Easter is one of my favorite holidays because it means that spring is right around the corner. But, as much as I love Easter, I’m the first person to admit that it isn’t the greenest of the holidays that we celebrate. While the main reason behind Easter is religious, it is also a time to enjoy colored eggs, the Easter bunny, chocolate eggs, and jelly beans.

So, what are a few ways that we can green up Easter and make it a bit more eco-friendly? A lot will depend on the age of your children and how you celebrate the holiday. Parents with toddlers will likely have different traditions than the parents of teenagers. Here are a few simple things that you can do to get started.

Reuse the same materials from year to year. Do you need to buy brand new Easter baskets, Easter grass and plastic Easter eggs every year? Or can you simply pack them away and reuse them the next year instead? Your child is probably more interested in the contents of the basket than the basket itself anyway.

If you need to purchase new baskets, eggs, grass, stickers, or decorations for your home, consider purchasing them at a second-hand store. Our local second-hand store has brand new, unopened Easter items for sale every year. People buy too much and don’t end up needing it so they donate it to declutter.

Make some of the things instead of buying them. When it comes to treats, don’t run out to the store, instead make a few of them from scratch. Would the kids be just as happy with frosted sugar cookies in the shape of Easter eggs instead of a package of marshmallow candies or jelly beans? They’ll cost less and you can use natural food coloring instead of artificial food dyes.

Scale back on what you do. There’s nothing wrong with choosing to do less this year. If the kids have an Easter egg hunt at church, do you need to do one at home too? Can you fill a smaller Easter basket? Do the kids need new Easter clothes and shoes every year?  Before you purchase something new, ask yourself if you really need to.

Buy a more sustainable option. Plastic isn’t a great choice for most things. It’s created from oil which is not great for our environment. And, plastic hangs around for years if it isn’t properly recycled. Instead, try buying things made of wood or cloth. A younger child would probably love wooden Easter eggs to play with. A cloth basket is a simple idea that could easily replace a plastic Easter basket.

You don’t need to do all of these changes at once unless you really want to. But, by making a few small changes each year, Easter can become far less wasteful.