Easter is just around the corner, and store shelves are overflowing with over-packaged and over-processed trinkets and candy to put you in the festive spirit. If you’re looking for something greener this year, celebrate an eco-friendly Easter with these easy ideas:

DIY baskets

Don’t waste money on a new Easter basket every year. Sure they're cute on store shelves, but why not take a minute to make a custom basket that really captures your child's interests from year to year. You can easily decorate a reusable basket, tote bag, or gift box in Eastery goodness. Or make an edible Easter basket out of a waffle sundae bowl and chocolate. I love this bunny basket idea because it's ridiculously easy to make and because it's made from a half-gallon milk or juice container — very green! Search the web and you'll find all sorts of DIY Easter basket projects, made from everything from paper bags to felt to shoe boxes. You can save the finished product until next year or take it apart when it's empty and recycle the pieces.  

For the fillers

Now that your basket is green, what should you fill it up with? For starters, skip that oh-so-colorful plastic grass they sell in the store and shred recycled paper or old magazines to use as “grass” in your basket. After the holiday, reuse the grass again for packing material or compost.

Making it sweet

Like many holidays, Easter has somehow become all about the candy. And while some candy is a good thing (think fair-trade chocolate and organic lollipops) there is also room for “sweeter” gifts like stickers, crayons, chalk, books and art supplies. Gardening tools and seeds are another good addition to the Easter basket, just be sure to check what kind of plants, flowers and fruit grow well locally at this time of year, because you know you will be out in your yard on Easter morning planting those seeds!

If you're making baskets for more than one child, buy your candy in bulk to minimize the packaging. And don't be afraid to make your own goodies like bunny-shaped sugar cookies or these ridiculously cute Easter basket cupcakes.  

Photo: plattmunk 

The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of MNN.com. While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.