It's that time of year and Spring/Ostara/Easter baskets have lined the shelves for weeks now. Plastic eggs are being purchased by the millions, (billions?) with nary a thought to where they will end up (in the landfills, in the rivers, in the oceans).
I'm no saint when it comes to living green, but there are some things that come more easily to me than others. This is one of those things. Leaving the plastic eggs at the store is not at all hard, especially since there are loads of other options. No guilt if you have already bought them, but never fear, there are solutions!
1) If you have them from years before or have just bought them, don't get stuck. Just DON'T BUY MORE, and USE THE ONES YOU HAVE. FOREVER! Offer them on Freecycle when you are done with them, and make a note of what year you purchased them so that others know if it was before or after the big "lead in toys scare," and keep them out of the landfill. Finding a specific person to give them to is better than donating them to a resale shop where they may or may not have value.
2) Try making paper-mache eggs. That's what we are doing and Lusa Organics has a great tutorial for them. This took us a while for the first stage, but Jetta was singing the praise about it the whole time we did it. Thanks to Lusa Organics for such a wonderful tutorial! But please make note: if you use a balloon for every egg, what happens to the balloon when you are done? That's right. It GOES INTO THE LANDFILL. Don't use a balloon. The Lusa Organics tutorial provides other options.
3) Make sewn, wool felt eggs. Remember, the felt has to be 100% wool in order for it to be natural. Poly-based felt and fabrics DO NOT DEGRADE. They are plastic in fabric form. Lusa Organics also has a great tutorial for this, but there are others. One Inch World has a more 3-dimensional version of this. Or you could support an Etsy shop and buy something like these, at I Dream in Green!
4) While we're talking about buying things, check out these beautiful wooden, fillable eggs. Pricey, but long lasting and definitely degradable!
5) You could try Eco Eggs, a non-petroleum plastic egg that is, according to their site, compostable. If you have to have something that looks like the plastic stuff, this would be the way to go.
6) Solid wooden eggs, easily purchased at your local craft store, can be decorated as you choose and used just like any other egg. You could have a trade-in for candy-- each color could trade for a different treat!
7) Eggs are the tradition, but these days, isn't candy the point? So why bother with eggs at all. Try this non-egg option, which is just as cute! Thanks Eve of Reduction for your clever idea! Cooking with My Kid has another version of this that is wrapped in tissue paper. Just as cute, but make sure you use upcycled paper to wrap it and don't fill it with plastic toys or it defeats the purpose!
8) My favorite, which is a pretty darn good standby, is, simply, to use real eggs. And then you could, ya know, eat them. Chocolate can still go in the basket, or you could trade them in for goodies (no plastic!) and then still have some nutrition at some point!
What are you doing this year to make your egg hunting eco-friendly?