Easter grass is like Christmas tinsel. The tiny plastic shreds sure do look good for a brief moment, but afterward, you regret having used them.

First, it’s the way that you will find shreds of plastic Easter grass in the most random places of your home for months after the Easter bunny has hopped away. Most importantly, though, is the fact that the petroleum-based stuff doesn’t disappear. It can’t be easily recycled. So, that fake grass that was added to an Easter basket just for appearance’s sake will be in a landfill somewhere long after the last jelly bean has been eaten.

Easter bunny basket
Image courtesy of Teresa DownUnder.

You don’t have to give up the tradition of the Easter basket, though, if you want to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. Here are some excellent alternatives to plastic Easter basket grass that can be reused or composted when you’re done with them!

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  • Buy Easter grass made with 100% recycled paper, a brightly colored alternative to plastic grass fillers. For a natural color palette, use brown paper shreds available at major retail and office supply stores, which are sold as packing materials. Reuse the materials as packing supplies or for gift bags afterward.
  • Easter grass can be made out of shredded Aspen wood fibers for a natural addition that is reusable and biodegradable.
  • Natural raffia, produced from palm trees, is a great alternative to plastic Easter grass. With a variety of colors, it’s easy to have fun filling a basket.
  • Make your own Easter grass by shredding bills, tissue paper, magazines, junk mail, leftover crafting paper, or other pieces of paper that you have at home. You will be able to customize whatever look or color that you want. If that’s not an ideal aesthetic for your Easter basket this year, consider adding shredded paper underneath decorative Easter grass, so that you do not have to buy as much of the pretty stuff to support the weight of gifts inside. When you’re done with this idea – simply recycle the paper.
  • Consider a non-traditional alternative to plastic Easter grass by using Earth-friendly wool. The fibers can be used in shades of green for a traditional look, or mix it up with brightly colored strands. Afterward, reuse the wool in craft projects, or save it for future generations of Easter baskets.
  • Fabric, scarves, and even cloth napkins make a unique alternative to plastic Easter grass – and you can reuse them over and over.
  • Grow your own Easter grass! You’ll need a head start with this one, but if you’ve got a couple of weeks of lead time, it’s super easy to grow wheatgrass from seed for a natural addition to your Easter basket.
  • Leafy greens, such as kale, make excellent “grass” in an Easter basket! This eclectic addition to a traditional basket can be eaten afterward as part of the holiday meal or thrown onto the compost pile.

So, what if you just can’t part with the age-old look and feel of shredded plastic Easter grass? Buy a bag, but reuse it for years. Yes, the plastic shreds can be repurposed year after year if you’re willing to collect them and store them in a bag until next year’s holiday. But with so many great alternatives, who needs the plastic?

Feature image courtesy of lisatener from Pixabay

Originally published on April 3, 2015, this article was updated in March 2021.

By Kimberly Button

Kimberly Button is the author of The Everything Guide to a Healthy Home and the Editor-in-Chief of GetGreenBeWell , featuring modern, sane ideas for living a non-toxic life. A professional journalist for nearly two decades, Button has written for magazines such as Martha Stewart's Whole Living, American Airlines, AAA, Sierra, National Geographic Traveler, and Vegetarian Times. Visit KimButton.com for more information.