In case you haven’t tripped over a display of stuffed bunnies or pried rapidly melting chocolate eggs from the hands of a screaming toddler lately, I just thought I’d pop in to let you know that Easter is coming! Another holiday! Yay! Also — are you ready?

Furthermore, did you know that large, extravagant Easter baskets are a thing now? One of my mom friends told me that the amount of gifts her kids receive has almost grown to rival Christmas. I think the blank look on my face said it all — what?!

So then, a warning. This article is not for those parents who have their act together and buy blow-up swimming pools filled with toys to celebrate this cheery April holiday. This article is for miserly hippie parents who have annual crises of conscience when it comes to Easter — do I give in and get the plastic eggs for the egg hunt? Do I buy the cheap chocolate ones instead? Is refined sugar better than plastic? Do I bankrupt myself by buying $50 worth of good chocolate for a kid who I recently found eating dog food?

easter eggs 2Friends, parents, eco-conscious individuals the world over — the time for these questions has come to an end. I have found a sustainable Easter solution!

This idea came courtesy of my mom and sisters, who devised a simple solution to the egg-hunt conundrum last year. I loved it, and I think you will, too.

They arrived a week before Easter packing paint, little wooden eggs and a metric ton of creativity, and in the span of an afternoon, we transformed each egg into a carefully decorated work of art. We each decorated two to three eggs that will now be featured in my daughter’s Easter egg hunt each and every year. No plastic, no cheap chocolate and very minimal cost. The eggs are reusable, sustainable and what’s more, they become a treasured family memento, and a fun Easter tradition as the years go on.

For those nature-oriented souls among us, the idea can become even earthier — take the kids out to gather a small basket of smooth egg-shaped pebbles to decorate instead of purchasing wooden ones. Same great idea, taken a few notches further on the sustainability scale, and also free!

This year, my daughter is 2.5, old enough to decorate her own eggs. They are beauties — wild marbled mashes of green and pink. She’ll have an amazing time hunting for all her favorites on Easter morning, and remembering who painted each one. And best of all, when she pops the very last one into her basket, her industrious efforts will be rewarded with a very small, very delicious chocolate bunny from the farmers market.

(See, I’m not a total monster!)

Here’s wishing you a happy Easter, and lots of creative crafting vibes your way … now hop to it!

Images courtesy of Madeleine Somerville

By Madeleine Somerville

Madeleine Somerville is the author of All You Need Is Less: An Eco-Friendly Guide to Guilt-Free Green Living and Stress-Free Simplicity. She is a writer, wannabe hippie and lover of soft cheeses. She lives in Edmonton, Canada, with her daughter. You can also find Madeleine at her blog, Sweet Madeleine.