With Earth Day (April 22) falling right in the lap of Easter (April 24, 2011) this year, I’m thinking of nixing the traditional basket filler and tucking in goodies that encourage an appreciation of nature. I’m pretty confident my outdoorsy, totally-curious-about-the-world 4-year old son will love it.
Reducing by Reusing
It really surprises me to learn that lots of folks trash their baskets after Easter. Think of all of those sad, pastel baskets sitting in landfills for eons – discarded and forgotten. And don’t get me started on those (soulless) cellophane wrapped pre-filled baskets you see in big box stores! The Easter Bunny is way more creative and nature-conscious than that.
Growing up, my brother and I always reused the same baskets year after year. Lots of memories tied to those baskets! It was like seeing an old friend when my parents would pull my basket out of the attic each spring. Believe it or not, my mom also saved and reused our Easter basket grass from year to year. Her reasoning was rooted in saving money and getting the most use out of everything. My mom’s example fits right in to my environmental outlook on life (not to mention my budget). I bought a sturdy natural woven basket and a couple of bundles of green recycled paper grass for my son’s first Easter – and – four years later, we are still making holiday memories with them.
Gifts that last
As I set out shopping to help the Easter Bunny find gifts to fill my child’s basket, I noticed that some stores set out a dizzying array of disposable trinkets as filler for baskets. The Easter-specific toys I spied seemed like they’d last a week before breaking. Needless to say, I was uninspired.
With Earth Day in mind, I aimed to seek out items that would be fun, useful and encourage our kid to get outside and commune with nature. Here are some of the ideas I thought up; share yours too – I still have some room to fill.
Books about bugs, butterflies, birds can open up a young one’s eyes to the importance of conservation.
Springtime is a good time to replenish art supplies – a quality sketchpad and colored pencils could help a young artist to bloom.
A colorful water bottle can keep your kid hydrated and keep plastic out of landfills.
Encourage your young one to dig nature by tucking a few flower, herb or vegetable seed packets into their basket.
Look for organic, all-natural sweets made with ingredients sourced with care. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Endangered Species Chocolate’s Easter Collections. *smile* Chocolate that not only tastes indulgent – it funds species conservation, promotes fair trade and encourages sustainable cacao farming.
Comment below and tell us how you green up Easter! Or add other eco-minded Easter basket ideas to our list.
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