The Easter Bunny is coming to town! Yippee! It’s time to come up with creative ways to color this Easter green (rather than those pastel yellows and pinks – so passé!).

Here are some tips for making your Easter a bit greener, a bit less expensive, and a whole lot more creative!

1. Reuse Easter baskets: It should go without saying that Easter baskets should be re-used year to year. It doesn’t take much to store a box of holiday goods to bring out once a year. In fact, that’s how memories are created. If you haven’t been saving your Easter baskets until now, obviously you’ll want to start. Or you can make it a fun project, especially if you have little kids. Simply take a shoe box, paint it, cover with me stickers or paper and coloring crayons. Anything that comes to mind! Then cut a handle from a piece of paper or cardboard and staple it on either side of the shoe box. Voila! Instant Easter basket! If you’re not into making your own Easter basket, peruse second hand stores where wicker baskets are easily found. Keep it natural, or weave some ribbon through to give it a bit of flare.

2. DIY Easter grass: The easiest way to make your own Easter grass to fill your basket is to take colored construction paper and put it through the paper shredder, though you can cut up most anything. Try cutting colorful fabric into strips, or cellophane, for a sparkly look.

3. A word on those eggs: Since Easter is all about the eggs, if you’re not yet in the habit of being picky about your eggs, might we suggest now is the time to become informed about your choices? While we understand that unfortunately in our culture “good, healthy food” can sometimes equate to “expensive,” it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. And if it is, what better way to re-allocate your budget than to spend slightly more money on healthier food (for you and the environment) and less on something else. Tips on getting the best eggs: Go local. Visit local farms and farmer’s markets. Produce on sale there is more likely to have come from farms where the animals can roam freely and behave more naturally. Go organic. Analysis conducted by Mother Earth News found that eggs from pasture-raised chickens contained twice the omega-3 content, three times more vitamin E, and a whopping seven times as much beta-carotene as commercially produced eggs. They also had a third less cholesterol and a fourth less saturated fat. Go Free-range or Pastured. “Free range” refers to chickens being allowed to range freely outdoors where they can eat whatever grass, weed seeds, insects and worms they choose. Pastured eggs are chicken products which have been harvested from chickens allowed to roam in open pastures.

4. Make your own Easter egg dye: Take crayons and write or squiggle designs on the egg. Then create the dye with a combination of 1/2 cup boiling water, 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar and 30-40 drops of food dye. Let the dye cool and then dip eggs into the dye. You can also make natural egg coloring from foods.

5. Don’t let that food go to waste! Since you’re going through all the trouble to decorate all those wonderful eggs, be sure and put them to use. Compost the shells and eat the eggs. What? You have no use for 2 dozen eggs? Make an appetizer: everyone loves a good deviled egg! Or…whip up a batch of egg salad and make sandwiches for lunch. And if you still have some leftover and you just can’t bear the thought of one more, make it feed for the animals. Dogs love eggs. At least our dogs do…