Planning A Green Easter

Like many families we participate in the tradition of giving chocolate eggs at Easter time. I am not sure whether it is because Christmas still seemed like only a few weeks ago, but the thought of all the associated packaging that comes along with Easter has really turned me off buying eggs so far.

The Independent Newspaper in the UK conducted a survey last year of the 10 most popular eggs and found that:

“by weight, they comprised between 26 and 45 per cent packaging. By volume the packaging could be 90 per cent of the product.”

It does look like the trend is changing though, at least in the UK where the Telegraph Newspaper reports as some of the leading manufacturers have made changes to the way they package their eggs:

“Cadbury’s, which makes one in three of all eggs sold at Easter, has scrapped the boxes altogether on some of their lines, and selling eggs just in foil. Meanwhile Mars has used recycled cardboard to make the boxes of 11 million of the 14 million eggs that it has made this year.

The company claims this move will save 12,000 trees.”

Reading these articles has inspired me to plan for a Green Easter this year. Here are a couple of things that I am going to do plan to do to reduce our environmental impact:

Buy eggs without packaging.
To be honest in the past I have gone with eggs in packaging when buying for my in-laws and my own parents. I am going to get the kids crafting to make some paper mache egg baskets to put the eggs in.

Using Natural Dye for Eggs.
I didn’t realise how many colours you could get from using vegetables. The Parenting Our Children Website has a great list of vegetables to use and also some other ideas about having a Green Easter.

Make a gift.
Last week at Possum’s kinder they had a fantastic group activity going, that I am going to replicate at home using some left over canvases from our Summer painting session.

I will get each child to choose a canvas and completely paint it with one colour. Once they are dry I will then let them decorate the canvases with a collection of recycled materials using “Easter” as their inspiration.

The recycled materials consist of old buttons, small scraps of interesting fabric, a collection of beads from broken necklaces and foil Easter Egg wrappers collected from last year.

Each child will take a turn to glue some objects to the three canvasses to create an Easter collage. We will take these canvases to my home town to make a special Easter present for my family members there.

Offset Carbon Emissions.
We will be driving for over six hours in our car to get just to our holiday destination, so that is going to be our biggest environmental impact for this holiday season. We have just recently joined up with GreenFleet.

We have a yearly membership to neutralise our car’s greenhouse emissions. I must point out though that this is only part of a solution and that reduction in total car usage is our overall goal.

This is quite a short list, so I am sure there must be more that I can do, to have a Green Easter. Do you have any suggestions as to what else we can do?

On another Green note Earth Hour coming up on March 29. If you haven’t done so already click here to register your support for Earth Hour 2008 and commit to turning off your lights for one hour at 8pm.