Tips for an Eco-Easter!
Buy Fair Trade
The Ivory Coast in West Africa is the world's leading producer of cocoa – supplying 43%, where according to international labour organization figures, thousands of children are being forced to work as slave labour and have been trafficked from countries like Mali and Burkino Faso.
Did you know that £280m was spent on Easter eggs in the 4 days leading up to Easter 2008, yet only £32.7million was spent on Fairtrade Easter chocolate products in 2008?
- Reduce Packaging
As with most holidays, Easter seems to become more commercialised every year. Although it does give us all the perfect excuse for munching on yummy chocolate Easter eggs, with all that chocolate comes a lot of waste from excess packaging. Did you know that Easter eggs are one of the most over packaged products on the market?
The good news is that manufacturer and retails seem to be listening to us, the consumer. And with many of us now becoming eco-savvy, packaging seems to be reducing.
This year, Thorntons have reduced their packaging by 22%, which is equal to 73 tonnes of packaging waste saved! Nestle has also removed plastic from 20 million Easter eggs, not only has this saved packaging and makes it easier to recycle but “because eggs are more compact, the move will save 48,000 road miles in transporting Easter eggs”. Not one to be left out, Cadbury's have also reduced the use of packaging by launching their treasure egg last year, which is simply wrapped in foil. This reduces the amount of plastic used by 78% and uses 65% less cardboard than a standard egg. They've also reduced the amount of plastic casing in small and medium sized Easter eggs, saving 202 tonnes of plastic.
So, the best idea to reduce waste this year is to look for Easter eggs with less packaging, and choose quality over quantity. My personal view is that one large fair trade organic Easter egg is much better for the planet than a basket full of boxes, and will probably cost less too.
- Put all your eggs in one basket!
If you normally give Easter baskets to the children, make your own Easter baskets by re-using the one you bought last year, or search through your bathroom and loft – I know I always have baskets hanging around, which can be spruced up to look magical! If you do need to go out and buy your baskets, try going to charity shops first, they always seem to have an abundance of them.
Don't use plastic grass materials to line them – this is a great way to use up your shredded paper before composting it to make nests.
- Buy Real Chickens and Lambs
Children love a gift with a story so this year I have decided to buy lambs or chickens for friends and family through Oxfam Unwrapped, rather than chocolate and cards, so I know this gift will last longer and be much more appreciated than another chocolate egg!
- Say it with Flowers!
Spring is natures' way of saying “Lets Party!” So why not give seeds or brightly coloured spring flowers as gifts? Our lovely thank you tags are made from recycled cotton paper and embedded with wildflower seeds, so are the perfect way to say thank you – with flowers!
- Go Local
Finally, it's better for the planet and better for the pocket too; try to purchase your goods locally. Make use of your local farm shop where you are sure to find fresh organic produce, and get outside on your bike into nature this Easter.
Break free of that winter shell this spring – just remember to pop it in the compost with the rest of the Easter Party Supplies!