Preparing your Eco-Friendly Easter
Traditions are comforting rituals that we perform to relive great memories and make new ones with our friends and families. If you celebrate holidays, Easter may be one that you always look forward to! It means Spring is coming and reminds us to slow down and enjoy time with those we love.
Holidays remind us of many deeply held and cherished values. Unfortunately, though, holidays are also times during the year where we take part in some of the most wasteful and unsustainable practices. It is estimated that during the holiday seasons, we create 25% more waste than usual. This translates to millions of pounds of discarded food, packaging, plastics, and more on a national scale.
The good news is that we can celebrate holidays in more sustainable ways with a bit of extra pre-holiday planning. As Easter slowly approaches this year, consider some of the following tips to make your Spring holiday season your cheapest yet most sustainable year ever!
1. Skip The Plastic Easter Eggs
We know it's a beloved practice to fill plastic Easter eggs with candy and hide them for your kids. However, plastics are an environmental toxin and are not deemed entirely safe for humans, either. They wreak havoc on wildlife and water supplies.
Depending on your kids' age and what you're comfortable with, switch to using real, farm-fresh eggs! Purchase them locally to cut down on your carbon footprint, then hide them. After your children find them all, make them an egg-cellent breakfast with them! Start a new tradition inspired by the old.
If you use the plastic eggs, make sure to hold on to them so that you can reuse them year after year and not need to buy more. In addition, there are eco-friendly easter eggs. I have never seen these in a store around me, but they can be ordered online.
2. Make your own Easter basket
We have all walked the isles of stores that are loaded with the prefilled Easter baskets. These baskets are covered in plastic and then filled with that plastic grass. Did you know that plastic grass generates tons of emissions and landfill waste each year? Besides that, it can also be dangerous to our pets.
However, it can be easy for us to avoid purchasing these types of baskets. We can use this as an opportunity to get creative and use things like newspaper, fabric, or other items that can replace this grass. Plus, grab the kiddos and use this as a chance for a creative project and have them create their own Easter basket.
3. Make a Local Easter Meal
The feeling of sitting down with your family for an Easter meal is nostalgic and joyful. Whether it be Easter breakfast, brunch, or dinner, this tradition is one many of us look forward to. However, most of us dread pre-holiday grocery shopping and preparation. Many of us are guilty of making a last-minute trip to the supermarket to pick up a frozen ham from across the country, boxed stuffing, processed dinner rolls, and the like.
Commonly, this method of holiday meal prep results in a massive increase in extra discarded packaging and food waste, as we often buy a lot more than we need, as well. We approach it with the perspective that it is better to have too much than not enough, but this is not only tough on your wallet. It ultimately is tough on the environment when leftovers are discarded.
To save money, and the environment, plan your holiday meal a week in advance. Make a list of what you would like to prepare. Aim for ingredients that are in season and native to where you live. Then, conduct searches for local vendors and farmers in your area that can offer you the ingredients package free, and sometimes, at cheaper rates!
Not only are you supporting your local economy, but you're also cutting down on your packaging and plastic waste. Plus, your carbon footprint for your meal will be slashed since more of your items were harvested and distributed closer to home, cutting emissions from transportation.
The cherry on top is that your holiday meal will taste better than ever since local, in-season ingredients offer more flavor.
4. Skip the Decor
We know that decorating for your holiday get-togethers is satisfying, fun, and festive. It's also a massive driver of holiday waste and can cost a pretty penny, as well. To avoid breaking the bank and developing more eco-friendly holiday habits, consider doing a few things.
First, if you can't celebrate with decor and set the scene, plan ahead and get your decor secondhand. You can also try some DIY or upcycling techniques to bring your decor to life. The most essential tip in this process is to make or find decor that you love and that you will want to save and reuse in the future. Give your decor items the most extended life possible! Please do not throw them out season after season to make room for the new.
Finally, integrate reusable items into your holiday events. Skip paper plates, single-use plastic utensils, and straws, plastic cups, etc. While it means more dishes, it also means less waste and less money wasted! It's a win-win.
There are so many tips and tricks that can be adapted to create a more eco-friendly Easter. These are just a few that might work for you. Continue to experiment and find eco-habits that you enjoy! Educate those around you and share why you switch up your traditions to be a more sustainable you.