The holiday full of chocolate and bunnies and eggs is upon us; yes, that’s right, Easter! We've compiled a list of eco-friendly Easter tips to help get through the holiday with as little impact on the planet as possible.
5 eco-friendly Easter tips to help you save the planet and have fun
1. Switch chemical dyes for natural dye when dying your Easter eggs.
One long-standing Easter tradition is simple to make more eco-friendly Easter egg dying. Most store-bought dyes are full of chemicals that run into waterways and pollute freshwater streams and ecosystems. There are natural alternatives that you can make at home and have a more eco-friendly Easter.
A few of these natural dyes include using fruits and vegetables or spices from your kitchen mixed with water to make different colours. Just grab what you need and boil 100ml of water with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and simmer with the ingredients for 30 minutes. Then cool and strain the dye and let soak for at least 30 minutes. Use red cabbage in water for a vibrant blue, try red onions for a jade green, grape juice makes a great lavender, and paprika creates a pink-red.
2. Switch plastic grass and decorations for homemade eco-friendly options.
One of the core parts of Easter is the Easter basket with an array of treats and decorations in them, including that green grass. The problem is that the grass, basket, and even some decorations are all made from plastic. Now, most plastic may be recyclable, but that grass isn’t, so switching it for shredded paper is more eco-friendly as you can definitely recycle that. As for the basket, make your own with wicker or cardboard, and then you can reuse it each year.
Get the kids involved and make all your Easter decorations from eco-friendly Easter options like paper, cardboard or even more natural materials out of your garden! The kids will enjoy the crafty fun, but you’ll also be spending time with them as a family and preventing more plastic from possibly ending up in landfills.
3. Switch to eco-friendly Easter presents like fair-trade chocolate.
One of everyone’s favourite things about Easter is the free reign to eat as much chocolate as possible! Who hasn’t enjoyed Easter chocolate for breakfast on Easter Sunday? If you want an eco-friendly Easter, why not switch up your chocolate treats to be more planet-friendly. Not only can you check all the packaging to ensure it’s eco-friendly, recyclable, or not excessive for what it’s included.
Consider switching to a Fair Trade Certified company whose farming practices are more planet-friendly and look after the farmers. You can also look at the cocoa farming practices of your favourite chocolate manufacturer.
4. Prepare and plan properly to avoid food waste to make an eco-friendly Easter feast.
We all can go a little overboard when celebrating the holidays. Whether it’s Christmas, New Year or Easter, we love to indulge. But the problem that comes with this indulgence is the food waste that is often leftover. This costs us money, but it also costs the planet with the food that goes to landfills creating methane, which contributes to global greenhouse gas emissions.
The easiest way to avoid the food waste problem this Easter is to plan ahead and prepare your Easter feast with the right amount of food. We all want to over cater because we don’t want people, especially guests when we’re entertaining, to go hungry. Still, we need to ensure this causes a long term impact on our environment.
Here are some tips to help avoid food waste this Easter:
- Only prepare enough food for the guests you’re expecting. If you run out of food, use other snacks around the house.
- Ask guests to bring containers to take home leftovers and ensure that every person takes home at least one container full. Or you can buy your own containers to hand out to guests full of leftovers before they leave.
- Freeze foods like hot cross buns, cakes, and other baked goods for next year or later.
- Repurpose other foods like meats and salads for other meals during the week when you may not feel like cooking.
- And if you still have food left, don’t toss it in the bin; put it in the compost and have it work for you.
5. Reduce, reuse and recycle at every turn!
We’ve saved the number one eco-friendly Easter tip for last because the reality is you can do all of this pretty simply. Reducing the number of presents or products you buy this Easter means you’ll reduce waste. Reusing decorations from other years will help reduce the new products you need and cut down on waste again. If you don’t have any Easter decorations, ensuring you buy ones you can reuse will also help you be more eco-friendly this year and in the future.
Getting the recycling right can sometimes be the hardest part, but that’s where the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) comes in handy. Every product in Australia now needs to clearly state how you need to dispose of each part of the packaging. So it will tell you if you can recycle it in your kerbside bin, have to take it back to the store or throw it in the trash.
Here’s a simple explainer for this eco-friendly Easter tip about recycling your Easter favourites:
- Easter Egg Foil: Can be recycled in your kerbside bin, but you need to save up enough foil to do so. Generally speaking, once you get a ball of Easter egg foil the size of your fist, it’s ready for recycling. Perhaps pop a jar or something on the kitchen counter for the kids to put their wrappers in. Check out the video below from Cleanaway for tips to recycle Easter egg foil.
- Hot Cross Bun Plastic Wrap: This soft plastic can be saved and taken back to your local Woolworths or Coles to be recycled through the REDCycle. Some councils, like Central Coast Council in NSW, have started to work on initiatives to allow for kerbside recycling of soft plastics.
- Cardboard Egg Boxes: Like all other cardboard boxes, just flatten the box and toss it in the relevant recycling bin to be collected on bin night.
We can’t wait for the Easter Bunny to arrive and deliver all of you some delicious treats this Easter. Now that you’re armed with these eco-friendly Easter tips, you can have fun with family and help the planet.