Ditch the plastic and get creative with eco-smart Easter baskets | KEYE Austin - Green Right Now
keyetv.com Austin News, Weather, Traffic KEYE-TV Austin - HOME
Mar 232010

By Melissa Segrest
Green Right Now

A-tisket, a-tasket, where can we get our hands on some eco-Easter baskets?

You can give the kids a greener holiday without the plastic basket stuffed with synthetic grass. Hop down the environmentally friendly bunny trail with us for some ideas.

This woven basket can be made with cotton leftovers or dyed cotton strips

This woven basket can be made with cotton leftovers or dyed cotton strips. (Photo: Disney Family Fun.)

The heirloom basket: If you’ve been lucky enough to keep your own childhood basket, you can give the kids an Easter tradition with an interesting past. Don’t worry if it’s not fancy, or even if it’s plastic. Share your memories of Easter egg hunts when you were young, and encourage them to keep the family tradition alive – perhaps some day they can pass the basket to their children.

Make it yourself: First, think beyond the basket. A pail, a purse, sturdy craft paper, a shoebox and even a milk carton can be the starting point for some creative kids.

You and your kids can make a colorful basket from a shoebox augmented with leftover fabric, glitter and stickers. Another fun shoebox basket uses part of the box to create a woven look. Even a leftover small Pringles can become a bunny with some creative thinking and stiff paper. For that matter, just get some card stock paper and gather up leftover stickers, glitter, ribbons and fabric to create a very personalized basket.

Disney’s Family Fun site has directions for several more homemade, inexpensive projects, that reuse paper or fabric. Some are aimed at small kids, such as this simple basket made from dyed t-shirt strips; others require more effort but could result in a keepsake, like this one woven from colorful fabric scraps (see photo left).

Free-trade baskets: If you’d like to have classy, classic baskets for your family’s eco-friendly Easter traditions, there are plenty to pick from:

  • Bolga baskets from Africa are perfectly suited for Easter Egg hunts

    Bolga baskets from Africa are perfectly suited for Easter Egg hunts

    The retailer Serrv offers a sturdy latticework basket with handles made by rural artisans in Bangladesh, which is only $12.

  • eBay’s World of Good site has many Fair Trade baskets to pick from, any of which could become a family’s traditional basket. These include a raffia market basket made in Cameroon by artisans creating traditional West African handicrafts. This one is $18.
  • Ten Thousand Villages has a large assortment of decorative and egg-friendly baskets. Older kids can probably better handle an oval gathering basket made in the Philippines from buri palm leaves, for only $6. Another sturdy basket from Philippine artisans is made from rattan and vine and doubles as a planter, for $28.
  • From Baskets Giving Life, comes a spring-hued small market basket that is just the right size for kids. (See photo right.)  Made by artisans from Bolga in Ghana, it’s $15. Another site for pretty Bolga baskets offers a large basket with handles for $26.
  • Closer to home, Peterboro Basket Company is known for their vast array of baskets, including traditional Easter baskets, all handmade in New Hampshire. This fabric-lined pink woven basket is new to their lineup, $40.

Totes and bags: If baskets are old hat for your family, there are plenty of cute totes and bags that can serve double-duty as pretty Easter baskets. Ecobags.com has a wide assortment, but we especially liked Dianne Annelli’s Sunny Tulips natural cotton canvas tote, $20.

Prepare to be overwhelmed by the choices at ReusableBags. The Reisenthel Flora Market Basket, $40, will stop all the other hunters in their tracks (giving your child the competitive edge). Get the kids some Gecko Traders recycled “bucket bags” for their egg hunt – then Mom can grab it for shopping trips, $25.

Any respectable egg hunter would love one of Envirosax kids series bags, such as Baa Maa & Paa, for $8. The beauty part is that it expands to a very large bag for those lucky enough to bring in a big bounty from the bunny.

Why use just a basket? The intrepid egg-hunter will have lots of room in this reusable bag

Why use just a basket? The intrepid egg-hunter will have lots of room in this reusable bag

Get thee to the thrift store:

If you don’t want to shell out the money or wait too late to order, head over to your closest thrift stores. There are almost always some types of old baskets that saw better days as home décor but would be great for holding eggs.

Vintage baskets: Grab the kids, snuggle up in front of the computer screen, and shop through eBay’s selection of hundreds of pre-used, memory-laden baskets and other Easter ephemera. Shop fast and you might get a “twig” basket festooned with speckled color egg accents, $25.49, or a ‘50s woven basket for $11.

Oh, and please forget stuffing the basket with that artificial synthetic shiny “grass”. Use some old raffia, brightly colored shredded paper or just some real grass. Why have plastic grass when you’ve got the real stuff in the front yard? Toss in a leaf or two for reality’s sake.

(Of course, you’ll need eggs for your Easter basket. Find out how to naturally dye them.)

Copyright © 2009 Green Right Now | Distributed by GRN Network