Easter Weekend is practically upon us. Whether your reasons for celebrating Easter are religious, cultural, spiritual or otherwise, the occasion represents a fantastic opportunity to get together with family and friends. Read on for our best eco-friendly and vegan suggestions to make your weekend an eggscellent success!
Make the most of your preparation
The Paws number one rule for celebrating Easter is to make the preparation part of the festivities. Whatever the scale of your Easter, we thoroughly recommend getting everyone involved and making a spectacle out of the preparation. Our favourite events include:
- Sharing recipe and cooking suggestions together in the kitchen. These often turn into lessons from one generation to the next.
- ‘Egg’ prep (more on the inverted commas shortly)
Our ‘egg’ prep is all hands on deck and is never complete without at least two crates full of materials, which we do our best to source from recycling or nature. We have a table covered with unwanted newspapers and only one rule – nobody leaves the table without a grin plastered to their face like a papier mache decoration.
- Hunt strategy – we split the family into two opposing groups every two years. Each group has one year hunting, and one year hiding. We find simple groups are the most manageable and memorable – kids/adults, male/female etc. The hide group gets to plan the hunt on Saturday and create any rules or tools they choose to give the hunt group on Sunday. The years where we have made maps were especially successful.
- The walk – not strictly an Easter element, but it’s always been our family tradition to take a lengthy nature walk on the Saturday. Weather permitting, we picnic, but the dogs prefer the rain!
Eggs or ‘eggs’
At Paw the Love of Earth, we choose to celebrate a Vegan Easter for environmental, animal welfare, and economic reasons. Lots of regular commercial chocolate eggs are readily available out there, but we choose to leave commentary on non-vegan eggs to other writers 🙂
The big question for us though, is eggs, or ‘eggs’. We tend to have edible ‘eggs’ in some form as part of our Easter meal (either chocolate, or other vegan food styled into egg shapes, often hollow), which are always different to the ‘eggs’ we hunt.
- Vegan chocolate eggs. We usually keep these for dessert and table decorations, simply because we like the dogs to be part of the Easter Hunt, and chocolate is deadly for dogs! There are lots of fantastic brands out there, but our favourite are from moofree – they taste great and we love their commitment to local, ethical ingredients. For a fantastic list and assessment of ethical chocolate, we can’t recommend http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/buyersguides/food/eastereggs.aspx enough – very thorough and clear!
- Wooden eggs. You can buy these usually for around the same price as chocolate eggs. They come either solid, or ‘openable’. We prefer ours to be plain, so that we can decorate them ourselves. Our favourite methods are simple paint, or dressing the wood in recycled paper and fabric.
- Papier Mache eggs. These can be messy and a little bit of a scramble to make, but we love that. In our experience, semi filled water balloons make the best egg forms, while old egg cartons are the perfect workbench. We always recommend recycling junk mail or old magazines, but coloured tissue papers can look fantastic as well. Notmartha have some fantastic instructions for making fillable papier mache eggs. The process is a bit fiddly, but the end result is really rewarding, particularly for younger family members of households hoping to include a more serious religious message in their celebrations.
- Eco eggs. We’ve seen and tried these in a few different ways, but we feel the ones that give the best impression are those which showcase nature and the feeling of new Spring beginnings. Good materials are wisps of wool, chick down, thistledown, flowers or foliage.
When we don’t hunt for eggs, we search for other objects instead. We think non-eggs have greater potential for symbolism, which might be particularly useful for religious families.
- Easter ornaments. We think that select pieces from a study nativity set are a good choice and a great way of making more from what you have.
- Pine cones. The forests’ eggs, pine cones look beautiful either au natrale or decorated and are clearly representative of poultry eggs, sharing all of the symbolism we expect from Easter.
- Rocks. Easy to find and essentially indestructible, smooth rocks are easy to decorate and can be put to use around the home afterwards as door stops and paperweights, or even ornaments.
X Marks the Spot
As mentioned above, we love maps! They really help bring an extra element of interactivity and fun to Easter. We have two favourite types of map, which frequently crop up whenever we do scavenger-style hunts.
- Reused coffee grinds or teabags. Either used to stain paper, or glued down to create 3D maps, beverage maps look great, are fun to make, and add an extra sense of mystery. For difficult hunts, consider adding riddles or written clues.
- Sample relief maps. For a fun twist on regular maps, why not try collecting samples from each area where the Easter loot is hidden – blades of grass, gravel, compost, etc, and use them to mark significant sites in your map. For more challenge, take this idea but combine the material into a symbolic picture or striking image, forcing your hunters to find where the samples are from through exploration alone.
And there we have it, the Paws top Easter tips for a top Easter Weekend. We wish you all a wonderfully happy Easter!
Feature image credit: Photo by hadkhanong. Published on 30 March 2015, from freedigitalphotos.net