Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Green Easter

Easter is by far one of the easiest natural holidays to have. Kids love their Easter egg hunts, and some of us adults do too! What child doesn’t love having a basket to collect those brightly colored eggs in? And, we can’t forget the chocolate and candy. This Easter do it all in green style and make that Easter bunny proud.

First up, are those eggs. Approximately three hundred million of our egg-laying feathered friends are stuck in very small cages and poorly fed in order to produce the amount of eggs Americans eat every year. Thankfully, more and more farms are beginning to institute a cage free and more humane environment for chickens. When buying your eggs, keep this in mind and look for eggs that are labeled with any of the following; certified organic, cage-free, certified humane, free range or free roaming. Those words describe a much happier place for our chickens.

Now, dying those cage-free eggs with toxic dye defeats the purpose of a green Easter, so try natural dyes. It is quite simple and fun for your children to see too. Simply boil your eggs with a tablespoon of white vinegar and the following for various colors:

red - red onion skins or pomegranate juice
purple - red cabbage
yellow - carrot tops
green - spinach

While you are doing this you can eat a nice salad with your family made of these natural dye ingredients, and chuck those leftovers into your compost pile - an entirely natural Easter egg dying experience!

One last suggestion for the eggs, are to not use the average of two dozen eggs on Easter at all. Instead, knit or felt your eggs if you are crafty and pass them down as a family keepsake and tradition. Check out a Child’s Dream Come True online for their felt craft ideas which are all-natural and non-toxic for kids. Or follow in President Obama’s footsteps and use eggs that are Forest-Certified Council hardwood.

Second, the plastic Easter basket, used, bruised and thrown away each year into a landfill is not the only option. If you already have a sturdy plastic basket, reuse it. Other options include knitting a basket which your kids will love because it is nice and soft. Or, opt for the nice wooden basket in your home that holds your magazines all year. There is no reason why that basket can’t have multiple uses. Another idea is to use items that are in your garage for other purposes, such as that beach bucket waiting to come out and play before the summer arrives.

Lastly, only buy Fair Trade Certified chocolate for your children this Easter. There are estimated close to three hundred thousand child laborers making chocolate in horrendous working conditions. In order for us to help to ensure these practices stop we can choose to buy Fair Trade Certified chocolate only. Our purchasing power is our voice to shut down such unfair labor practices. Your children have the power to help other children.

Check out the Natural Candy Store online as well for natural and vegan candy for those kids, big and small, who need to have that sweet tooth satisfied by the Easter bunny.

An alternate to candy and chocolate altogether is to fill those Easter baskets with items your child will love. For example, fill the basket with art supplies, or with gardening tools. Kids Gardening online has a good variety of kid size gardening tools and this motivates your children to get outside and learn more about plants and flowers.

This Easter offer your children a holiday that teaches eco-friendly values, action, and tradition.