There's something magical and promising about Easter with the oh-so-tiny chocolate eggs, shiny pastel decorations and, of course, the family feast. But is all of that spring promise and chocolate therapy coming at a cost to the planet and it's people?
We've got you covered as you head into your long weekend with 5 ways to make your Easter celebration a little more ethical.
1. Friendlier Chocolate Treats. Wait, before you bite that bunnies ears off, do you know where that chocolate comes from? Ethically sourced (i.e. not made on the backs of child-slaves) and fairtrade chocolate is something (sadly) that you actually have to seek out. Brands like Camino and Green & Black's offer up Easter treats made with organic, fairtrade-certified cacao – so you don't have to feel guilty nibbling bunny's toes off.
2. Greener Grass. When we were kids, the evils of having plastic everything, everywhere was not yet known, so we used to get our Easter treats in a petroleum-based basket filled with grass made from petrochemicals. What? That still happens? Reduce harmful emissions and landfill fill by replacing that Easter grass with an eco-option. Look no further than your paper shredder or make a nest with some natural fibre string or yarn. After the holidays, you can recycle the paper or simply re-ball your yarn (or include some knitting needles in the basket for a fun, long weekend project).
3. Alternative Hunting. Here's a twist on the classic egg hunt tradition. Don't hide any eggs and instead sell your eggs for pieces of garbage. Head out to you local park, give the kids a garbage bag and some gloves and let them know that for every piece of garbage they collect you'll give them one egg. This way, the kids still get to go hunting, your chocolate won't be threatened by weather and the local park gets a clean-up.
4. Hock the Ham. Many holiday meals will be centered around a big ol' roasted ham. But if you want to make your Easter a little more ethical, consider skipping the ham and having a vegetarian feast instead. Meat production has a major impact on the environment when you consider the resources it takes to raise it and the carbon footprint that raising and shipping has. Think of it this way, a vegetarian spread is a great way to say, 'oh, hello' to spring and all the bounty that comes with it.
5. Sock the Stuffies. A plush toy may be a cute way to celebrate the Easter bunny but most conventionally made stuffed animals are 100% polyester. That's a petrochemical your child is snuggling with! Not to worry, eco-friendly options abound. Check out Etsy or your local market for stuffies made with natural fibres like felted wool, cotton or bamboo and stuffed with the like. Or, DIY with a bunny version of the good, old-fashioned sock monkey!
Did you know that Americans are projected to spend $16 billion on Easter this year? That's an awful lot of money spent on feasts and treats! If you want to have a more ethical Easter, donate some of your bunny-budget to a worthy cause and get back to the basics of the holiday – time with family.