Stepping into Spring is a refreshing time for change, and moving closer to an eco-friendly lifestyle… But as holidays approach we often retract to our roots and uphold our old traditions.
But starting an environmentally friendly Easter is also better for your health – especially in the pre-Easter activities. We’ve already told you the great ways to reuse your egg cartons after the dying process is through, but you can take it a step further by keeping the colouring conscious, too.
Most people invest in egg kits that contain little tablets made from chemicals. They dissolve in water and develop into deep hues – but also inevitability gets on your (and your kids’) skin, which, in turn, absorbs the additives into your systems. These food colourings have been linked to various developmental issues, such as ADHD.
It’s remarkably easy to dye your eggs (and anything else, for that matter) naturally. Here’s how to do it:
The colouring contenders
Each colour comes from a natural source that can most often already be found in your kitchen. Chances are you’ve already struggled with one of these in some degree, scrubbing it off of your counters, table cloth, or hands.
For red: frozen raspberries or red onion peels
For pink: beets
For yellow: saffron (although a little expensive to use up for dyeing, turmeric
For purple: red wine (great to use up the inexpensive ones) or blueberries
For blue: red cabbage
For brown: coffee grounds or strongly brewed coffee
For orange: yellow onion skins
For light green: spinach leaves
For yellow green: green tea bags
For rust: chili powder
Other tea bags create interesting results, too.
- Prep your dyes: In a medium-sized saucepan, take three handfuls of the colouring agent (unless you are using spices, then use about a teaspoon). Add about 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer about 20 minutes. The longer you let it simmer, the darker your dye colour will be. Remember that the eggs will not become as dark as the dye.
- Strain the mixture into a small bowl, then add about 2 teaspoons of white vinegar (this’ll help the dye adhere to the eggs).
- Dye as you’ve done it years before, by dipping in your hardboiled eggs and letting them saturate for a little bit.
- Variation I: for darker hues, you can leave them in the colour over night.
- Variation II: You can also boil raw eggs directly in the colouring agent + vinegar… But that takes out the fun of the dyeing process.
When we were growing up, we used masking tape, elastics, and crayons (especially white) to make designs before we dipped to create whimsical works of art.
And although the process does take a little longer, just make a day of it with your kids – and that is the biggest reward of all.
For ideas on how to reuse the leftover egg cartons, check out post-Easter egg carton uses
Explore CBS’ article on going green this Easter
Better Homes and Gardens offers tips on greening your Easter basket
Image courtesy of www.coloroot.com