Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Recycle Day 1, 2015, or why is Easter not green?

At the risk of repeating myself, I've said this before: for being so green, Easter isn't really green at all.  Now I realize I should be sharing this post for Second on the 2nd, but I only had one photo and you couldn't really make it out.  So, please put up with my antics while I share my thoughts with you.

What do I mean by Easter not being green?  Easter celebrates a rebirth, time for renewal, time for spring. It often occurs around the time we celebrate Earth Day, too. So why is it, you ask, that it’s one of the most UN-green holidays ever? Plastic, plastic, plastic.

In case you’ve never celebrated an Earth Day, or have never heard about recycling, plastic is a petroleum product. It lives simply forever in the landfill. On a larger scale, it’s the material that wars have been fought over, especially those in my lifetime. 

Supplies: Plastic Easter Eggs and Napkins

Plastic has taken over the Easter industry. There’s probably more plastic sold, then disposed of at Easter than at Christmastime, although I have no statistics to support that. Granted, even though I don’t have kids, I can see what is being sold in the stores: plastic baskets wrapped in cellophane or plastic, loaded with plastic eggs and individual chocolate bunnies wrapped in hard plastic, sitting atop plastic grass in various colors.  Even Peeps, those disgusting marshmallow confectioneries sold in the United States and Canada, shaped like chickens and bunnies, come wrapped in plastic.

Am I a cynic? No. I love Easter. It even lands on my birthday on occasion. But parents need to indulge their children in a very different way using only recycled or eco-friendly materials to celebrate this holiday which will also provide a great teaching moment.

However, if you have some of these ugly eggs, here's a way you can use them to your advantage.  BTW, I got mine at a garage sale years and years and years ago.

Although my plastic eggs are very old, I have observed two types.  One type snaps together in two parts, and one type is fused together, like the one above.  This is a single egg that snaps shut, while the other type snaps apart into two pieces.  I'm not describing this too well, I'm sure, but you don't want this one.  You want the egg that comes apart into two pieces.

Now that you've chosen your plastic egg, pull a napkin of your choice apart.  There will be three layers, so be sure to use only the top layer.

Once your napkin is apart, turn it over and cut it in a circle.  Cover the egg with the glue of your choice.  I prefer white PVA glue which helps the napkin shrink and fit perfectly on the egg, while sealing the entire assembly.  When dry, you can even stamp on your egg(s).

Try not to press too hard, because the napkins are fragile and will tear apart, like mine did.  However, since the egg color and the napkin colors were compatible, once the glue was dried, my error didn't show as badly. 

Once dry, place your egg in your Easter basket and make about a dozen more!

While I make a few more of these, let’s look at some of the worse plastic Easter offenders.

1. Plastic Easter baskets. Alternative: buy natural fiber baskets at the thrift store, or dig out one you’ve had for years like I did.

2. Cellophane or plastic wrapped Easter gift baskets. Alternative: consider wrapping your Easter basket using tissue or other eco-friendly materials. Or, leave it unwrapped if it doesn't have far to travel to reach the recipient.

3. Candy goodies wrapped in plastic to go in the plastic baskets. Alternative: dye real eggs using natural dyes with your kids and hide them in the baskets or outdoors early on Easter morning. Instead of buying the pre-made chocolate bunnies, why not buy a bar or two of your (or your kids) favorite chocolate and cover with various bunny stickers or rubber stamped images.

4. Plastic grass. Alternative: Use your paper shredder to make recyclable grass. When Easter is over, put the shredded paper in your compost pile or around the base of your plants. Don't leave it in your basket, because it might attract varmints or critters. If you have plastic grass, be sure to either dispose of it quickly and responsibly so pets (like curious cats, dogs, or birds) don't get into it and accidentally digest it, or do as I do, wrap your basket filled with the grass (probably purchased in the 80s) in a large kitchen trash bag that you keep from year to year.  Never dispose of it so birds can get it. They will be attracted to it to use in their nests.

4. Plastic eggs.  Alternative: Here's a look at some I've made in previous years.

I hope you find some lovely napkins to recycle your ugly offensive plastic eggs this year and turn Easter into a genuine green holiday! 

This is Day 1 of 22, where I recycled an ugly plastic egg into a work of art, recycled a photo from a previous year, and explained ways you can turn Easter into a green holiday.  Here's to a green and happy Easter to one and all who celebrate it.

16 thoughtful remarks:

Nan G said...

Happy Easter, E! Looks like it will be a very green holiday at your house. Love your recycled plastic eggs. I'm having technical difficulties , like I'm locked out of Blogger. Hope to be back on line soon. Hugs to all from all us Girls on a gorgeous warm spring morning.

see you there! said...

I like your earth friendly Easter ideas. I remember as a child there was little if any plastic. We received a basket with a few foil wrapped candies and then the Easter Egg Hunt took place and the eggs we found filled the rest of the basket.


Craftymoose Crafts said...

I echo what Darla said--I remember most chocolate being wrapped in foil. Some of the high end brands still are, buy you have to search them out.

(Don't know if you saw the message I left on your last AB post about the wood K tiles. Don't mean to be a pest, but I hate to assume. No problem if you don't need or want them.)

johanna said...

good idea! sometimes that plastic stuff really wins by covering it with napkins or paint. well done!

i´m going through my blog now for tomorrow´s challenge...

Halle said...

We save our plastic eggs from year to year. I don't think I bought any since the kids were little tikes. We also save the baskets...they get the same one every year. When they were little we'd exchange them with the grandparents but the bunny was out of the basket pretty early for our kids. :)

massofhair said...

Loving your Easter basket Elizabeth, great idea to recycle anything plastic if possible. Loving the facts, once again getting an education by visiting your wonderful blog :-) xxx

Divers and Sundry said...

Like Halle, we re-use everything year to year. We've bought new items as the family grew, but otherwise I'm still using Eater basket things I had when I was little. I love your idea for dressing up the plastic eggs. Pretty!

jinxxxygirl said...

I haven't had little kids for Easter for years .... after reading your post i realized we were pretty green about without really thinking about being green.. lol .. We used the same basket year after year.. Never did buy those plastic eggs.. I always considered them the easy way out.. lol We colored real eggs and i would hide them.. We did use the plastic grass but then it was stored with the basket and used year after year.. We are such a throw away society Elizabeth.. this is a good reminder... Sometimes we just need to think of how our parents and grandparent did things and most of the time that is the greener way.. Hugs! deb

Caterina Giglio said...

oh, heavens, I only buy real eggs and dye them with onions and blueberries and beets.. and of course we have lilies!! no plastic at la dolce vita!! Happy Easter!

pearshapedcrafting said...

I suppose we must have them here but I still have some Papier Mache ones from when my boys were younger! We give the grandchildren eggs wrapped in foil! Commenting may be sparse for a while as we are off to our caravan tomorrow with family coming up too - lots of outings - will try to remember to take lots of photos!! Happy Easter if I don't get back until next week!!! Hugs, Chrisx

massofhair said...

Hi Elizabeth in response to your comment on my calendar page, the idea is to take an old calendar and alter it to the different techniques that Darcy asks you to try that particular month. I put the info at the top of the page and the techniques for May at the bottom of the blog post, hope this helps.

My pages are no better than yours just different techniques used.

Big Hugs
Mo :-) xxx

Rita said...

Those are some great alternatives. I agree that Easter should be more green...and all the rest of the days, too. :):) What a beautiful basket! Happy Easter!!

dawn said...

I always like your sharing about green on Easter, great tips!

I did post a second look on the second, hope you are doing yours and I can link up. If not, no worries, maybe you could look at it.
Happy Easter if I don't see you before then.

Aiyana Kalyna said...

Your basket is one of the prettiest Easter baskets I have ever seen. I really loved your post about plastic, plastic, plastic. :) I have been reading your blog for quite awhile now and even went through the archives. Your Bearthday posts are one of my favorites. I am a green girl too.

~*~Patty S said...

What a pretty basket full of your special eggs E!
We have plastic eggs from when our boys were wee little lads. Sometimes I shake my head at how long we hang on to things.
Great ideas for recycling which is something near and dear to my heart too.
Happy April
Happy Spring
Happy Happy Everything including your upcoming birthday!!!

Dianne said...

I love your eggs!...much more beautiful than the ugly plastic ones...and of course love the vintage basket too ♥

Yes, please do put my Cottonwood Counterfeit Journal link in your sidebar...thanks for asking! day two is up. I will try to 'extend' the mystery until later in the month as to who my character is. Keep guessing! :)