This year, Easter and Passover fall on the same weekend. So while the festivities and dishes may differ, the common thread can be that we all want peace and happiness with our families and friends, and perhaps we can make both green! Check out some fun and simple tips on how to green your Easter and Eco your Passover!
Paint wooden or ceramic eggs. A night out at a place like Color Me Mine is a great alternative to dying eggs at home. No real eggs and no mess! Put them out later for your egg hunt and use them year after year.
Buy vegan, local and fair-trade candies to build the healthiest and most eco-friendly Easter basket ever!
Look for paper basket grass as opposed to the plastic kind. This "green" paper kind can be used year round for other gifts, packing materials, etc.
Bake vegan easter cakes in egg and bunny shaped molds. These are great in gift baskets, are healthier and cheaper than ordering stuff online that requires shipping.
Give children great, illustration-heavy books like pop-ups instead of toys they will grow out of an create more waste. Books nourish their minds and create wonderful memories.
Skip the candy and give creative gifts this year. Re-use a basket by covering it in left over, festive fabric. Fill basket with paints and crayons, small sketch books, stickers and blank t-shirts or socks to personalize. Add some seed packets and celebrate spring with a new garden!
Let's start with the Matzah: There are a bunch of options for organic spelt and organic whole-wheat matzah. Like the following:
- Handmade Shmurah Matzah made with 100 percent certified organic spelt from Matzahonline.com.
- Haddar 18-Minute Organic Spelt Matzah and Matzah Meal from KCKosherCoop.com
- Chicago's Original Organic Matzah. It's made in the United States and it's certified organic and free of any GMOs.
- Organic Spelt Matzah from Chabad of greater Dayton.
- And be sure to keep it green by wrapping your organic matzah in an organic cotton napkin when you hide the afikomen.
Don't forget the wine: Go organic as well as kosher! Organic kosher wines exist and here's the list:
- Yarden Chardonnay Odem Organic
- Odem Vineyard in the northern Golan in Israel has been farmed organically since 1998. You can buy it online at Kosherwine.com for16.99 a bottle.
- Four Gates Winery: Four Gates, located in the Santa Cruz Mountins in California, produces organic and Kosher chardonnay, merlot, pinot noir, and cabernet franc. The grapes are certified organic by the CCOF and the vines are not irrigated.
- Baron Herzog Wine Cellars: Ranging from cabernet sauvignon to brut champagne, Herzog Wine Cellars produces Kosher and Mevushal wines. While not certified organic, many of the wines use grapes that have been sustainably grown.
The Quintessentially Eco Seder Plate
- Horseradish for Maror: Check out Silver Spring Organic Prepared Horseradish. It's certified organic by Oregon Tilth as well as kosher. Or make your one with all organic, natural ingredients.
- Parsley for Karpas: Opt for local as well as organic.
- Charoset: Use your favorite charoset recipe and be sure to make it with organic and locally sourced ingredients!
- Eggs for Baytzah: For vegans, go for an organic chunk of pan fried or baked tofu instead of the hard boiled egg.
The meal: There are all sorts of great Kosher recipes for Passover. From matzo ball soup to vegan gefilte fish, there are lots of ways to green your Passover menu. But the best rule of thumb is simply to get as many organic and local ingredients as possible, regardless of where you get your recipes. Beyond that, if you're looking to lower your impact, try serving a vegetarian or better yet, vegan meal!
The service: If you can, try to use reusable cups, wine glasses, plates and silverware. This way, you'll have the least amount of disposable waste -- and of course, make sure you put your dishes in the dish washer! It's far more water efficient than washing by hand.
If you are looking to pick up something new for the occasion, check out eco-friendly tableware like glassware made from recycled glass or plates made from bamboo. If you do go with something disposable, look into biodegradable and compostable Tricycle plates, cups and utensils. For something a little less formal, check out the offerings from WorldCentric or the compostable cups from Greenware. For something with some eco-chic to it, check out VerTerra's plates, bowls, and platters made from nothing but fallen leaves and water.
No matter what holiday you celebrate, make it a healthy, happy and green one!
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