Looking for a guilt-free Easter, or at least an Easter where the only guilt you feel is about the amount of Easter eggs you’ve scoffed!? In the UK alone, we consume 80 boxed million eggs every Easter. This generates almost 4,370 tonnes of cardboard waste – which in our view is entirely unnecessary! So here are our top tips on minimizing your impact on the environment this year, and your local authority’s recycling budget.
Shop Smart for Your Easter Eggs
This is kind of obvious, but if you buy eggs with less packaging you are massively reducing the environmental impact in the first place. Less recycling, less in landfill, less to transport. Try and find loose or packaging free eggs if you can, or at least make some think about what you buy, and what will become of the waste.
Supermarket shelves are beginning to look like manufacturers have made some improvements in their packaging recently with many eggs now coming with just foil wrapping and cardboard. One thing is for sure though, when they are stacking it high, and selling it cheap, like the high street big boys do, the environment is seldom top of the retailers’ list of priorities, so just think about it before you buy.
That said, in many cases, gone are the plastic casing that used to hold the eggs in place, likewise the plastic window on the front of the box. But the bottom line is that packaging in some eggs still accounts for up to 25% of the total weight of your purchase.
And when you are browsing those shelves though, just think about the whole picture. Check for FSR kite marks which confirm that cardboard has been sourced sustainably, and go for the least amount of packaging you can.
Environmentally Friendly Eggs
Healthy Food Magazine has done some analysis this year on the most environmentally friendly eggs available in 2019, and it makes for interesting reading. https://www.healthyfood.co.uk/article/eco-friendly-easter-eggs-2019/
Eggs from the likes of Green & Blacks, Montezumas & Divine, organic fair trade and ethically sourced products score highly in this survey. These all look simply delicious but will have a bigger impact on your wallet than the traditional suppliers. Children are the biggest consumers of Easter eggs, on average eating 8 each, therefore it is highly likely that you’re going to see a fair few Cadbury’s and Nestle eggs in your house over the long weekend. Cadbury’s, who account for 50% of the Easter egg market in the UK, have simplified packaging in recent years, the unusual shape of an egg, of course, makes packaging tricky when mass produced.
The Best of the Bunch
Of these eggs picked out by Healthy Food, our pick of the bunch would be the Montezuma’s Eco Egg – it is a thing of beauty, organic chocolate, minimal packaging, three amazing flavours – biodegradable paper and a foil layer – no plastic anywhere!
Outside of supermarkets there are smaller retailers like Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shop who sell small loose eggs by weight and some great foil wrapped Easter bunnies! When we were children the foil wrapped Easter bunny was the one that brought the widest smile, and from a packaging point of view, it is absolutely minimal! You can get some nice big ones too!
Something for the Grown Ups
If you are looking for somethng for the special grown up in your life, why not check out these ‘ethical eggs’. Probably a little bit pricey for most Easter egg hunts, but for the ultimate treat. For a truly ‘ethical egg, check out this league: http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/buyersguides/food/eastereggs.aspx
Recycle Your Wrapper
Aluminium foil is widely recycled, just roll it into a ball, or collect the tiny bits together to make it into a big ball and pop it into the recycling ! Job done! Alumnium is incredibly recyclable – it can be recycled infiitely so it is really worth the effort of gathering all the little bits together.
Check your local recycling service to see exactly what else can be recycled in your area. Cardboard is generally recyclable, and if you do get rigid plastic inserts, these are recyclable in many counties (check the number of the plastic inside the recycling logo). To be sure, check your local recycling page listed here.
For those of you interesting in seeing more about what you can and can’t recycle, watch this video provided by West Sussex Waste which will give you some more information on recycling this Easter.
Alternatives to Buying an Easter Egg
Not a fan of the chocolate egg, or just want to do something a bit different? Use a hard boiled egg, and paint or dye actual eggs laid by chickens! Many of our European friends wouldn’t be without their painted eggs.
Egg decorating can be lots of fun, and obviously eating them is fabulously nutritious. You can dye them with lots of lovely natural items, such as onion skins and beetroot and come up with some stunning effects. Of course if you’ve got a cream leg bar chicken like we have, you get blue eggs laid naturally! Even better! Check out some ideas here.
Make Your Own Easter Eggs
Why not invest in some Easter egg moulds and have a go at creating your own? Fun for all the family and something to do in the school holidays, Lakeland are going to have all the kit you could possibly want that can be used year after year!
One thing is for sure, it is possible to make a dramatic impact by thinking a little bit outside of the huge plastic moulded box, and you will infinitely better for doing it! Happy Easter and don’t eat too many eggs!
Seen any products you think will interest us, or got any questions, give us a shout!