By Scott Meeks

Easter baskets are the perfect way to celebrate the much anticipated arrival of spring. But if you're not careful, your cute little bunny bin could be anything but a friend to the environment. Plastic baskets, sugary candies and disposable toys -- they're no way to honor Mother Nature.

So here are some easy, crunchy and crafty ways to green-out every part of your Easter basket.

Think Outside of the Basket

- Ditch the plastic baskets. Yes, they're bright and cheap, but they'll just end up in the landfill.

- Use baskets made from natural materials. And find ones that you can continue to use once Easter is over. You can put mail, craft supplies and toys into all sorts of baskets.

- Don't purchase anything new. Use big bowls, flower pots or buckets instead of buying something.

"Green" Grass

- No cheap, plastic grass!

- Use paper from your shredder. Mix in magazine or wrapping paper scraps to make it more colorful.

- Paper from your shredder can go right into the recycle bin after the holiday.


- Buy candies that are locally made and locally sold.

- Check out candies with a cause. Some candy companies donate a percentage of profits to endangered animals or rainforest preservation.

- Don't underestimate fruit, especially cool fruits like mini-pineapples or star fruits.

Green-themed baskets

- How about a gardening basket that comes with seeds, gloves and gardening utensils?

- Bird house baskets come with a small birdhouse, seeds and a camera.

- And non-toxic paints, paintbrushes and a canvas make up the perfect crunchy-crafty basket.

No matter what green idea you go with, your new eco-improved basket will be a hit with the kids, the Easter Bunny and Mother Nature.