Sometimes, I really wish I were a kid again. Every holiday seems to come with endless opportunities to binge on candy! We still have gobs of candy left over from Halloween, Valentine’s Day and countless birthday parties and events at my daughter’s school. So this year, I wanted to make a different kind of Easter basket.
In keeping with my general lifestyle, I wanted the basket to be as green as possible. This meant giving items that would actually be used and/or consumed, stuff that my daughter needs and items that can be reused. Here’s how I approached the basket:
Choose sustainable products
I started with a $2 bamboo basket from Walmart. Bamboo because it is renewable, and we can definitely keep the basket around for future Easters (plus she can use it during the Easter egg hunts we plan to attend).
I initially intended to fill it with real grass grown from the plethora of seed packets we have laying around the house. But I decided to do that a little too late, so the grass hasn’t really sprouted yet. Oh well. Now I know what to do next year. Instead, I chose pink Easter “grass” from Walmart that is actually just recycled paper. The paper from my own shredder wasn’t quite as festive, and I know I can recycle this later, or put it aside to use it again next year.
No Easter basket is complete without at least a little candy, but I didn’t want to go overboard. I included a Green & Blacks Organic Chocolate Bar and some Yummy Earth Organic Vitamin C lollipops. The latter may not sound like much of a treat, but they are deceptively delicious! Even my husband and I indulge in them from time to time 🙂
Choose items you need
We’re planning a family trip very soon, and we plan to take a family photo. We’re all supposed to dress in blue and white, and these are colors that don’t appear often in my daughter’s wardrobe. I avoid white like the plague when shopping for my 5-year-old, because I know it won’t stay white for long. Since I needed to make an exception in this case, I chose to add a couple of pieces of clothing to her basket: A pair of organic cotton blend jeans and a couple of 100% cotton shirts. It helps that Walmart is one of very stores locally that carry organic cotton kids’ clothing. Much of their Faded Glory kids’ clothing line is made with organic cotton — although I’ve been disappointed to notice that lately, it seems Faded Glory is switching back to conventional cotton. I hope that’s just temporary.
Anyway, I am also very careful about the skin care products my daughter uses. So I included a bar of my favorite soap from Nostalgia Organics (and not a moment to soon, since her current bar of soap is almost gone).
Choose items you can enjoy together
Rather than a bunch of “stuff,” I wanted to include a fun activity (or several) for us to enjoy as a family. Last summer, the whole family went to an outdoor movie in the town square. It was the Little Rascals. Not exactly the latest in family comedy, but my daughter really enjoyed it. So when I spotted a copy of the movie at Walmart for $5, I knew I wanted to include it. And what’s a movie without popcorn, right? So I also included a couple mini bags of Orville Redenbacher’s natural popcorn.
I also created a fun Love Coupon book in the Easter basket. We love taking part in family activities like picnics in the park, games of hopscotch, playing with dolls and even driving go karts at a local park. My daughter is also a huge fan of cuddling with my husband and I at bedtime. While we very rarely let her sleep in our bed, on occasion, we’ll let her get away with it. So I included fun activities and a couple of “sleep in Mommy & Daddy’s bed” coupons that she can cash in whenever she feels the need.
If you’d like to make your own, download the free love coupon matchbook template! You can also download it by clicking the image above. The PDF template includes a couple of blank coupons that you can fill in as you see fit, and instructions on putting it together. NOTE: The cover is best printed on cardstock.
Final tip: Everything doesn’t have to be green
I used to be one of those people who would try to go green all the way. I wanted EVERYTHING I bought to be sustainable. I quickly learned that while that’s an admirable goal, its not always attainable. So I go as far as I can and give myself a little wiggle room.
So while my idea of “good” candy is organic chocolate, I realize that my daughter might want some “regular” candy. So I included a couple of candy eggs containing Skittles and Reese’s Pieces.
Also, my daughter has a thing for colorful socks, so I added a few pairs of fun Easter-themed socks to the basket. They are made of polyester, but I figure her toes will get over it.
So what about you? If you celebrate Easter, do you plan to make your own basket, or buy a pre-made basket? Is it important to you that it be eco-friendly? I’d love to hear what you think!
Disclosure: I am a member of the Walmart Moms program. Walmart has provided me with compensation to share my plans to make an eco-friendly Easter basket. Participation is voluntary and as usual, all opinions are my own.