Easter Grass? Not in My House!

by Katy on April 11, 2009 · 14 comments

Easter Grass

I’m pretty much a tolerant person, most stuff doesn’t get under my skin too easily. But there’s one thing I can’t abide, which is:

Easter grass.

You know the stuff. The thin tangled strips of colored plastic manufactured for the sole purpose of filling up space in an Easter basket. Somehow it gets into every nook and cranny of your house, and delights in wrapping itself around inside your vacuum cleaner. Plus the plastic-y aspect earns it a definite environmental thumbs down.

The stuff turns me into Joan Crawford:

“No more wire hangers, Easter grass!”

I made a decision a number of years back that I would boycott this most annoying of all holiday supplies, and have since filled my kids’ Easter baskets with in-the-shell peanuts. Not only are the shells compostable, but the peanuts themselves are healthy with 1.1 grams of fiber per 1 tablespoon. (Yes, their sodium content is high, but occasional high sodium intake is not a problem for healthy children.)

I normally buy a small stuffed animal and a Lego Bionicle set for the boys’ baskets, but this year I just couldn’t make myself do it. The excessive plastic packaging that comes with Bionicles is almost obscene, and the last thing the boys need is more stuffed animals. I was feeling bad about not having a little something extra to tuck in their baskets, when I came up with the idea to give them gold dollar coins. The customer service desk at our grocery store sold me ten shiny gold coins, which I will tape onto an egg shaped piece of cardstock. This solution not only saves me money, (The Bionicles alone were $12 apiece!) but it’s also an environmentally friendlier solution. 

Because the best solutions in life are both frugal and green.

Are you more aware this year about what’s going into your children’s Easter basket? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Maniacal Mommy April 12, 2009 at 5:37 am

Definitely no Easter grass here! The kids had fun cutting up newspaper into strips for their “nests.” Cats eat Easter grass, and after you have had the Tootsie Rolls on a string phenomenon, you never want to repeat it.


Stacey April 12, 2009 at 7:40 am

My Easter grass solution was to make over sized floppy green pompoms that we reuse every year. Stretched out they are each about 8 inches across. I made two for each basket and they look lovely. So far they have lasted 7 years.


marzapan April 12, 2009 at 7:42 am

There is nothing lining my kids’ Easter baskets. They’re 5 and 2 and so they don’t know any better. I got them a few books and tchotchkes at Thrifttown, plus some candy from Trader Joe’s and called it a day. I am a normally cheerful person who is a huge Easter grinch because it just feels like an excuse to consume too much sugar and plastic CRAAAAAAP.


mari April 12, 2009 at 7:46 am

I use stredded paper, this year I have saved some green scratch paper from inserts in the mail and used that. I also baked easter shaped cookies,dye easter eggs and made some buttermint candies that I put in molds. When the kids were smaller they would help me make these. Now that they are grown and out of the house, they get just the basket on Easter.


Jen April 12, 2009 at 7:36 pm

My mother always does the Easter baskets for my kids and my nephew. For years, we saved the plastic eggs and reused them each year. It was a little harder to talk her out of the grass. Now that my kids are 15 and 10, it’s much easier. The older one just gets money, no basket, no junk. I told my mom NOT to buy a basket for my daughter, we had several from years past and she could use one of those. I also said no plastic toys, plastic eggs, grass, etc. So my daughter ended up with a recycled basket with a package of jellybeans, a package of hershey kisses, 3 packs of gum, a couple of small notebooks, and a mini American Girl doll that was supposed to be a Christmas present but was backordered until now (how convenient!). The kids don’t get stuff from us on Easter, which is great for my wallet. We try to keep the focus on church and the family dinner rather than the Easter bunny and lots of stuff. I admit, that is easier when kids are very young or teenagers.


Klara Le Vine April 12, 2009 at 9:25 pm


I love the peanuts idea. We also have a horrible sugar laden custom which I fight every year, it’s called Purim – but even worse, it’s not limited to kids, and not limited in quantity – the original intent as far as I understood it, was to give two baskets of cooked food to poor people to add to their festive dinner – and it’s gotten very elaborate with some people and way too much junk food with many. I’ve tried to change my baskets to as much real food, mostly home made, and limit how many I give out. But trying to convince the kids to let go of the sweets is much harder. Some years I’ve added popcorn as the filler, but I like peanuts better.

btw, you can have them unroasted, or better yet, roast them yourself, and that way reduce the amount of sodium. But there are warnings abound as far as choking for little kids. I know yours are older, but that info is for those who have tots.


Evy MacPhee April 13, 2009 at 1:04 am

This is WAY off topic. I am a newbie so yell if you need to.

I was raised by a Depression era mother who supported her mother and sister for ten years after she graduated from high school.

I discovered thrift stores decades ago.

I am a regular at the library.

I am a bookswapper. I use Bookmooch.com mainly mostly because of the warm community and the charities. I also use Paperbackswap.com sometimes, though I feel I have to have better looking books for them.

Bookmooch.com allows me to tell people exactly how beaten up and munched on my books are. Some people want a text so much they will take a book with the cover munched off.

I have a ten year old great-nephew who likes sports and chapter books. Since I’ve started requesting books for him, my wishlist looks particularly diverse.

I forgot how much kids LOVE to get mail. I have made sure to get the books from as many different states as I can, because he loves to tell people he got mail from a far away state.

I also freecycle, which has helped me get free of much of my deceased mother’s things when I was moving a lot. It also has allowed me to get some very strange books, which I swap.

Thanks for reading. Tomorrow I am going to the post office to mail ten parcels of books off to various places. Media mail, of course.

Concerning post offices: The cost of the Forever Stamp goes up to $.44 per stamp starting May 11. A word to the thrifty.


Laura April 13, 2009 at 6:07 am

My kids are 11 and 15 and have had the same Easter baskets with the same Easter grass (paper grass from Cost Plus) every single year. They go on an egg hunt each year using the same plastic eggs we’ve had almost that long. (I didn’t buy them; we saved them from community egg hunts they did when they were little.) The last thing we do is dye eggs before Easter and then enjoy Deviled eggs and egg salad sandwiches after Easter. (Yes, we keep the eggs refrigerated!)


Romy April 13, 2009 at 6:23 am

We don’t do the Easter Bunny with our 8-yr old girl, never have. My mother-in-law does a big egg hunt with a few coins, stickers, etc. and all the sugar my daughter needs. She plans games and we have dinner–14 of us at one table. That’s all my child needs–no plastic toys, and only occasionally a stuffed animal. Same for other holidays. Christmas is even on the editing table–we give to charities, draw names, give green gifts, and shop from the rainforestsite.com. I’ve just discovered you (Katy), freecycle, Craigslist, etc. (Marzapan, I’m checking into bookmooch!) and next Christmas will be even “cleaner.”


Viki April 13, 2009 at 8:07 am

After having the “cat eating the Easter grass” phenomenon someone mentioned earlier (and it’s the most disgusting thing EVER), I bought shredded paper this year. Yes, I could’ve made my own, but I was too busy to find good quality paper to shred up. I figure I’ll take the shreds, save them somewhere, and use them to fill a gift bag later or something. I also tried to avoid the “buying lots of cheap plastic things made overseas” problem. My son got some of his favorite candy, a DVD set he was saving for, a notebook with recycled paper, a “to do list” type of thing that matches the notebook, and a parachute guy. He enjoyed what he got. He hasn’t completely figured out the EB thing yet, but I think he’s on to us (he’s 8). His friend was over this weekend and said there wasn’t one (he’s 7). My son was hugely upset and I didn’t have the heart to tell him. He found out about the tooth fairy in the fall and knowing about the EB would just lead him to figuring out everything else. Is there ever a good time to break the news? He cried about the TF! I digress…

Hopefully everyone didn’t make too much food yesterday and if so was able to give it away or save for leftovers. We had waffles again this morning and my coffee is now in the fridge waiting to be iced coffee in the next day or so!


alunachic April 13, 2009 at 2:14 pm

My kids are 30 and 23. I sent the 23 year old ties i bought at the thrift mart during half price week for FIFTY CENTS. He has to wear a tie to work everyday. I was appalled last time I went to Express and saw a TIE for $60.00!
For the 30 year old I sent an Express belt buckle. Easter is a combo gift for him- his birthday is April 10! The belt buckle was free because I had a $30 Express gift card!


Crafty Green Poet April 15, 2009 at 1:18 pm

I shred used giftwrap that isn’t in a good enough condition to re-use actually as giftwrap. Then I fill papier mache fruit punnets (from local food suppliers) that I’ve painted with spring fruit or flower designs.


lala April 17, 2009 at 5:45 pm

I just wanted to chime in. I have asked my father repeatedly not to put Easter grass in my basket ( I am 29 yrs old and have asked him not to get me a basket period!, but her listened to that as well as h elistened about the Easter grass.) Now, I, my husband and daughter all get earth crushing, cat destroying easter grass. I will be boycotting my family and Easter until this ends.


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