Eco-Friendly Living, Family

How to Create an Eco-Friendly Easter Tradition in 2017

Easter is just over a month away  which means it’s time for my annual re-posting of our fabulous Easter egg tradition in case you’d like to try it this year, too!

Below you’ll find my original post from 2014 about how we avoid plastic eggs and chocolate overload while still having an awesome egg hunt Easter morning. Enjoy! 

Creating An Eco-Friendly Easter -

I sometimes struggle with the fact that I am, undeniably, ‘that’ parent. The one that is all, No plastic! No sugar! No electronics!

I stand behind these crazy beliefs 100%, but I also sometimes worry that all of that taken together might be shouting No fun, either! from an outsiders perspective.

On one hand, it kind of drives me nuts that plastic toys, refined sugar, and television have become synonymous with childhood – to the extent that you seem like some sort of villainous shrew if you dare deny them to your children – but on the other hand, they’re kids!

Whatever crazy business I have going on in my home, when Olive is at a birthday party or a playdate or a friends’ house, she gets to make her own choices. When in Rome, right? Eat cake! Take home your goody bag full of dollar store stuff! Watch movies! There are bigger things to worry about in life, and these things aren’t wrong, we’ve just decided that they’re not always right for us. Making these sorts of arcane, arbitrary decisions is just one of the many joys of parenthood.

Nonetheless, when I was thinking about Easter a few weeks ago I was a bit flummoxed about how to celebrate with Olive. We’re not religious so emphasising the Christian aspect of the holiday didn’t jive. I didn’t want to buy a bunch of plastic eggs for her to find, but I also didn’t want to overload her with cheap chocolate, either. What’s a buzzkill parent to do?

I just sort of hit a wall, and then suddenly it was Easter weekend and I hadn’t resolved anything. I figured maybe we’d just skip it – go for a walk, have a nice breakfast – Easter? What’s Easter? Look! A puppy!

WELL. Thank god for family. My mom came to visit this weekend, as did my little sister and her boyfriend. They conspired with my sister-in-law to make Easter really special for Olive while still indulging the hippie preferences of her crazy mom.

I am sharing this with you because this is the best idea ever: They bought twenty-four little solid wood eggs and brought out a whole bag of paints and paintbrushes. Then, Saturday night we stayed up late clustered around our kitchen table each painting 4 little eggs, as well as a wooden box for them to be kept in.

A sustainable Easter tradition by Sweet Madeleine

Seeing the painting process each person chose to take was like a little personality test. Lizzie took hours to create intricate designs with all of Olive’s favourite things – birds, fish, etc. while her boyfriend made little people. My sister-in-law Kate created whimsical designs with clouds and lions, and my mom supplied us with her trademark polka dots.

As for me, I couldn’t resist getting all design-y, and I made a colour dipped egg, a robin’s egg and one that looked just like an Olive – pimento and all.

A sustainable Easter tradition by Sweet Madeleine

We waited until my brother got home from rock climbing on Sunday afternoon, and then hid the eggs in really easy-to-find spots around the living room. We brought Olive upstairs and gave her a basket, and she caught on to the game really quickly- letting out a maniacal laugh each time she spotted a new egg.

She had so much fun that we hid them again and did it twice.

A sustainable Easter tradition by Sweet Madeleine

I just can’t express how much I love this idea, and I am so, SO glad that my mom thought of it because I never would have (I’m really not creative with this sort of stuff.)

It’s fun, colourful, and kid-friendly. Best of all, it trades plastic and cheap chocolates for something handmade that will hold meaning for our family years to come, and be added to each year. We’ll always remember who made each egg and as Olive gets older she can decorate her own to add to the collection.

A sustainable Easter tradition by Sweet Madeleine

(I also bought her a little bunny made of really good chocolate from the Farmer’s Market. I’m not a total monster!)

Happy Easter!

A sustainable Easter tradition by Sweet Madeleine

Edited to add: a few people have been asking where we got the eggs. My mom found them at an Etsy shop called Snuggly Monkey but I was thinking that smooth oval pebbles could work, too!

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  • Reply Phoebe March 10, 2017 at 10:07 PM

    I loved this the first time I read about your fantastic idea and copied it but with a little adjustment. My family is not at all artistic so we opted to have our kid paint one egg a year. When she was still a baby her dad and I painted it with her “help”. The others got decorated in washi tape, which easily peels/ washes off when it’s that egg’s turn to be painted.

  • Reply Shea March 13, 2017 at 12:42 AM

    Love this idea! Easter poses challenges for us each year too. Our children are a bit older and love the Easter hunt – this year we are going to suggest to the Easter bunny some ‘egg chalk’. Pretty sure he’ll still have fun hiding them!

  • Reply Nicole McRae March 14, 2017 at 10:17 PM

    What kind of paint did you guys use? or would you recommend?

    • Reply sweetmadeleine March 14, 2017 at 10:24 PM

      We just used normal acrylic paints my sister had, then covered them with mode podge 🙂

      • Reply Nicole McRae March 14, 2017 at 10:25 PM

        thx mady!

        • Reply sweetmadeleine March 14, 2017 at 10:26 PM

          Omg it’s YOU Nicole! Haha! Send me pictures if you do it! Love to you and your little one!

          • Carly Friesen April 5, 2020 at 1:41 PM

            Love this, especially the fact that you can reuse them in future years, and make more each year to add to the collection as the kids’ skills and interest grow. We may do a pebble hunt around the neighbourhood early this week, then paint later.

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