How much candy do you throw away after Easter? For me, it used to be a lot. Never one to disappoint my kids, I was stockpiling Costco-sized candy variety bags in my pantry. Weeks later (while cursing my children), I’d be left dumping chocolate smeared baskets of uneaten candy and foraging my yard for silver wrappers. Then it dawned on me that this was entirely my own fault. My kids had never known anything else! So, I made the conscious decision that candy and basket fillers, especially the single-use plastic variety, no longer aligned with my ideal Easter narrative.
When I think about childhood Easter memories, they have little to do with the content of my Easter basket. I can clearly conjure a specific memory of little me drinking a Shirley Temple, twirling on crisp green grass, watching my ribbon belted church dress blow wildly in the breeze. An overwhelming calm feeling of being surrounded by family and friends and sense of accomplishment in surviving an HOUR LONG mass. Nowhere in those memories are plastic eggs and candy wrappers.
Easter is just four days before Earth Day this year and it feels more important now than ever to consider the two together. According to Plastic Pollution Coalition, food wrappers, including those for candy, are the number two most common item found on beaches worldwide on International Coastal Cleanup Day. As fun as candy is, whether it’s bagged or individually wrapped, it is typically packaged in a multilayered plastic film. The inner sealant layer is usually polyethylene (polymerized gas/oil) while the outer one is polypropylene, nylon, polyester or another material. Just knowing this should make us want to consider dumping plastic for good, but it’s fairly challenging in a world set up with plastic as a cure-all for our every need. The Mars company (Mars Bars, Snickers, M&M’s, Snickers, Twix) has pledged to move to bio-based packaging by 2050. Europe already has access to some of these products!. Until they appear stateside, let’s think outside the typical basket and reframe our Easter experience. Here are a few ways to get started.
Rethinking the basket:
-Any basket works! Opt for one made of natural materials or just use the same one every year. Then, use your own shredded paper or this fun eco paper to fill the bottom of the basket.
-Head to Fresh Market or Rouses and load up on bulk store gummies and candies. Wrap them all together in tissue or make your own candy carry-all at Chateau Sew and Sew or whatever materials you have at home. Another option to just paint a glass jar or buy these adorable fillable paper eggs at Vintage Green Review. If you are in a rush, just opt for boxed candies like Junior Mints or Nerds. They do still have plastic lining but will biodegrade much more quickly than other candy wrappers.
-Throw in a few non plastic toys or trinkets you think kids will reuse, like this adorable Grow Your Own Jungle Garden at Little Pnuts , Fairy garden stamps at Little Miss Muffin or kaleidoscope or eco bricks at Magic Box Toys. You’re all set!
Wool Easter Grass, Bella Luna Toys
Flower Kit, Maisonette
Fillable Paper Eggs, Vintage Green Review
Eco Basket Shredded Paper, Vintage Green Review
Hand Crochet Bunny, Little Miss Muffin
Paper Chain, Bella Luna Toys
Crayon Rocks, Bella Luna Toys
Spring Puzzle, Pippen Lane