Eggs have long been a symbol Easter; in Christianity, they have traditionally been associated with Jesus rising from the grave, as a live bird hatches from an egg shell, which resembles the stone of a tomb. Suggestions abound for what to do with plastic Easter eggs after you’ve used them for an Easter egg hunt. But instead of having to worry about recycling a pile of multicolored plastic egg halves (which have been linked to lead paint) what about not using any real ones at all? Too many hard boiled real eggs, turned pinks and purple and yellow after a dip in a vinegary dye, simply end up in the garbage and as landfill.
Not that (should you celebrate Easter) you must forget about the tradition of holding a hunt! Here are five ways to have an egg-free, plastic-free Easter “egg” hunt:
1. Carrots Aren’t Just For Rabbits
Besides eggs, there are other symbols of Easter such as, of course, rabbits. How about a hunt for carrots or even some egg-shaped vegetables (radishes)? (Admittedly, the disadvantage or advantage, of hiding these sorts of items outside is that other creatures could get them to first, beyond anyone doing the hunting.)
2. Compostable Corn Eggs
There are a number of eco-alternative to real eggs, including some colorful ones made from 100 percent corn that can be composted in an industrial compost facility after use. One parent isn’t so sure about how entirely biodegradable these are, though.
3. Wooden Eggs
Non-toxic wooden eggs come au naturel, waiting to be painted and decorated; others are already painted in rainbow hues. One big advantage over the real ones is that wooden ones can be reused year after year and, when it’s not Easter, used in a little one’s pretend play.
4. Felt, Cloth and Knitted Eggs
5. Bake Your Own!
Another option is to bake cookies (here’s a gluten-free recipe), cupcakes (here’s a gluten-free, dairy-free recipe) or other treats in egg (and other Easter-y) shapes — though using these in your Easter egg hunt means that you might be providing a snack for some wild creatures (and for those doing the hunting).
Easter has come to be as much associated with candy, chocolate and baskets full of bright green cellophane grass. All of these holiday treats generate tons of waste, especially big chocolatey sugary eggs packaged in excessive amounts of plastic and cardboard, the better to keep their decorations pristine.
Easter this year falls just after the start of spring. In the spirit of renewal and in celebration of the earth, why not make your Easter celebration full of reusables and truly green?
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