As Easter inches closer, chocolate bunnies, plastic eggs and Easter themed décor are taking over supermarket aisles. As I work for a national supermarket chain I have watched as customers begin to stock up on Easter chocolate and decorations in preparation for the holiday. However, this year I couldn’t help but notice a theme: So much of the Easter inventory is wasteful. The shelves are filled with plastic eggs, unsustainably sourced treats and chocolate bunnies wrapped in foil and then re-packaged in plastic.
Just like Christmas, many Australians are beginning to buy into the pressure of going ‘all out’ at Easter, creating a culture of excess and over-consumption. But Easter doesn’t need to be a holiday defined by disposable baskets, small plastic eggs and fluffy chicks and bunnies. You can still plan a beautiful (and aesthetically pleasing) Easter celebration with your family that will make your day more sustainable, and maybe even more fun!
So, do you want to make the Easter Bunny and the earth happy? Here are some of our favourite tips for a more sustainable Easter:
Plates/Cutlery — We have all seen those colourful, pattern-crazed plastic plates and cups that wish you a ‘Happy Easter’. Avoid using plastic plates, cups, cutlery, and straws by dusting off that dinner set hiding in the back of your kitchen cabinet and ask family and friends to bring extra if the gathering is getting big. It’s estimated about 130,000 tonnes of Australian plastic ends up in waterways and oceans each year! So, not only will your Easter table look so much better devoid of tacky plastic décor, but the environment will thank you.
Fairtrade chocolate – The star of Easter is of course, chocolate! Consumption of chocolate over the Easter weekend, accounts for almost 4 per cent of the nation’s total annual consumption, with $210 million spent on Chocolate during Easter 2018. The bad news is that our excessive consumption of chocolate on Easter is damaging to the environment and the livelihoods of those making the delicious treat. This Easter, make the conscious effort to buy Fairtrade chocolate so the cocoa and sugar farmers who grow the ingredients used in the chocolate making process, are guaranteed fair pay and a better quality of life. You can find a list of Fairtrade chocolate brands here.
Easter outfits– As a fashion-lover myself, I am guilty of making a special trip to the shops to search for the perfect Easter day outfit. This year however, I am making the conscious decision to shop my own closet and piece together an outfit from some of the underutilised clothing in my wardrobe. If you’re convinced you need a brand new outfit, make a day out of it and explore op-shops in your area. Alternatively, you can buy an on-trend piece from your favourite clothing brand on the fashion marketplace app Depop! You could even check out The WBGS on Depop for your next fashion find.
Skip the individually-wrapped chocolate – I love a Cadbury chocolate bunny as much as the next person, but most of the brightly-coloured foil coating on our chocolate, while technically recyclable, usually ends up in landfill. Instead of individually-packaged Easter chocolate consider making a delicious Easter dessert recipe instead. And, if you do end up with some left over foil, did you know recycling aluminium saves 95% of the energy required to produce Aluminium from raw materials! If you want to find out how to recycle this Easter, click here.
Ditch the plastic decorations – go DIY! – Beautiful Easter decorations don’t have to cost the earth! Ditching store-bought Easter decorations in favour of creating your own DIY Easter baskets, hats and table settings may just become a new treasured tradition in your household.
Consider Alternatives – Instead of high volumes of Easter eggs, consider toys for your kids. They’ll love them just as much, especially the young ones and keep them happier for longer. Beanie kids go perfectly alongside some Easter eggs and we have them available online.
Written by Emily Gugenberger (Intern with World’s Biggest Garage Sale).