Easter is a time for family, friends, enjoying good food and (of course) chocolate. But all this indulgence can result in buying more than we need, and increased waste. Check out our five top tips for less waste and more fun this Easter, plus discover the origins of some of our more unusual Easter traditions.
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- When is Easter 2023 in the UK?
- Why do we have the Easter bunny? (and other unusual traditions)
- 5 tips for a more eco-friendly Easter:
When is Easter 2023 in the UK?
This year Easter Sunday falls on Sunday 9th April 2023, with Good Friday on Friday 7th April, and Easter Monday on 10th April. Both Good Friday and Easter Monday are bank holidays in the UK.
Why do we have the Easter bunny? (and other unusual traditions)
Many of us are familiar with the Christian origins of Easter, but why do we celebrate with Easter bunnies, Easter egg hunts and hot cross buns?
The Easter bunny has been around for a long time, and is believed to be inspired by Eostre, the Germanic and Saxon goddess of the spring who had a hare as a sacred animal. In fact the Easter bunny used to be called the Easter hare! Not as cute somehow...
Easter egg hunts are a tradition that started in Germany as early as the 16th century, and gained popularity when Queen Victoria took part in Easter egg hunts in the gardens of Kensington Palace as a child. People used to hunt for decorated hard-boiled eggs; the chocolate egg only arrived in the UK in 1873.
Hot Cross Buns are spiced sweet buns that date back to medieval times. They would be made by monks who wanted to use up their leftover yeast before Lent began (Lent is the 40 days leading up to Easter). Today you can find them at bakeries and shops, or have a go at making them yourself!
Tips for less waste this Easter:
1. Give Sustainable Easter Gifts
Before we know it Easter can result in more chocolate than we can eat (yep, I said it!), plus loads of plastic packaging and plastic toys that get thrown away.
Easter gifts for kids
If you're giving chocolate Easter eggs try to choose eco-friendly Easter eggs in plastic-free, reusable or recyclable packaging. Choose ethical Easter eggs made with chocolate that's slavery-free or Fairtrade certified.
If you're searching for non-chocolate Easter gifts for children we love these reusable mini playsets from Playpress (below). They're all plastic-free and sustainably made, and great for keeping kids busy during the Easter holidays.
Easter gifts for adults
Instead of giving Easter baskets filled with plastic decorations, consider giving sustainable gifts like wildflower seeds, plants, or homemade cookies.
We love Chocolarder (above) for their plastic-free packaging, and strong relationships with small cocoa producers around the world. They pay cocoa farmers better-than-Fair-Trade prices and are committed to eradicating slavery from chocolate production. We wouldn't say no to those gorgeous salted caramel truffles this Easter!
2. Choose Eco-Friendly Decorations
One of the easiest ways to reduce waste at Easter is to choose eco-friendly decorations. Instead of buying plastic eggs and seasonal decor that will end up in a landfill, consider making your own reusable decorations from natural materials like hard-boiled eggs, paper, fabric, or wood. You can even use recycled materials like old newspapers or magazines to create colourful Easter baskets, garlands, or wreaths - also a great Easter holiday activity for kids! Spring flowers are seasonal, cheerful and you might be able to find them in your garden, or from local growers.
If you don't have the time to get creative (we feel you), try some fabulous felt characters which can be used for celebrations all-year-round! Felt So Good partner with artisans in Nepal to hand-felt these plastic-free and Fair Trade creations (above).
3. Reduce Food Waste
Food waste is a major problem, particularly during holidays like Easter when we tend to prepare more food than we need. In fact, a new study has found that a shocking half of global food system emissions come from rotted and wasted food. To reduce food waste, plan your meals in advance and only buy what you need. Use leftovers to create new dishes, like pies, frittatas, salads or even pavlovas. Don't forget to compost your food scraps and use them on your garden if you're lucky enough to have one.
4. Shop Locally and Try a Zero Waste Shop
As we dig into some Easter feasts with family and friends, another way to be more sustainable at Easter is to shop locally and avoid as much packaging as possible. Reduce your carbon footprint and support local farmers by buying fruit and vegetables that are in season, like asparagus, beetroot or rhubarb.
Plastic food packaging makes up a significant amount of most households' waste. Try shopping at your local zero waste shop this Easter, just plan what you'll need, and take along some empty containers. For more tips check out our guide: how to shop sustainably.
5. Plan Some Green Easter Activities
Create Easter bonnets or Easter decorations by reusing carboard, paper, foil and other materials. It's never to soon to get children to reuse and recycle!
Decorate hard-boiled eggs using colourful pens or paints. Use the decorated eggs as an alternative to plastic eggs for an Easter egg hunt or some traditional egg rolling (they did it where I grew up!).
Bake Easter treats to family and friends as Easter gifts, or to take as a contribution to Easter meals. Try this impressive Easter nest cake which older children can help bake and younger ones can decorate, Easter brownie bites or these vegan and allergy-free Easter cupcakes.
By following these tips, you can celebrate Easter more sustainably, waste less and reduce your impact on the environment. Remember, small changes can make a big difference, so start with one or two changes that you can stick to and build from there. Happy Easter!
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