Q: I just realized that Easter is practically around the corner! Got any ideas to make it a more eco-friendly one?

A: Of course I do. Easter’s changed a lot over the years. Back in the day (the day being a vague several thousand years before the 21st century), Easter was celebrated with prayer, a communal meal, and then some more prayer. Talk about a small carbon footprint. These days, Easter — like many other holidays — has become highly commercialized. Just walk into any party supply store and you’ll see aisles and aisles dedicated to Easter decorations, baskets, eggs, candy — you name it. And such commercialism can often lead to loads of waste after the holiday is over. Lucky for you, since you’re just starting on your Easter prep (albeit a bit late), there’s lots of things you can still do this weekend to ensure a greener Easter, and for the best ideas, all you have to do is take a peek at our site.

First off, what says eco-friendly Easter eggs like do-it-yourself egg dye? Food dye has gotten a pretty bad rap in recent years, and for good reason. Many have been found to increase behavior problems and hyperactivity in children and have since been taken off the market. There are only a handful of artificial dyes left out there, but why not stay away from them completely and use natural ingredients instead? Beautifully colored eggs without all the harmful side effects — everybody wins.

Now what to put all those eggs in? Instead of buying those plastic baskets from the store, try making one yourself from commonly recycled items around your house. Check out this video to show you how. And instead of putting in candy, why not put in dried fruit or a gift instead?

Here are some great ideas for eco-friendly Easter gifts. Though you may not be able to order them in time for Easter this year, you can always get a head start on next year’s festivities.

If you are giving candy out this year, my favorite is the Reese’s Easter eggs — a special run they make right before Easter. Why, you ask? Because the circular shape of the egg means there’s a higher ratio of chocolate to peanut butter than usual, making for a flavor that’s absolutely delectable. There’s nothing eco-friendly about these, though. Unless you count the amount of tinfoil wrappers I can recycle after eating the whole bag in one sitting.

And finally there’s your Easter celebration, complete with friends, family, and lip-smackin’ good food. This Easter, you can green your holiday dinner by choosing poultry or meat that has been grass-fed, which goes a long way toward reducing global warming emissions.

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Photo: Kativ/iStockphoto

Got any ideas to make Easter more eco-friendly?
Forget about artificial dyes, plastic eggs and questionable chocolate. Chanie Kirschner's all set for an eco-Easter.