Easter is a celebration that’s as colourful as the spring season. Like with most events, we can definitely take some steps to make it more eco-conscious. So here the best tips to organise a sustainable easter party!
Easter, for many people, is a time to let loose and indulge. It’s the perfect excuse to eat as much chocolate as humanly possible and enjoy fun arts and crafts with friends and family.
Following the arduous days of lent, it is an opportunity to gorge a little and celebrate. But what if this year, you could do all the above more sustainably and with more satisfaction? Keep reading for some easy, creative ways to surprise your loved ones this year by making your Easter more sustainable.
As the frost begins to clear and the spring is ushered in by the growing days, Easter provides the perfect opportunity to make green changes in how you live. The season marks a turning point in the year when the world begins to glow with renewed colour and warmth.
Splashes of yellow daffodils and minute green buds in the trees paint the world, reminding us of the natural beauty of our planet and the resilience of nature. Personally, I’d love to keep things this way, and I’m sure you would also like to. So let’s get stuck into exactly how you can help this year!
1. Organic Easter Eggs
What better place to start than at the very beginning with eggs? Buying sustainably sourced eggs is a super-easy way to make your Easter eco-friendlier this year. While they can cost a little more than battery farmed eggs, you cannot put a price on a healthy world or the happiness of animals.
While non-organic eggs can be light on your wallet, factory chicken farming incurs a hefty price on our environment. More than 70 million tonnes of eggs are produced annually, according to an article by Science direct (link) . That is not far off a kilogram of eggs for every human on Earth.
Data from Statista [link]  shows that, having more than doubled since 1990, the number of chickens worldwide in 2020 was estimated at around 33B. The maintenance of this population is heavily dependent on the production of cereals and soy. These crops are infamous for their environmental impact due to associated nitrogen production (in fertilisers), land-use change and GHG emissions from transport, as reported in Poultry Science [link] .
Another common issue with battery farms, highlighted by ResearchGate [link] , is nutrient runoff from hen manure into water bodies. Excess nutrients can upset the balance of marine ecosystems as microscopic phytoplankton proliferate and begin to take over. This nutrient influx is known as eutrophication and can devastate populations of other species!
Organically farmed eggs help you avoid these issues as the farming practices are typically different. For starters, chickens are kept in smaller flocks reducing the need for large amounts of crops while also limiting the impacts of the issues mentioned above. Additionally, farmers do not routinely administer antibiotics, which can leech into the environment and help harmful bacteria to prosper.
2. Non-dairy & Fair Trade Easter Chocolate
Switching out dairy chocolate for vegan alternatives is another simple way to reduce your environmental impact. As it says on the tin, dairy chocolate requires milk. Dairy relies on livestock, typically cows, largely raised on factory farms.
Much like battery chicken farms, dairy farming can cause environmental issues. For example, farmers require considerable amounts of crops to sustain their livestock. Intensive farming practices like monocropping wreak havoc on land used to grow said crops, sapping land of nutrients and fertile soil. Fertilisers are then used in soil to bolster productivity in the short term before the land completely deteriorates. The use of machinery on farms and pesticides also contribute to environmental damage through intensive farming methods used in the dairy industry.
Again, you can bypass these hazards by substituting dairy chocolate. You can find a variety of vegan chocolate eggs that contain alternatives like soy or coconut milk. Or, if you’re feeling fancy, pick up some dark chocolate eggs that should only have a mix of cocoa solids. Watch out for cheaper industrial brands, as some may still contain milk. This easy trade offers a simple way for you to keep both the magic of Easter and our planet alive.
3. Natural Dyes for Colourful Easter Deco
Next up, we have natural dyes instead of shop-bought alternatives. These are not just eco-friendlier but can also teach your children a valuable lesson about appreciating natural ingredients.
To dye your eggs, all you will need are a few easy-to-obtain ingredients, some of which you may already have. You can use vegetables such as onions, red cabbage and beetroot to make oranges, blues, and pinks, while turmeric provides a vibrant yellow dye. Along with some vinegar, water, and oil, your leftover vegetables can be transformed into wells of all your favourite colours.
So why are natural dyes more eco-friendly? Well, store-bought colouring often contains harmful chemicals that, when washed away, leach into the natural world. Aquatic ecosystems are particularly at risk from these pollutants. According to an article by The Atlantic [link] , the unnatural chemicals in some food colouring have carcinogenic properties endangering species that live in contaminated waters.
In addition, when in large quantities, the colouring can affect light penetration. This opacity effect reduces photosynthesis and oxygen availability, as discussed in Water Chemistry [link] . It goes without saying that homemade dyes are significantly better for the environment, and they provide the bonus of being bags of fun to make with friends and family.
The guide for natural fabric dyes: the alchemy for textile artists
4. Gift a Tree this Easter
Gifting a tree to someone this Easter is another thoughtful and unique way to surprise your loved ones sustainably. People like to splash their money on hampers and basket loads of gifts and chocolate, which we ultimately consume or dispose of eventually. With the simple click of a button, you can pay a small fee to create something lasting and have a tree planted somewhere special. Indeed, money doesn’t grow on trees, but it can help us grow more!
Trees are the lungs of our planet, acting as the ultimate weapon against climate change. Through photosynthesis, they absorb carbon dioxide, reducing the amount in our atmosphere, helping to regulate the Earth’s temperature. Trees can also help to combat climate change by reducing pollution, preventing flooding, and keeping the soil rich in nutrients. Moreover, they can even provide habitats for all manner of species living in ecosystems.
You can find organisations offering tree planting services online with a simple search. Prices may vary, so take your time and find the service that matches your budget. Some groups may not even have a set price and suggest a donation that works for you.
5. Eco-friendly Easter Baskets
Last on the list, we come to the classic Easter basket. If you can’t resist a good tradition and want to display your colourful eggs and boxes of chocolate, then creating a basket is the way to go. If you really want to go the extra green mile, there are some great ways to make your basket more sustainable.
First off, avoid plastic at all costs! It doesn’t look half as good as a natural, genuine wicker basket and is made from harmful, unnatural ingredients. Plastic is also difficult to dispose of, making up around 12% of solid household waste, as gathered by The World Bank [link] . Once it has served its short-lived purpose, this non-biodegradable tyrant can persist for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Plastic pollution is a growing problem that has a particularly significant impact on marine ecosystems. We have all seen at least one picture of a turtle wearing a piece of plastic as a scarf.
When it comes to filling your basket, keep things fresh and compostable. Steer clear of artificial basket fillers and use flowers and real grass. There is no need to buy artificial decorations which are already growing on your doorstep. Spring is the perfect time to venture outside with the little ones and go flower picking. Just remember to save some for the bees!
Bonus Easter Eco-Tip
Have fun with these ideas! Trying something new can be an adventure with exciting rewards. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone this year. Retain your old traditions and make new ones.
Easter is a time to enjoy the fruits of life, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it without sparing a thought for nature. Keep this in mind and share these ideas with the people around you. Now, have a great Easter and remember to keep it green!