Skip the Plastic Eggs: 6 Ways to Be More Sustainable This Easter
Consider making one of these easy swaps this Easter.
As spring inches closer and discount Valentine’s Day candy has been cleared from store shelves, Easter decor, candy, and other supplies are already taking over the holiday aisles. Because I can’t resist a good Cadbury Creme Egg, I walked down the Easter aisle on my last grocery store run and couldn’t help but notice a theme: So much of the Easter inventory (seemingly more than other holidays) is just plain wasteful. The shelves are filled with plastic eggs, cheap Easter baskets meant for one-time use, and chocolate bunnies first wrapped in foil and then re-packaged in plastic.
Once I noticed it, it was hard to ignore. And since I’m always looking for ways to reduce my carbon footprint (like eating less meat and always using a reusable shopping bag), I looked into ways to celebrate the holiday more sustainably. Google reports that over the last five years, searches for “how to be more environmentally friendly” have peaked around Thanksgiving and Christmas each year, which suggests others are looking for ways to make their holiday celebrations more earth-friendly too.
If you haven’t considered this before, not to worry—the best time to start is always now. As you start to plan your Easter brunch and family Easter egg hunts, consider making a few of these easy swaps.
Decorating Easter eggs is a decades-old tradition, but using a store-bought kit can be harmful to the environment. Instead of picking up a kit made from plastic and cardboard (not to mention those messy dye tablets made from who-knows-what), make your own natural egg dyes at home. Grab a few glass mason jars and use our all-natural egg dye recipes to make gorgeous hues from things like leftover onion skins, turmeric, or red cabbage. To further reduce waste, enjoy your dyed hard-boiled eggs as a healthy snack.
Test Kitchen Tip: Keep in mind that eggs shouldn’t be out of the fridge for more than two hours if you plan to eat them. Plan your Easter egg hunt accordingly.
Hosting an Easter egg hunt may be the most iconic Easter tradition, and there are a few easy ways to make this year’s hunt less wasteful. Instead of hiding plastic eggs (or real eggs that won’t be eaten), consider hiding small wood toys or DIY reusable muslin treat bags instead. The little ones won’t miss the plastic eggs!
Rather than buying a cheap plastic basket at the store every year, make your own Easter basket and reuse it each spring! We have dozens of easy projects (like a DIY unicorn Easter basket and an inexpensive felt basket) to choose from, so you can create different styles for each child you’re putting a basket together for.
For some, the weeks before Easter are dedicated to giving something up for Lent. If you’re participating, consider giving up something harmful to the earth, like single-use plastics. These items include disposable plastic silverware, single-use grocery bags, and the clear plastic water bottles you might be buying by the case. If the thought of refilling the same reusable shopping bags again and again grosses you out, don’t worry—you can clean them!
If you have a bin of Easter decorations, you likely have old plastic eggs bouncing around. Instead of throwing unwanted eggs away (and adding more plastic to the landfill), repurpose them into a piece of decor you can put up every year. Use leftover party napkins and decoupage to create this gorgeous Easter egg wreath that gives new life to your old items.
I love a candy-coated chocolate egg as much as the next person, but turns out all that Easter chocolate isn’t so great for the environment. Most of the brightly-colored foil coating on our milk chocolate treats, while technically recyclable if it’s clean, typically ends up in the landfill. A 2018 study revealed that 3,000 tons of chocolate Easter egg packaging is generated every year in the UK alone. Instead of individually-packaged candies, consider making one of our delicious Easter dessert recipes instead.