Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Part 2 - A Green Easter

As I recently mentioned, I am one of THOSE people right now, so naturally I decided the Easter Bunny was going green this year. We hosted an Easter egg hunt and lunch for our friends and family at our new house, which meant I could impose my wonderful idea on everyone else as well.

Nothing terribly fascinating happened at the party (ok, maybe one slightly interesting thing, but that's not my story to tell) - we had a wonderful meal with wonderful people

Emerson and his little friend Keagan perfected their egg-hunting skills

the adults had a successful (albeit less competitive than in previous years) egg hunt for themselves; Robbie got an excuse to use a blowtorch in the process of glazing the ham; and he took home the egg-cracking game championship

I promised some people that I would share what green ideas I found, so here's a rundown of what I did:

(This blog had a lot of good suggestions)

For plastic eggs, I reused several from previous years as well as purchased a big bag of second-hand eggs from a thrift store that should give me enough to last a long time.

I purchased baskets from the Salvation Army for the kids and for decorations.

Instead of traditional candy, I opted for some organic fruit-based gummi bears and jelly beans from Whole Foods. While I missed my sweet sweet Peeps, the organic candy was incredibly good. I also filled some eggs with fun-size Fair Trade chocolate bars.

For the kids, I filled some of the eggs with candy and other eggs with a coupon for a prize. I chose some little inexpensive instruments from Ten Thousand Villages, reusable water bottles, stickers, and some re-gifted small toys. Other great ideas I've heard from parents recently include homemade bubbles, sidewalk chalk, pocket change, homemade play dough, homemade baked goods, etc.

For the adults, I tried a complex system that would have worked except some last-minute cancellations sort of threw the whole thing off. Basically everyone ended up going home with a small prize, which included things like: Natural Home magazine, seed packets, reusable grocery totes, large Fair Trade chocolate bars, natural soap, etc. The only non-green item was a bottle of Chocolate Stout, but I suppose if I hadn't run out of time I could have made that better by getting a local label.

For food, we bought mainly organic (I won't lie, the half ton of velvetta cheese in my mom's famous au gratin potatoes doesn't even qualify as real food much less organic, but it was for the sake of tradition). The best part was the ham, which we managed to find locally from a meat hawker at Eastern Market.

Today I was reminiscing with my mom over the phone about Easters past and she reminded me of a couple more ideas I'm going to try in the future. One was to dip a cut-out of a bunny paw print in brown or white washable paint and "walk" the prints up and down tile floors or cement walkways so it looks like the Easter Bunny truly did visit. I know I have friends who will consider this traumatizing and/or twisted, but my mom did it for me and my sister as kids and we thought it was amazing.

She also once made us biodegradable baskets by inflating a balloon and then wrapping a large ball of string around it until it was coated. Then she covered the whole thing with sugar water and let it harden. Like papier mache, she popped the balloon and then cut out a hole so it looked like a giant Easter egg that could be filled with candy and other goodies.

These ideas only reinforce two things I know about my mother:

She is very crafty
She never slept

I hope everyone had a wonderful Passover/Easter/Spring Solstice!
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Anonymous said...

Great ideas Cassi! I sent an Easter basket for Madeleine and according my SIL went crazy for the sidewalk chalk I sent. I found it in the $1 bin at Target! A local thrift store here has stuffed animals (certified that they are properly sanitized - which I like!) and they had an awesome selection for Easter. My mom used to make us homemade play dough - it was the coolest thing ever! Let me know if you want the recipe. Super simple.

Cassi's Mom said...

I feel exhausted just reading about all the stuff you do. You might feel at times that it just isn't worth it, but you're proof that your children will remember the special things you do. As for me being crafty, never underestimate the power of large groups of Mormon women trying to outdo each other in Relief Society meetings. I also got a lot more sleep than you do, I'll bet. Now I'm going out to sit on the deck and read "Ishmael".