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How to have fun (and) reduce your environmental impact
By Megan Prowd
If the thought of all that Easter waste is leaving you feeling a little queasy before the chocolate frenzy has even begun, read on for six easy ways to keep it simple and reduce your environmental impact this Easter.
The biggest culprit in Easter waste is undoubtedly the packaging. A little-known fact about foil wrappers – they can be recycled. Simply roll wrappers together into palm-sized balls, and pop them into your recycling along with any cardboard packaging. Soft plastics can also be recycled through RedCycle.
By buying local, you support small batch producers and local businesses, while also reducing waste. Many bulk-food stores sell package-free chocolate eggs. Local chocolatiers allow you to use your own packaging. Buy hot-cross buns from your local bakery and transport them in your own bread bag. Local Easter markets are a treasure-trove of homemade chocolates, crafts and other goodies.
This is easier than it sounds. Buy plain chocolate chunks from chocolatiers or bulk-food stores, melt down and pour into egg-shaped silicone moulds or bunny-shaped ice cube trays. Display eggs in decorated glass jars or empty egg cartons. Making homemade hot-cross buns is simple, delicious and a fun kid-friendly holiday tradition. Decorate homemade cupcakes or cookies with colourful piped icing patterns, to resemble Easter eggs.
With store-bought chocolates, reduce your environmental impact by understanding which ingredients and production methods support the planet. By choosing fair-trade, vegan or palm oil-free chocolate, you support practices including sustainable farming and reduced carbon emissions. Look for Australian brands like Pana Chocolate and Loving Earth.
When gifting, consider replacing an abundance of eggs (and the related sugar crash) with non-consumables like clothing or an experience, which last beyond the Easter weekend. Pyjamas, new gumboots or a raincoat, movie tickets or a trip to the aquarium all make perfect holiday gifts, alongside a jar of homemade eggs.
DIY crafts are just as good as store-bought sets. Make your own bunny masks or hats by reusing soft cardboards (cereal boxes are perfect), downloading a template online, and letting little hands decorate with pens, paints and stickers. Instead of store-bought nests, use baskets or canvas bags from around your home and go on a hunt to gather flowers, leaves and other decorations to make eco-friendly baskets. Hand-dye hard-boiled eggs using foods like turmeric, coffee or beetroot, or make your own biodegradable paint using cornflour and food colouring. Best of all, your hand-decorated eggs can then be composted afterwards!
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