I’ve been checking out some other blogs to see what they have to say about greening up Easter. It’s what you’d expect – recycled baskets, naturally-dyed eggs, healthier candy or non-candy gifts, and alternatives to fake, plastic grass. While there are many variations of these ideas I noticed that in the comments to these blogs there is one stand-out theme that eclipses them all. Tradition.
Parents remember with fondness what their parents did for Easter. Some got candy, some got a new dress and shoes, some got a toothbrush and toys, and some got books and then spent the day reading as a family. Different experiences but still something they looked forward to every year and loved. The point is it really doesn’t matter that much what you choose to give your kids (or if you give them anything). Holidays are about creating family traditions and making memories.
I remember I was the one in my family that tried the hardest to keep family traditions going. (One year someone brought up the idea of buying a different type of Christmas tree and I scolded them for wanting to stray from tradition.) Family traditions are something that kids can hold on to when parents split. It’s a reality that some moms and dads don’t stay together but if you’ve built up some nice family traditions and can keep those going after the split, the kids’ lives will be disturbed less. Even as a grown adult, I feel happier around the holidays when there’s a family tradition to look forward to.
As a country that has been referred to as a “melting pot,” we don’t have strong unifying cultural traditions. Customs have been watered down and replaced with commercial versions telling us to buy buy buy. This message makes it even harder to be green. Faced with a choice between searching for green commercial options, having to order online (denying you that fun shopping experience), having to make it yourself (unless you’re doing this with your kids who has time?), or having to spend extra time looking for second hand items can leave you frustrated and overwhelmed. Sometimes those savvy marketing pros get us with their cute ads and cute packaging. We’re only human after all.
What we need is a culture shift. But we can start with a shift of our own. First, if you set up a tradition that you repeat every year, then you’re not recreating the wheel every time. That equals less stress and makes it easier to be green. Second, keep in mind the simple yet perfectly appropriate mantra Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. If that’s always in the back of our minds we’ll make green decisions more naturally. For Easter, why not REDUCE packaging and throw-away items in place of things you can REUSE every year and things that will get consumed. If you have to buy something that will end up as waste, try to make sure it’s RECYCLABLE.
Since for many people Easter means Easter baskets filled with goodies and dying eggs here are a few suggestions for greening it up:
I for one always loved getting a chocolate bunny for Easter. Candy is fun for kids but if you want to avoid high fructose corn syrup or have a kid with allergies, check out these options:
Natural Candy Store
Whole and Natural
Sugar coated Organics
If you have a basket you need to fill with grass and want to avoid the plastic stuff, try wheat grass (grow your own or purchase from a health food store) or if you have colored plastic bags lying around, cut them up.
Baskets can be like Christmas stockings for kids. But instead of buying a ready-made basket from who-knows-what material, you could make one or let your child make his/her own. There are lots of examples online. If you’re going to buy one, try to find one made with sustainable materials that you’ll reuse every year.
GIFTS, DECORATIONS, AND MORE
I discovered this great catalog for all sorts of interesting Easter things.
The Green Mama team would love to hear what your family does for Easter – whether traditions or green consumption choices.
Posted by Green Mama contributer: Kari