A tisket, a tasket... A toxic Easter basket? It seems like all the holidays have become so commercial that it's hard to look past the colorful advertisements—and expectations—and really take a hard look at what we're actually doing and why. We've got suggestions for the Easter Bunny to bring that are healthy, not harmful.
- Easter Egg Dye: Lots of parents are concerned about the dangers of food dyes, and egg-coloring kits are no exception. Most of the dye is absorbed by the shell (which isn't eaten), but some can get into the egg whites or onto little hands, staining skin. If you're very concerned about food dyes, you can find natural egg dying kits or make your own dye.
- Plastic Eggs: Those colorful plastic Easter eggs are made from petroleum byproducts. If you're trying to go plastic-free in your houseshold, you can find compostable, corn-based plastic eggs—and your kids will never know the difference.
- Plastic Easter Grass: Rather than filling your kids' baskets with this shredded cellophane—which is a top danger for dogs and cats, if ingested—try real straw or raffia.
- Little Toys and Jewelery: Watch out for dollar store toys and jewelery, which can contain toxic heavy metals—especially the ones made in China. Opt for fewer, higher-quality toys that come from trusted sources.
- Easter Lilies: While beautiful and symbolic, Easter lilies are highly toxic if ingested, so keep well out of the reach of pets or small children.
- Candy: This is a big one, as most Easter baskets are choc-a-block full of candy. First, consider the source of your chocolate. Is it fair trade? Organic? More and more companies are stepping up to fill in the holes left by big ag, so it isn't as difficult to find fair trade chocolate bunnies (or even vegan chocolate eggs!) as it used to be. You can also make your own Easter treats. You can make your own Peeps, creme eggs, even jelly beans with ingredients you know and trust.