Thursday, April 1, 2010

5 Egg-cellent Eco-friendly Easter Egg Ideas

1. You may have heard the not-so-great news that dyes used for Easter eggs, even though labeled non-toxic, may not be so healthy. Seems some of the dyes contain coal tar and other petroleum products.

Why purchase these kinds of products in the first place, especially when it's so simple, fun and educational to dye eggs using items from your fridge or pantry?

Dyeing eggs with fruits and veggies is not much more complicated than using store-bought dyes. Choose brightly colored fruits and veggies (though  sometimes a not-so-bright item, can yield amazingly vibrant results, onion skins being one example) and give it a try. Here are instructions for both hot and cold methods.

2. Hunting for colorful fruits and vegetables not your style? Check out the brand new eco-frendly tablets in the Eco-Eggs Easter Egg Coloring Kit where the colors come from purple sweet potato, paprika, beta carotene, red cabbage and blueberries. For $10, you get enough dye for two years.

3. If you hurry, you still may be able to pick up some souvenir eco-friendly wooden eggs that commemorate the annual Easter egg roll on the south lawn of the the White House. These commemorative eggs are made in the U.S. from FSC certified hardwood.

4. When it comes to candy eggs to hide or give in a basket, you're in luck. There are more eco-friendly choices available now than ever. Check your local natural food store(s). If you're lucky your local grocery or even big box chain might carry organic or Fair Trade chocolate eggs. If not, further the cause by letting the manager know you'd like this choice and that if she stocks them, you will buy.

5. Avoid buying new plastic eggs. But if you've held on to old ones or find some at a garage sale, give them new life! Cover with paper mache (made with flour and water); or glue on bits of yarn; or cover in glitter made from old piece of silver foil. You get the idea, bring out a box filled with odds and ends and let the kids have fun using eco-friendly glue of course, fill with healthy, green goodies.

(Don't store unwrapped candy in plastic eggs because the eggs may contain chemicals that can leech into the candy, especially if left in the heat. Kids have been known to discover hidden eggs months after Easter and devour the contents.)

Top picks for eco-Easter eggs

1. Make a paper mache egg diorama

2. Organic jelly bean eggs

2. Organic chocolate eggs from, or hand decorated Easter egg cookies from

For more eco-Easter ideas, visit

Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are mother and daughter and co-authors of Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family, available at 

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