Once the Easter bunny has come and gone, you may be left with lots to clean up, right?
In this post, I’ll show you how I get pretty close to a zero waste Easter basket clean up and keep LOTS out of the landfill!
My kids still get a fair amount of candy in their Easter baskets despite my attempts to keep it to a minimum. They aren’t little kids anymore and they DON’T need the sugar!
In any case, “someone” (HINT: my husband!) goes a little overboard and we end up with more than we know what to do with.
[Speaking of my husband, you’ll get a kick out of the guest post my not-so-green spouse wrote, “Green Wife, Green Life” all about his experiences living with me! Check it out HERE.]
An easy zero waste Easter basket clean up tip I picked up is to keep leftover chocolate bunnies in the freezer.
First, break him/her up into little pieces (sorry, bunny!) and then freeze.
You can use the pieces throughout the year in baking or as ice cream toppings.
Candy usually comes wrapped in plastic, paper or foil.
While you can’t keep it all out of the landfill you can take apart candy wrapping for recycling.
Paper can be recycled (unless it has food debris on it) as usual.
Foil (clean) can be balled up and recycled. My community division of solid waste recommends that the balled foil be put inside of a can to keep it from jamming the recycling machinery.
Plastic bags (maybe from jellybeans) that are made of stretchy, film-like plastic can be recycled along with any plastic grocery bags you have for drop off.
Unfortunately, the plastic container-like packaging lots of chocolate bunnies come in is not recyclable. 🙁
No Easter basket is complete without a pile of Easter grass, right? Here are my zero waste Easter basket tips on how to deal with it!
Plastic Easter grass is, unfortunately, not recyclable. Even though it seems like it is a stretchy, film-like plastic (like plastic bags) there is no place for it except the landfill. AAAAAHHHHH!!!
Instead of tossing your plastic grass, pack it up and keep it for next year. This stuff is pretty durable and lasts and lasts – just be sure to pick out all of the jellybeans before storing it! 🙂
If you don’t think you’ll need the grass next year or don’t want to hang on to it, the next best option is to donate it.
Try organizations like preschools, Sunday school or other church groups or even your local donation center. There are bound to be organizations happy to have it.
Paper Easter grass is much more forgiving in that it can be recycled. However, my favorite option for a zero waste Easter basket clean-up is to, again, reuse it yourself or donate it to someone who can.
At one point, we had enough Easter baskets for a family of 12!
I don’t know why I hung on to so many of them!
I recommend you hang on to just the Easter baskets you’ll need for the following year and donate the rest.
Unfortunately, baskets made from plastic have to head to the landfill so do your best to keep them out and get them to someone who can use them!
Baskets made from wicker or rattan seem like they’d break down (unlike plastic) but I had a hard time finding definitive info on how to dispose of them in an eco-friendly way.
So, when in doubt, reuse, reuse, reuse!
Plastic Easter Eggs
Since they are made from plastic and plastic is durable, you can use plastic Easter eggs over and over and over and over! So, hang on to them for the next year!
If you’re done with your plastic Easter eggs be sure to try to find a new home for them!
So there you have it – lots of quick, easy tips you can use to get close to a zero waste Easter basket clean up!
I hope you found this helpful! If you’ve got an item from your Easter basket that you don’t know how to keep out of the landfill let me know! I LOVE trying to find green solutions for everything!!
P.S. If you want tips on how to put together an eco-friendly Easter basket and create less trash, check out my post, “3 Easy Eco-Friendly Easter Basket Swaps“!