Seasonal celebrations throughout the year are by their nature very wasteful in their celebration of feasting and excess. How can we as mindful consumers still enjoy these celebrations without contributing to landfill, carbon emissions, habitat loss other ethical problems?
Unless you are religious, eggs and more specifically chocolate eggs are what Easter is about for most people. However, most Easter eggs are packaged in plastic and so the average child receiving eggs from their family members will accumulate quite a pile of plastic waste as a result. There are many alternatives to these including making your own with chocolate moulds, making your own papier mache eggs or using cardboard, tin or wooden refillable eggs. You could even re-use something you already have like used Kinder Egg eggs or get something second-hand instead of buying anything new as this is significantly lower impact. If you are buying pre-made branded eggs then consider what it is you want to be eco/ethical about. There are some better options around that are either dairy-free, organic, fairtrade or palm oil free, but most are not all of the above. Please remember to recycle all packaging properly including the foil if this is your choice. Here and here are guides to some of the most ethical.
If you are using refillable eggs or putting together an Easter basket or egg hunt you will need extra treats too. If you are trying to steer away from the sugar overload that is Easter, then consider small wooden toys like the ones in my eco gift guide. Second hand shops would also be a good way to pick up small toys cheaply. Otherwise taking your own reusable containers to a sweet shop or a pick and mix area at your local supermarket will avoid all the extra packaging of mini eggs and the like.
Avoid buying plastic baskets, but if you already have one use it rather than replacing with something else as this is just waste in itself. Great plastic alternatives are traditional wicker baskets which you can often get from florists or online. They can be lined with straw, real grass or foliage, shredded paper from your recycling bin or scrap cotton fabric and ribbon. Once children have grown out of using these they can be reused for all sorts of things including gift hampers. Wire, felt or paper baskets or tin buckets are also a good cheap option and can be decorated by the kids to personalise them or do versions for the adults with gardening or pampering things. You could even use an up-turned Easter bonnet if you have one, so getting double the use!
Use nature as inspiration for creating your own decorations out of twigs, ribbons, hand dyed eggs and spring flowers. You can find ideas here and here on my Pinterest boards. Get your children involved with crafting chicks and bunnies out of scrap wool and fabric. Scouring your local second hand shops after Easter you will often pick up some bargains ready for the following year. Beautiful vignettes can be created out of all of these and other things you have around your home such as vases of flowers, lanterns and Easter goodies. Florist wreath frames can be decorated with fresh foliage and flowers and then used again with winter foliage at Christmas.
Wishing you all a happy and ethical Easter x
#ecoeaster #ethicaleaster #zerowaste
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