Soon, those of us that celebrate, will be enjoying Easter weekend, sharing chocolate eggs, gifts, nice Easter Sunday lunches and any other traditions you might carry.
These traditions are lovely, of course, but it’s always good to be conscious about the environment when celebrating any occasion. While the big chocolate companies seem to be making some effort to reduce the packaging in their eggs, the impacts can and do go beyond the plastic packaging in an egg.
Packing wise, around 3000 tonnes of plastic are created for Easter Eggs alone. That’s not accounting for packing used to ship the eggs, or materials used for plastic toys and decorations.
We then must also think about the palm oil used in the Easter Egg chocolate, and let’s not forget all the little chocolate bunnies and creme eggs!
With four of the top ten plastic polluters being confectionery companies – and three of them sell chocolate – it’s quite scary to think that they are some of the biggest Easter Egg produces in the world.
Along side excessive packing, there’s also palm oil to think about, which is used by many of these chocolate companies. Many of them also use slave labor and child labor.
If you decorate for Easter, much like at Christmas, avoid glitter and plastic. If you are buying new decorations ensure that they are ones that can be used again, and buy cloth baskets for Easter egg hunts. If you can, make your own and of course always look for a local business that make things if you can’t.
Remember as well if you opt to buy an Easter gift over an egg – and really, gifts aren’t what Easter is about – then buy something that is really wanted, and not wasteful.
There are many great alternatives out there to the big chocolate companies. Look for ethical companies, that don’t use palm oil and provide fully recyclable or compostable packaging, and once you’re ready to dispose of it, please make sure it’s done so correctly!
It’s important to be mindful at all times of course, and not just at Easter. I try to pinpoint certain times of the year when our waste may increase – mainly holidays and celebrations – but it’s something we should consider year round.
However you choose to celebrate, the most important thing to consider, regardless of if you choose compostable packaging, or palm oil free, is to be sure that when you are ready to dispose of the packaging, it is done so correctly!