Guide for an Eco-Friendly, Plastic-Free Easter (and Vegan, too!)

March 18, 2022

Guide for an Eco-Friendly, Plastic-Free Easter (and Vegan, too!)

Create spring traditions that celebrate sustainability

As we dust off the frost and emerge from winter’s dim days, spring arrives as a reminder of nature’s miraculous ability to start anew. Barren tree branches sprout teeny buds and eager bulbs push forth their bright blossoms as a signal of hope and promise. Many holidays this time of year, like Easter and the Spring Equinox, celebrate themes of resurrection, fertility, and the promise of new life through symbols of eggs, bunnies, and baby animals. Long ago, children made nests in hopes for a visit from the Easter hare, and thus the modern Easter basket was born. Sprouting seeds, fresh spring flowers, and baskets of delightful baked goods, all themes of spring traditions.

But how did a season of celebrating the promise of new life become laden with plastic waste?

The Disconnect Of Our Growing Plastic Problem

Sometime around the 1970s, plastic eggs entered the scene and the convenience of being able to quickly fill them with Easter candy skyrocketed their popularity with increasingly busy parents and children alike. In the 2000s the United States was producing 250 million plastic eggs each year. Since then cheaper alternatives coming out of China eclipsed domestic production, we were not able to find a more recent statistic, but it’s safe to say production numbers have only increased. 

Easter Plastic Waste - Over 250 Million Plastic Easter Eggs Used Every Year

Eco-minded families and Vegans also initially resorted to plastic eggs, repelled by growing concerns over ethical farming. The chicken-free, plastic alternative might absolve animal welfare issues, but in the last few decades our deepening understanding of the harmful effects of plastic on the environment (and its contribution to climate change) has grown our collective awareness. 

Add in shredded plastic ‘Easter grass’, individually wrapped candies, and cheap plastic toys and holiday decor—suddenly our annual celebration of renewal now results in a whole lot of non-biodegradable trash that is clogging our landfills.

Easter Basket with Plastic Easter Grass and Fillable Eggs

Sustainable Solutions for Easter

None of this is to say you have to skip the spring celebrations altogether, but what is a sustainably-minded party planner to do? No one wants to be that person lecturing on the dangers of plastics while everyone else is trying to have a good time. These sticking points are what drive us here at Wrappily, pushing us to innovate and find solutions. From Easter baskets to activities, below is a round-up of ideas to help you celebrate sustainably this spring. 

Sustainable, Plastic-Free, Vegan Easter Baskets

Eco-Friendly Easter Eggs - Vegan & Plastic-Free

Handmade Paper Easter Eggs

Finally... there is a plastic-free, vegan alternative for Easter Eggs! Handcrafted from upcycled newspapers, these beauties come in two styles: our whole kraft eggs are great for decorating and spring crafting, while our plastic-free fillable Easter eggs offer a more sustainable solution for egg hunts. The sturdy eggs can be reused, but if a few get missed and forgotten outside they will biodegrade naturally without causing harm. 

Eco-Shred Basket Filler / Plastic-Free Easter Grass Alternative

Eco-friendly Basket Filler

Friends don't let friends use plastic Easter grass, so we offer a recycled printed newsprint alternative instead. Wrappily's Eco Shred adds a perfect pop of color that is plastic-free and compostable. It can be reused year after year, and when it’s time to say goodbye simply toss in the recycling bin, or create a teachable moment in the garden by repurposing as mulch or a layer in the compost bin.

Invest in a Reusable Basket or Make Your Own

Resist the temptation of cheap, disposable baskets and instead invest in a sturdy, basket that can be reused every year. We love the classic look of a willow basket.  

Plastic-Free Easter Baskets, DIY Paper Basket Tutorials

If storage is an issue, there are plenty of great ways to DIY a basket out of paper grocery bags or your favorite patterned paper. There are tons of tutorials online, here's two we like for a square paper basket and a round paper basket. If you’re extra crafty, you may want to try a upcycled fabric rope easter basket tutorial.

Ideas for Candy-Free Easter Basket Treats

Parents are always looking for fresh ideas for candy-free options to fill Easter baskets. Small toys like race cars, marbles, magnets, erasers, or small accessories like hair barrettes can fit in fillable eggs. Larger items like books, puzzles, activity workbooks like Mad Libs, kites, and board games look great wrapped in a fun spring patterned paper. Handmade items like pinwheels, origami, paper airplanes, slime or play dough add a personal, crafted touch.

Another approach is creating a themed basket around your child's individual interests. Inspire a little artist with fresh, age-appropriate art supplies, crafts tools, washi tapes, and sketch books. Treat a young baker with wee sized baking mitts, apron, utensils and rolling pin, colorful mixing bowls, cookie cutters, baking mixes and specialty ingredients like fancy sprinkles. Or, double-down on earth-friendliness and create a garden theme basket with garden gloves and tools, seed packets, bulbs, herb starts, baby succulents, plant markers and the like. 


Spring Activities With A Sustainable Spin

Easter Egg Decorating - Save the Memories

Turn Egg Decorating Into A Keepsake Craft

If you cherish the moment of unpacking all the handmade ornaments at Christmas, consider turning egg decorating into keepsake craft time. Opt out of boiled chicken eggs and instead use an option like paper or wood that can be packed up and saved. Our kraft paper eggs are lightweight and easy to decorate with a variety of mediums, from paints and markers to decoupage. As your collection builds over the years, the eggs serve as a springtime snapshot of your children’s developing artistic style. Raise your hand if you'd love the sentimental warm-fuzzy feeling of unpacking your eggs each year. 

Pro Tip: be sure to label each egg with the decorator's name and the year before you pack them away.

Play A Game of Golden Egg Hide & Seek

Hiding the "golden egg" indoors - indoor easter activity

Extend the fun of the egg hunt for the weeks leading up to Easter by turning it into an indoor game you can play together. To start, hide a one-of-a-kind, or 'golden egg', around the house in plain sight. When someone spots it, it's their job to re-hide it in a new location. Extra points for hiding places that elicit giggles! On the last day, whoever finds the golden egg wins a special treat.

Garden Party Activity - Creating Seed Starts

How to Make Spring Seed Starter Parts out of Newsprint Gift Wrap

We love highlighting teachable moments around the growth and new life that are associated with spring, and an activity of making seed starts for the garden hits the nail on the head! This activity works great on its own or can be used to alongside any Easter egg decorating party. To create a garden seed start station all you need is potting soil, seeds, a can, and 5.5” x 32” strips of Wrappily. (Of course, any newsprint will do but they won’t be quite as cute.) 

Follow these DIY Seed Starter Pot instructions to make at home!

More of a visual learner? Watch our Instagram Story Highlight.

Homemade Seed Bombs for Earth Day

With Earth Day trailing Easter by just a few days, it makes sense to save up wrapping paper, Eco Shred, and other paper waste to create plantable seed bombs. These make a great kids craft or party activity, and result in a clever gift to share with friends and family in celebration of Earth Day. 

Make these Seed Bomb Easter Eggs out of Reused Newspaper

Thank you for reading along, we hope you enjoy and use these ideas. If you do, please share your photos or tag us (@wrappily) on your social channels. Nothing makes us happier than helping you celebrate sustainably.

Happy Spring!