point of this exercise is just to show you that because things have been a certain way forever, it doesn't mean that you can't change. Easter is just one example of an opportunity to rethink the way we look at plastic and how we can cut back on it whenever possible. Little steps in the right direction eventually lead to significant change if everyone adopts a different outlook and acts on that new viewpoint.
Don't forget to leave a comment below to let us know about how you plan to celebrate a plastic-free Easter. Also, head on over to our Discover 4ocean Facebook Group and make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay up to date on all things 4ocean!