I know for some people Easter has crept upon them and you are thinking what am I going to do. But it doesn’t have to be stressful. You may be thinking that with such little time you may have to give in to commercialism and buy not so eco-friendly items. Now take a deep breath – help is at hand. I have gathered together a list of items that will help you have a lovely Easter, while still being eco-friendly, as well as putting you at ease.
1.Create your own tradition. Who said you have to follow what others do. Make it simple and make it about being with others. The true meaning of Easter has nothing to do with hoards of chocolate eggs. Even if you are not religious, it is about new beginnings. For the northern hemisphere that happens to be Spring, but for us here in Australia it is about Autumn and going into winter.
2. Chocolate eggs: Now you want to do the right thing but you don’t have the time to find out which chocolate eggs are Fairtrade and Palm oil free (Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) products). To help you the Stop the Traffik campaign have created this Good Egg Guide goodeggguide_2016, which is a great sheet to have on hand.
Some of my favourite chocolates are:
Haigh’s Chocolate Easter Bilby is Australian, family owned, palm oil free, and UTZ Certified. In Australia we should be buying Easter Bilbys instead of an Easter Bunnies because the Bilby is an endangered species in Australia. All funds from the sale of each Bilby chocolate goes into the Save the Bilby Fund.
Oxfam – They have the lovely Hand-made Organic Belgian chocolate Dark Easter Egg and many other Fairtrade Easter chocolate.
Chocolatier Chocolates has an Easter range which includes Fairtrade gift boxes in Milk and Dark Chocolate and 100g Easter Eggs in Milk and Dark Chocolate. They are available at selected Woolworths, Oxfam shops, Coles, Australia Post outlets, David Jones, The Trading Circle, and Myer. If living in Melbourne they have two shops - one at 244 Waterdale Road, North Ivanhoe and one at 444 Hampton Street, Hampton.
Green and Black's Organic Chocolate have a milk and dark chocolate eggs (180g) that are Fairtrade certified. You will find them at Woolworths stores.
Coles new private label 70g Fairtrade Certified Milk Chocolate Bunny.
Now there are many organic and eco online shops selling beautiful organic, Fairtrade, vegan chocolate, but I haven’t included them here in this list as we are too close to Easter (I will include them next year). If the online store is in your state, it might be worth calling them and checking if they can deliver the chocolates to you on time.
3. Dye your own eggs: Now I know what your thinking, as if I have time to be doing this. It is really very simple and a lovely tradition to carry out with young kids. You may not have the time to prepare your own natural dye (this requires chopping vegetables or fruit and cooking to create the dyes – refer to this link Dyed Easter Eggs , but most health and organic stores sell natural dyes that are not petroleum-based or chemically synthesized.
4. Give none-chocolate gifts: Worth considering since we tend to have an overload of chocolate on Easter Sunday. For kids you can create a simple basket or a kraft bag with colouring books & pens, crafts, wooden toys, books, etc. Often adults don’t expect a lot at Easter, but if your family has a tradition of giving gifts, why not try homemade foods or handcrafted gifts.
5. Easter dinner/party: There is nothing like getting family and friends together. And yes, there is time to be organised for Easter Sunday dinner. By following these few tips not only will you keep it eco-friendly, but everyone will think you are a pro.
Plan your meal - you will know what you are cooking and avoid waste overbuying. If you are looking for inspiration and a menu to follow Kidspot have made it easy, so follow this link: http://www.bestrecipes.com.au/article/easter-weekend-menu-a880.html
Prepare ahead of the day – this will help you enjoy the day. If you are not a cook make it simple by buying some of the items e.g. dips, breads, cake, cold meats.
Get a helping hand - I’m sure someone will want to help you. Not only will it make the chore easier, but it will make the process more enjoyable.
Why not ask family and friends to bring along a plate. It is often lovely to share the making of the meal with others.
Have a barbeque - as we are going into winter, soon we won’t want to be outside. Make the most of the last few sunny days left.
Have a Picnic - Make it a tradition to meet everyone at a park. No mess to clean up afterwards, apart from the biodegradable picnic ware you will be using.
6. Decorations: I know some people go to a lot of trouble for this, but often simple looks the best. I know some household have some impressive decorations, but only to throw everything away after a few days. What a waste! And worse again, some of these decorations cannot be recycled. I love flowers and making them the centrepiece of any table can be so lovely. Other natural items can be used to decorate a room such as are branches/twigs, potted plants or reusable decorations. Be creative and show your artistic side. Give the kids a chance to show off their artwork.
7. At the end of it all, reduce the energy it takes to tidy up (wash table cloths and linen in cold water and then hang it on a clothes line to dry), recycle what you can (e.g. paper plates, food containers, etc) and reuse (decorations – store them away for next year). Don’t forget to compost those cut flowers once they are wilted and any egg shells. Also, roll up any of the foil wrappings collected from the chocolate Easter eggs for recycling. Job well done!
Happy Easter from earthly passion,
Attracta & the team