With Easter fast approaching, now is a good time to start planning your Easter activities. Would you like to make your Easter environmentally friendly and green this year? There are ways to keep to the traditions of Easter (whatever they may be to you and your family) without making huge compromises, and still reduce your impact on the environment.
Don’t worry! You will not have to give up chocolate this Easter. All you need to do to is make eco-conscious decisions when purchasing your chocolate. For example:
Fair Trade Chocolate: Look for chocolate that has been Fairtrade certified. By purchasing Fairtrade chocolate, you are supporting cocoa farmers, workers and their communities by providing the opportunity for them to trade under better terms, fair prices and working conditions (Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand 2016). For a list of Fairtrade chocolates visit http://fairtrade.com.au/Fairtrade-Products/Chocolate-cocoa
Certified Sustainable Palm Oil or Pail Oil Free: Palm oil plantations are a serious environmental issue because they are responsible for large amounts of deforestation and threats to endangered wildlife in areas like Malaysia and Indonesia. Palm oil is often used in the production of chocolate. But keep and eye out for chocolate with Certified Sustainable Palm Oil or are Palm Oil Free (Gredley 2016).
Packaging: Unfortunately, Easter Eggs are often wrapped in an excessive amount of packaging. While the foil of Easter eggs is generally recyclable, the plastic packaging and display boxes with clear plastic windows are not. And you may not notice, but you are often paying a premium for the extra fancy packaging. In 2018 an audit of British supermarkets showed that on average packaging accounted for 25% of the weight of the Easter Egg (Mitchelson 2018). So before making a purchase have a look at the packaging, to see what you are actually buying (chocolate or a pretty packet). In some cases, you may want to consider buying a block of chocolate rather than an Easter egg (a reasonable option for those who value quantity and adults who do not mind what the chocolate is wrapped in).
Chocolate with a Cause: Why not support a good cause through your chocolate purchase? In Australia rabbits, the iconic Easter animal is an introduced species that cause a lot of problems. Did you know there’re Chocolate Bilby’s and Quokka’s available this Easter that have a portion of proceeds going towards the conservation of the respective animals? Easter is also a good time to donate, whether that be money or food supplies (and maybe a little bit of chocolate) to a local charity so that everyone can enjoy this Easter break.
The Traditional Easter Egg Hunt
Though it is often played a little different in Australia (chocolate left outside and Australia’s unpredictable weather don’t mix very well), the Easter Egg Hunt is a traditional favourite activity of many kids. There are a couple of things you can do to in preparation for the annual Easter egg hunt, in addition to choosing chocolate wisely, to reduce waste:
Easter Basket: you don’t have to buy your children a new Easter basket every year. Why not repurpose an old basket. Get your kids involved and get them to create their basket from an old bucket, ice cream container or shoe box. Use shredded newspapers/magazines or even old wrapping paper instead of fake grass. There are lots of articles out there with some creative Easter basket ideas, including these:
Decorating Easter Eggs: Another notable Easter tradition that can be made environmentally-friendly by first not purchasing plastic eggs. For some different Easter egg decorating and creation ideas head to 20 Eco-Friendly Easter Egg Ideas.
Incorporate Nature: How about incorporating nature into your Easter egg hunt? This way kids can learn a little bit about the environment as they have fun. Make it a game, teach them about different things like reduce – reuse – recycle, or our Australian Easter representatives the Bilby and the Quokka (Cronin 2018).
Seafood on Good Friday is a tradition held by many Australians. I recommend that you refer to Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide or their free app before making your seafood purchases to ensure that the goods have been sustainability caught or sourced (Gredley 2016).
Easter long weekend Travel
Many West Australians hit the road during the Easter Long weekend. This year I expect there will be a chaotic mess of vehicles fleeing metro areas, especially because Easter and Anzac Day are so close together. Here are a few tips to ensure that you make environmentally-friendly decisions when you travel this long weekend:
- Reduce the energy consumed by your home when you are away by checking that electrical appliances are turned off.
- Drive efficiently by making sure your car is in good condition and avoid the traffic where possible (which I must admit is not easy on this long weekend)
- Leave no Trace – be considerate of our natural spaces. Don’t leave behind any rubbish, be considerate of wildlife and take into consideration fire restrictions.
- Pack your own food, drinks and snacks (potentially a healthier, less wasteful option than fast food snacks) (Mortgage Choice 2019)
If you are not planning on travelling this long weekend, why no find some time to enjoy nature with your family and friends? Visit a local park or beach, go bushwalking or plant a tree (why not?).
Download PDF: ISPL Insight – Environmentally Friendly Easter
Cronin, Lina. 2018. E.A.S.T.E.R [Easy, Affordable, Sustainability Tips – Easter Related]. March 21. Accessed April 3, 2019. https://www.ecotourism.org.au/news/e-a-s-t-e-r-easy-affordable-sustainability-tips-easter-related/.
D’Alessandro, Nicole. 2014. 20 Eco-Friendly Easter Egg Ideas. April 2. Accessed April 03, 2019. https://www.ecowatch.com/20-eco-friendly-easter-egg-ideas-1881883622.html.
Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand. 2016. WHAT IS THE FAIRTRADE MARK? Accessed April 1, 2019. http://www.fairtrade.com.au/What-is-Fairtrade/What-is-the-Fairtrade-Mark.
Gredley, Rebecca. 2016. Planet Ark News – Have An Eco-Easter. March 23. Accessed April 1, 2019. https://planetark.org/news/display/1044.
Mitchelson, Alana. 2018. Easter eggs hurt your wallet – and the planet. March 26. Accessed April 26, 2019. https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/your-budget/2018/03/26/easter-egg-chocolate-packaging/.
Mortgage Choice. 2019. How to prepare for Easter (the environmentally-friendly way). Accessed April 2, 2019. https://www.mortgagechoice.com.au/blog/lifestyle/2019/03/how-to-prepare-for-easter-the-environmentally-friendly-way/.
Murphy, Maddie. 2019. Take Out the Trash: Eco-friendly Easter Basket Ideas. March. Accessed April 3, 2019. https://www.tenthousandvillages.com/mosaic/take-trash-eco-friendly-easter-basket-ideas/.
PlushBeds California. 2015. How to Plan an Environmentally Friendly Easter. Accessed April 1, 2019. https://www.plushbeds.com/blog/green/how-to-plan-an-environmentally-friendly-easter/.
The Art of Simple. 2010. Craft An Eco-Friendly Easter. Accessed April 3, 2019. https://theartofsimple.net/craft-an-eco-friendly-easter/.
What do we do all day? 2014. 10 WAYS TO HAVE AN ECO FRIENDLY EASTER. April 16. Accessed April 3, 2019. https://www.whatdowedoallday.com/eco-friendly-easter/.