Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate it.  At least it's Easter somewhere in the world.  For the second time today I'm sharing recycling tips, and this time it's by recycling or more precisely, reusing a previous post.  In fact, I'm recycling and reusing several posts.  You can tell because the photos were taken using my old camera.  Some of you may remember the one I talking about.

You know, the one you can't tell what anything was, even though this is obviously an egg.

Now I'm going to begin by saying that for being so green, Easter isn't really green at all.  What do I mean?  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 of, or thought 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 (and specifically) those in my lifetime.

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. Although 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.

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.

Let’s look at some of the worse plastic offenders.

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

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. Never dispose of it so birds can get it. They will be attracted to it to use in their nests. 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. 

4. Plastic eggs. Alternative: Below is my alternative while still using some of those offensive plastic eggs I got at a garage sale in the late 80s:

Still not a good photo, but you can at least tell these eggs were made by me.

I started with a plastic egg that I covered with gel medium.  Alternately, any good PVA (white) glue will work.   I then placed a piece of the first (top) ply of a three-ply napkin over the egg, then pressed the napkin firmly to and around the egg. 

Next, I added more gel medium.  The gel medium 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), as I did in the first photo above. I hope you find some lovely napkins to recycle your ugly offensive plastic eggs next year!

This is still Day 20, and, for my second post today, I not only recycled plastic eggs that I can use year after year by covering them with napkins, I also recycled (and reused) three previous posts.  Happy Easter to one and all who celebrate it.

9 thoughtful remarks:

Nan G said...

Nice recycling. ;) Have a wonderful day, Elizaabeth. Give Bleubeard a tickle round the ears from the Girls.

sandra de said...

Great recycling ideas, wishing you and bluebeard a wonderful easter.

dawn said...

Thank you for these tips, so true they are. I never thought about all the plastic being used on this day. I do reuse the plastic eggs each year and their plastic buckets. Some years it's been wooden baskets or something totally different. I do throw out the grass right away and have only wrapped their baskets a few times in plastic.
Thanks so much for pointing these out for us.


Corrine at said...

Great post Elizabeth....recycling is so much a part of our daily life we don't think about it, it's so natural. I think the part of your recycling message brought home to be is that recycling can be such a creative expression to show your kids that reuse makes something more special than something that comes fro a big box store. xox

Krisha said...

Very interesting, although I made it through the "kids" stage before everything became plastic. We hit the beginning of THAT stage, but I never cared for pre-made baskets. Oh yes, my boys always got MY favorite candy bars and one chocolate Easter Bunny.....LOL

Very Happy Easter to you and Bluebeard.

Jo Murray said...

Happy Easter...all good advice!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

It has been some time since I gave my daughter an Easter basket, but I always used the same one from year to year--same grass, too. At 21, a small piece of chocolate in a bag is usually her gift.

Happy Easter!

Halle said...

Thanks for the reminder...I was going to cover some of our eggs with book pages...or at least try. At least the Easter box hasn't been tucked away yet.

Divers and Sundry said...

easter is becoming more about baskets full of gifts, it seems. we always re-used woven baskets. the plastic eggs and easter grass were always re-used year after year. i'd never even heard of wrapping the baskets as if they were gifts. we focus on the chocolate, so we already know what's in the baskets ;)