Ah, the seasonal aisle. It’s always full of some kind of plastic. This time of year, we’re confronted by walls of brightly (some would say garishly) colored plastic Easter eggs, and bunnies, and baskets, and plastic grass, and all that stuff. Because what’s a holiday without plastic, right?
After running into the plastic egg wall at CVS and having the expected freak out, I started remembering all the fun I had as a kid, hunting for those plastic eggs with their little surprises inside. Sure, we dyed real eggs too. But the plastic ones held secret treasures! Then, as I was walking home reminiscing, I passed a local thrift store in my neighborhood, and what did I spy through the window? Secondhand plastic Easter eggs!
And more plastic Easter eggs…
And further down the street, another thrift shop had them too, as well as Easter baskets.
I thought I’d found the perfect Easter solution for folks who have kids and who really want plastic Easter eggs. Why not get the plastic eggs secondhand and save them to use year after year? I reasoned, secondhand plastic Easter eggs should be fine as long as you collect every single one after the hunt to keep them from polluting the environment. Save resources. Use something that already exists.
But then I remembered…
Used Plastic Eggs Not Great After All
A few years ago, there were scares about kids’ toys containing lead and news of thrift shops opting to dump or refusing to accept toys because of possible lead contamination and the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s new policies. So, just to be on the safe side, I Googled “plastic Easter eggs lead,” not really expecting to find anything. But sure enough…
03/18/2008, USA Today: Plastic Easter Eggs Linked to Lead Paint (PDF saved from Internet Archive, as article has since been removed from USA Today site. 03/21/2017.)
Well, crap. My brilliant idea was not so brilliant after all. How could you know whether secondhand plastic eggs contained lead or not? You couldn’t without a fancy analyzer gun like The Smart Mama Jennifer Taggart has. So forget plastic eggs. Just forget I ever mentioned ’em.
Real Easter Eggs
So then I started remembering all the fun we had dyeing real eggs with Mom. The Crunchy Domestic Goddess site has some cool natural dye recipes made from foods. No need to buy a special egg dyeing kit.
But then I remembered…
Real eggs come fraught with some nasty truths as well. Even the certified humane eggs may not be as humane as you think.*
*I would be a hypocrite if I lead you to believe that I never eat eggs. I’m not perfect. But I can’t recommend them either, knowing what I know.
This post is going nowhere fast, isn’t it?
DIY Easter Egg Alternatives
Never one to be deterred, I consulted my friend Google again (although I gotta be honest, Google and I have our differences lately. But that’s another story.) And we found some DIY instructions for cool plastic-free egg-free Easter Eggs.
2) Sew your own flat felt Easter egg pockets.
Yes, I know wool isn’t always cruelty-free either, so regarding #1 and #2, know where your wool comes from and how the sheep were treated.
3) Make your own braided fabric Easter eggs from scrap fabric and recycled plastic bottles. Do not, I repeat, do NOT buy plastic bottles for this project! Use ones you find on the street or rescue from friends who haven’t kicked the habit yet.
4) Make your own knitted Easter eggs. And consider using yarn recycled from worn out garments.
5) Decorate wooden eggs.
6) Decoupage the above-mentioned wooden eggs into Angry Birds Easter Eggs. Srsly.
What kind of Easter eggs will you have this year?
Obviously, not all of us (me included) celebrate Easter. And those of us who do don’t necessarily care about Easter eggs. But if eggs are your thing, what kind will you have this year? And if not, what eco-friendly things do you do for Solstice, Passover, or whatever spring celebration you enjoy?