10 Ways to Green the Easter Bunny
Do your bit for Mother Nature (and all the bunnies!) by making this Easter an eco-friendly one. These 10 tips couldn’t be easier, and will get the whole family thinking green.
Dye Easter Eggs Naturally
Boil your eggs in water, vinegar, and natural dyes instead of petroleum-based ones. Red beets, black coffee, yellow turmeric, spinach, grape juice, and blueberries are all ingredients you may already have in your cupboard. Curbly DIY has a really fun and easy to follow instructional video on how to create your own organic dye. There are also plenty of recipes to be found on the Internet.
Spring Surprises on the Family
Young children will love hunting for eco art supplies, nontoxic toys, or bunny puzzles. Hemp clothing, bike chain picture frames or recycled-rubber handbags are appreciated by older kids – and even adults! Winnipeg-based Botancial Paperworks sells Easter crosses and cards made from seed paper for springtime planting.
Go For “Green” Eggs
Free-run, free-range and organic eggs aren’t necessarily healthier, say the Manitoba Egg Producers, but they’re easier on the environment. Select white organic eggs, since they’re as nutritious as brown ones but easier to dye. Enjoy visiting a local farm or farmers market for fresh eggs – and be sure to ask if you’re buying organic.
Use Alternative Easter Baskets
Book bags, bicycle helmets or toy dump trucks are eco-friendly twists on the traditional plastic baskets. Anything you already have on hand or can use later is much easier on the environment and your wallet. Or, make your own velvet or silk Easter bags from old clothes.
Hide Healthy Treats
Miniature muffins, dried pineapple, yogurt covered raisins, trail mix and reduced-sugar granola bars are kid-friendly favourites. Buy organic or make your own to reduce packaging and pollution. Limit (or eliminate) refined white sugar products, which are often processed at plants that damage the environment. Local health food and mainstream stores sell nutritious green goodies.
Choose Chocolate Carefully
“Buy fair trade, organic chocolate because regular chocolate production is notorious for child slave labour, pesticide use, and giving less back to the communities and families that farm cocoa,” says biologist Patrick Walshe. Look for organic chocolate in your area, such as Equita Fair Trade Chocolate or Green and Black’s Organic Easter Eggs, available at health-food stores and local grocery stores.
Plant a Tree in Your Yard or Park
Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, founder of the Green Belt Movement encourages people around the world to plant a tree at Easter to symbolize renewal. To include tree-planting in the Easter egg hunt, buy seedlings from your local greenhouse or florist and hide them for your kids to find.
Green Your Easter Dinner
Arrange carpools to reduce pollution, lower the heat before the guests arrive (bodies create warmth), and enjoy the natural light of beeswax candles. If you’re using disposable dishes, avoid plastic, Styrofoam or even certain paper products (paper isn’t eco-friendly if it’s coated with petroleum-based wax). Biodegradable, disposable dishes can be found at most organic and health food stores.
Go For Organic Decor
Organic Easter lilies or tulips, potted herbs, and small branches from your own backyard are environmentally friendly and often easier on your wallet. Shop at local florists or greenhouses to keep your money in the economy and reduce the need for long-distance trucking or shipping. Ask them to order your fair trade, organic flowers for you or visit Organic Bouquet to order online.
Combine Classic and Contemporary Recipes
“One of the best things we can do for the environment is to eat local,” says Ronda Murdock owner/operator of Pacific Rainforest Adventure Tours. Serve your traditional ham with unique recipes using seasonal ingredients. Vegetarian cabbage rolls and wild rice salad make great companion dishes.